‘Madiba' Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was raised in the rural Transkei, born into the Xhosa Thembu Royal family. At age 22, after studying at the prestigious Fort Hare University when the portrait in this photograph was made, ‘Madiba' returned to the village to find that his Chieftan father had arranged marriages for him and his adopted brother, Justin. It was at this moment that Mandela, resisting, took a train to Johannesburg and was quickly catapulted into a leadership role to end apartheid. The young man in this photograph, holding the portrait of ‘Madiba' in college, is a distant relative who lives in the village of Mqhekezweni, in the Transkei, where this original portrait still sits on the mantel of the family home.
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