lunes, 9 de diciembre de 2013


NELSON MANDELA ( MADIBA)  18-7-1918 / 5-12-2013

People around the world are deeply shocked by the sad news that a man of dignity and honesty has passed away at he age of 95.  

As a lawyer, politician and social activist, he struggled against apartheid in South Africa, Nelson Mandela saw and experienced injustice and tried to make a difference.
During his 1964 trial, where he was referred to as “The First Accused"  he told the Court about the strength of his convictions:

"During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die."

He stayed in prison in Robben Island for 27 years with the number 46664. Released in 1990, he served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999 and got the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993.
William Ernest Henley (1849-1903), the author of "Invictus" - a poem which sustained Nelson Mandela  through his decades of imprisonment - was himself no stranger to life’s difficulties as he had serious illnesses. 

Invictus : Read and listen the poem which inspired a leader, a nation and a film.


Complete: " I'm the ________ of my ________, I'm the _________ of my ________"


Invictus is also the title of a famous film directed by Clint Eastwood in 2009, starring Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon and  based on the book " Playing the Enemy: Nelson Mandela and the Game That Made a Nation" by John Carlin. The poem plays an important part in this film too.

The film shows the events in South Africa before and during the 1995 Rugby World Cup, which was hosted in that country following the dismantling of apartheid. Freeman and Damon play, respectively, South African President Nelson Mandela and François Pienaar, the captain of the South Africa rugby union team, the Springboks. 
It describes the founding of a new nation ("One team, one nation" was the slogan) which joined afrikaaners (white people) and black people and the start of a lasting friendship. 

“Look around you,” he told his weary troops.  “See those flags?  Play for those people.  This is one chance.  We have to do this for South Africa.  Let’s be world champions.  (Carlin, page 237.) Pienaar to his conrades in the team.

I was with Nelson Mandela for five years, the whole of his presidency, and I never saw him happier.  He was so thrilled, so ecstatic.  When the final whistle blew the whole suite erupted.  If people think we bodyguards are robots, well, they should have seen us when the final whistle went.  We too were hugging, and some of us were crying. (Carlin, page 239.) Linga Moonsami

Watch the trailer of the film
Watch Mandela's speech in the film

After reading about Mandela and watching the videos, do the following activities


Answer the following questions

  1.       How old was he when he died?
    2.   When was his trial?
    3.   Write three Present perfect verbs in his speech at his trial
    4.   What is the name of the prison he stayed at?
    5.   How many years was he in prison?
    6.   When did he get the Nobel Peace Prize?

    Complete the sentences
    1.   ___________________ was the author of the famous poem.
    2.   ______________ and ________________ were the leading actors in the film and __________________ was the director.
    3.   The film was based on the book _________________ and its author was _________________
    4.   The sport championship shown in the film is ______________________________
    5.   _______________ was the name of the African team and they fought against a team from ___________________

Nelson Mandela: The Pursuit of Unity : video of his speech at the USA Congress on getting the Congressional Gold Medal



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