Black ConsciousnessSouth Africa is a country in the Africa that has experienced European dominance. The rules the missioners and colonizers had established in the country humiliated citizens human rights. As the privileged race, they exploited the work of men and women paying little wages. At the meantime, Europeans discriminated all the races residing in South Africa. However, the twentieth century launched the struggle against the established norms known as apartheid. Fighting for the better future, the history of South Africa distinguishes two leaders with single aim: to return the equality of rights to their people. They were known as Nelson Mandela and Steve Biko. They pushed all their life forces to free the native country, but the implemented approaches significantly differed, and Bikos idea and movement were more effective than Mandelas. In order to reach the set goal, the paper is mainly based on the autobiographical works of both activists examining their childhood, social activity in the established organizations, their visions of the Black Consciousness, evaluation of charisma and leadership traits, and governments reaction to their actions.
ChildhoodPrimiraly, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela is considered as the father of the nation. He was born on 18 July 1918 at Mvezo that was the part of the district of the capital of the Traskei, Umtata. Another South-African leader and activist, Bantu Stephan Biko, was born about forty years later, on 18 December 1946, in Tarkastad in the Eastern Cape. Both of them had many siblings and early lost their fathers. Thus, Mandela was nine years old while Biko was only four. However, their families significantly differed. Mandela was born in a noble family. His father was a wealthy nobleman who possessed herd and land. Additionally, he implemented the duties of the kings advisor or a kingmaker. Mandelas mother was the third fathers wife who belonged to the Right Hand House being the Right Head wife. To the contrary, Bikos parent was an ordinary worker whose labor was exploited. When he died, Bantus mother worked as a servant for the rest of her life to make some earnings for their family. Activists boyhood was a pleasant time which both of them saved in their hearts forever. They recalled those happy moments from childhood fighting for liberties for their people. Thus, Mandela spent a lot of time playing with other boys and girls amusing themselves with different games, making figures of animals out of clay, listening to the stories about the historical legendary times, and so forth. Moreover, the boy gained education observing phenomena and nature around him. At the meantime, Bantu grew a cheerful and lively child. He always made people laugh. Undoubtedly, the boy was clowning and tomfooling sometimes, but people admired his manner of engaging in conversation. Similar to Mandela, he was fond of nature. Experimenting with it brought him much pleasure. In essence, the formations of the future personalities were influenced by different but significant people in their boyhood. After fathers death, Mandela left his home to the Great Palace where he grew up with the regents children. Jongintaba taught him the leaders techniques. In addition, Nelson learnt history, geography, English. The boy regularly attended the church together with other members of the regents family. The boy was hard-working and diligent with his household chores and school duties while Bantu deliberately avoided doing things which he considered boring. Thus, Bikos viewpoints were influenced by his mother. He saw her hard work and refused parties and new clothes because he realized that the family could not afford them. Even if the mother persuaded him not to worry about such things, he could not but took care about his parent. Wilson states that It made a profound impression on him that she labored for such long hours in such underwarding jobs, for very little pay. In fact, he was deeply committed to his mothers welfare. Furthermore, the age of sixteen was a crucial moment for both Mandela and Biko. Nelson underwent the ceremonial ritual that meant an initiation to manhood where the boy ought to represent his courage. After the ceremony, he attained new name Dalibhunga, which could be interpreted as a founder of the Bhunga. However, Nelson did not realize its prophetic role at that time. In fact, the regent pronounced significant words during the ceremony that made an important effect on the young man. He realized that he was not destined to work in the mines.Moreover, the statement had accurately reflected the recent history of the African people all around the country. It established in his consciousness so deeply that Mandela would remember them for all life. At the same age, Biko was arrested for the first time and expelled from the bursary, although he was innocent. That episode had a significant impact on him and his future. He began dreadfully hating authority. Another crucial moment of his life occurred when he was eighteen. Biko began attending a boarding school run by Catholic monks and nuns. In the future, he recalled it as an atmosphere free from government intervention.Thus, the education in the religious environment facilitated his attitude toward church. It had an impact on his steadfast and long-lasting relations with his spiritual father, Stubbs who was a principal of St. Peters College in Alice. Overall, the events occurred in Mandela and Bikos childhood established the fundamental principles of their viewpoints. Thus, Mandela elaborately learned regents lessons of wisdom, patience, and careful listening to peoples problems. Meanwhile, Bikos position was the opposing. He realized that there were white people who sympathized with the black while the authority of the country being black discriminated its citizens. Consequently, his confrontation should be aimed at the changes of the political system.
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