Nelson Mandela: Charismatic Leader of Hope, Humility, and Positivity - Essay Sample

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  4
Wordcount:  967 Words
Date:  2023-03-07


From the assigned sources and readings, Nelson Mandela exhibits various charismatic qualities. Charismatic qualities are one's attributes and personalities that make them a charm, inspires others, and attracts or endears other people to them. These charismatic qualities that Mandela exhibits as evident in his 1994 speech and subsequent interviews with the media include hope, humility, compassion, resoluteness, tenacity, confidence, peacefulness, vision, and positivity. In his 1990 speech, Mandela says that "I stand here before you not as a prophet but as a humble servant of you, the people" (PBS NewsHour 3:19 - 3:33). This demonstrates his humility and servant leadership.

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Moreover, during his speech before the UN Assembly in June 1990, Mandela states that "remember also that you harbor the hope that we will not relent or falter in the pursuit of that common vision which will result in the transformation of South Africa into a country of democracy, justice, and peace" (PBS NewsHour 10:40 - 10:58). This line demonstrates many of his charismatic qualities including justice, fairness, humility, democracy, hope, relentlessness, audacity, and tenacity. He was hell-bent on securing peace, unity, and freedom for South Africans through diplomatic and peaceful means, hence showing his charm which endeared him to world leaders. He also shared his vision of a transformed South Africa where there would forever be democracy and respect for human rights.

Further, during his interview, Mandela says that his power of persuasion is enough to change South Africa. Persuasion is hence another important attribute that portrays Mandela as a charismatic leader. He also believed in healing a nation torn apart by the apartheid regime of racism and discrimination by encouraging South Africans to embark on reconciliation and forgiveness. His tenacity, hard work, and perseverance qualities are evident in his ability to resist oppression under the apartheid regime.

Even when in prison, Mandela never relented in the fight for freedom, democracy, and respect for human rights. When he finally came out of prison and became the first Black South African President, Mandela worked hard to reverse some of the ills that had bedeviled the nation. For instance, he began rebuilding the nation by fighting white minority rule and took measures to promote education, justice, and employment. Even after his stint at the Presidency, Mandela continued to work towards fighting against social evils and scourges such as HIV/AIDS. His decision to serve only for one term also demonstrates his humility.

Mandela's Vision

Mandela was indeed a visionary leader. He had a vision for a post-apartheid South Africa. He envisioned a South Africa where everyone would be completely free from the bondage of white supremacy, apartheid, domination, and racial discrimination. His vision was for a country where people would be free to maximize and exploit their potentials as humans. Mandela believed in human rights and wanted a South Africa where citizens would have the liberty to go about their businesses free of colonialism and oppression. He wanted to ensure that no South African would be put in prison for political reasons or for exercising their political freedoms as was the case during the apartheid rule.

Furthermore, Mandela had a vision for a post-apartheid South Africa where there would be a democracy. He envisioned a country where the right of people to democratically elect their leaders would not be hindered in any way. He also had a vision for democratic ideals such as the rule of law, constitutionalism, and human rights. South Africans would, according to him, be free to participate in political processes such as elections and hold strong political views without the fear of being apprehended as was the case during the apartheid rule. In his 1994 speech, Mandela says that "we trust that you will continue to stand by us as we tackle the challenges of building peace, prosperity, non-sexism, non-racialism, and democracy" (Cape Town Live n.p.). This statement indicates his vision for post-apartheid South Africa.

Mandela wished to have a country where there would be prosperity, peace, freedom from sexism and racism, and where democracy would thrive. Additionally, in the speech, Mandela says that at last, they had achieved their political emancipation. To this extent, he pledged to liberate all the people of South Africa from all forms of the bondage of discrimination, suffering, deprivation, and poverty. He had a vision for a country where there would be prosperity, growth, and development. Most importantly, he had a vision for lasting peace, justice, freedom, and human achievement. These were his rallying calls in his speech, demonstrating his vision for South Africa after the apartheid.


My assessment of this vision is that it shows Mandela's commitment to complete the social, political, and economic transformation of South Africa. His was a vision for societal change. He wanted to have new South Africa, a country whose people would forever be free, independent, peaceful, just, and democratic. The vision that Mandela had is akin to the ones held by other Pan-African leaders, such as Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, Jomo Kenyatta of Kenya, Julius Nyerere of Tanzania, and Mobutu Sese Seko of Zaire. Mandela had a vision of political, social, and economic stability in South Africa. According to Duiker and Spielvogel, Mandela's decision to step down from the presidency in 1999 was a significant step in achieving political stability that he had envisioned (768). This is a vision that many Pan-Africanists like him shared and which would define the political future of South Africa long afterward.

Works Cited

Cape Town Live. "Nelson Mandela's Speech." YouTube, 2014,

Duiker, William J., and Jackson J. Spielvogel. "Challenge of Nation Building in Africa and the Middle East." Cengage Advantage Books: World History, Complete. Cengage Learning, 2012, pp. 763-789

PBS NewsHour. "Remembering South African Leader Nelson Mandela." YouTube, Commentary by Charlayne Hunter-Gault, 5 Dec. 2013,

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Nelson Mandela: Charismatic Leader of Hope, Humility, and Positivity - Essay Sample. (2023, Mar 07). Retrieved from

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