Posted by: mmeazaw | March 28, 2011

The Top three best African Leaders

Nelson Mandela


Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was born in Transkei, South Africa on July 18, 1918. His father was Chief Henry Mandela of the Tembu Tribe. Mandela himself was educated at University College of Fort Hare and the University of Witwatersrand and qualified in law in 1942. He joined the African National Congress in 1944 and was engaged in resistance against the ruling National Party’s apartheid policies after 1948. He went on trial for treason in 1956-1961 and was acquitted in 1961.

After the banning of the ANC in 1960, Nelson Mandela argued for the setting up of a military wing within the ANC. In June 1961, the ANC executive considered his proposal on the use of violent tactics and agreed that those members who wished to involve themselves in Mandela’s campaign would not be stopped from doing so by the ANC. This led to the formation of Umkhonto we Sizwe. Mandela was arrested in 1962 and sentenced to five years’ imprisonment with hard labour. In 1963, when many fellow leaders of the ANC and the Umkhonto we Sizwe were arrested, Mandela was brought to stand trial with them for plotting to overthrow the government by violence. His statement from the dock received considerable international publicity. On June 12, 1964, eight of the accused, including Mandela, were sentenced to life imprisonment. From 1964 to 1982, he was incarcerated at Robben Island Prison, off Cape Town; thereafter, he was at Pollsmoor Prison, nearby on the mainland.

During his years in prison, Nelson Mandela’s reputation grew steadily. He was widely accepted as the most significant black leader in South Africa and became a potent symbol of resistance as the anti-apartheid movement gathered strength. He consistently refused to compromise his political position to obtain his freedom.

Nelson Mandela was released on February 11, 1990. After his release, he plunged himself wholeheartedly into his life’s work, striving to attain the goals he and others had set out almost four decades earlier. In 1991, at the first national conference of the ANC held inside South Africa after the organization had been banned in 1960, Mandela was elected President of the ANC while his lifelong friend and colleague, Oliver Tambo, became the organisation’s National Chairperson.

From Les Prix Nobel. The Nobel Prizes 1993, Editor Tore Frängsmyr, [Nobel Foundation], Stockholm, 1994

This autobiography/biography was written at the time of the award and later published in the book series Les Prix Nobel/Nobel Lectures. The information is sometimes updated with an addendum submitted by the Laureate.


Frederik Willem de Klerk

Born: 18 March 1936, Johannesburg, South Africa

Residence at the time of the award: South Africa

Prize motivation: “for their work for the peaceful termination of the apartheid regime, and for laying the foundations for a new democratic South Africa”

Field: Negotiation, human rights


Frederik Willem de Klerk was born in Johannesburg on March 18, 1936. He is the son of Senator Jan de Klerk, a leading politician, who became minister in the South African government. His brother Willem is a liberal newspaperman and one of the founders of the Democratic Party.

F.W. de Klerk graduated with a law degree from Potchefstroom University in 1958 and then practiced law in Vereeniging in the Transvaal. In 1969, he married Marike Willemse, with whom he has two sons and a daughter. De Klerk was offered a professorship of administrative law at Potchefstroom in 1972 but he declined the post because he had been elected to Parliament as National Party member for Vereeniging at the time.

In 1978, F.W. de Klerk was appointed Minister of Posts and Telecommunications and Social Welfare and Pensions by Prime Minister Vorster. Under Prime Minister P.W. Botha, he held a succession of ministerial posts, including Posts and Telecommunications and Sports and Recreation (1978-1979), Mines, Energy and Environmental Planning (1979-1980), Mineral and Energy Affairs (1980-1982), Internal Affairs (1982-1985), and National Education and Planning (1984-1989). In 1985, he became chairman of the Minister’s Council in the House of Assembly. On December 1, 1986, he became the leader of the House of Assembly.

As Minister of National Education, F.W. de Klerk was a supporter of segregated universities, and as a leader of the National Party in Transvaal, he was not known to advocate reform. In February 1989, de Klerk was elected leader of the National Party and in September 1989 he was elected State President.

In his first speech after assuming the party leadership he called for a nonracist South Africa and for negotiations about the country’s future. He lifted the ban on the ANC and released Nelson Mandela. He brought apartheid to an end and opened the way for the drafting of a new constitution for the country based on the principle of one person, one vote.



General Abdulsalami Abubakar


General Abdulsalami Abubakar is a lucky man, one of the few military leaders in the world to get a crown without a coup. When he was chosen by his military colleagues to step into the shoes of General Sani Abacha who had just died suddenly, mysteriously, he was not exactly a happy man. He thought of turning down the offer but he knew he could not forgive himself nor the nation forgive him. It was a call to national duty at a time of national distress.

Abacha’s agenda of sit-tightism or of transmutation from military dictator to a civilian president had polarised the country and split it down the middle. The country needed a man of peace, a fence-mender, a wound-binder, a man whose ambition was not vaulting, one who would steer Nigeria away from the knife-edge of danger.

Abubakar became head of state but his family members were not beating the drums. One of his daughters cried uncontrollably for two weeks, interjecting amidst sobs, “But daddy, why you?” The answer is “Mother Fate” or looking at it another way “Lady Luck.” It is fate or luck that had taken him to the pinnacle of leadership and Abubakar knew only too well that if he tempted it, he could be taken down to the valley of disgrace. So he said he would quit on May 29, 1999. Cynics may have said, “we have heard this stuff before.” But Abubakar was different. He quit.

The world loves a man of honour. So Abubakar’s lap of honour started immediately. Ghana gave him its highest honour, the Star Award; ECOWAS decorated him with its International Gold Medal. The America gave him the Reverend Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow/Push Coalition Peace Prize. He also raked home the International Globalist Award for 1999.

At home, he has not been short of goodwill. He has represented President Olusegun Obasanjo at the inauguration of the Senegalese President, Abdoulaye Wade and received, on behalf of Nigeria, a peace award at Durban, South Africa, a few weeks ago. During the Sharia riots Abubakar went on a trouble-shooting mission to various parts of Nigeria.

Abubakar’s profile is still rising like a meteor. He had the honour of being named Chairman of the Commonwealth Eminent Observers Mission to the Parliamentary Election in Zimbabwe. Leading a 44-person disparate group from 25 countries, Abubakar carried out the assignment with distinction, fairness and a sense of history which earned him showers of praise from the observers. If Abubakar donned all these honours and medals, his chest would look like a plate of fruit salad which would certainly illuminate his grey beard and moustache. Both have been neatly trimmed to give the picture of the circle at the centre of a football field. This must be his celebration of freedom from the tyranny of military discipline.

Number two in a polygamous family of 10 children, Abubakar is clearly the most distinguished. But his own family is smaller: One wife, sic children – evenly distributed between the sexes – one of them a doctor, another a lawyer, the other an architect. The remaining three – all boys – are just boys in school. The Abubakar have a romance with the name Fati. Abubakar’s mother is Fati. His wife is Fati. One of his daughters is Fati – three Fatis in one man’s life.



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