Nelson Mandela is a South African leader, who was the head of the African National Congress and its armed resistance group, Umkhonto we Sizwe. This group fought against the apartheid policies of South Africa. Mandela spent 27 years imprisoned on Robben Island for his political activities. Upon his release in 1990, Mandela asserted a policy of reconciliation and negotiation to end the racist policies of apartheid. He was the first fully representative, democratically elected president of South Africa, serving as head of state from 1994 to 1999. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his work in 1993.
The prison on Robben Island, Cape Town, South Africa, where Nelson Mandela was held for 27 years as a political prisoner.