Born in obscurity and relative poverty, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela became the first president of South Africa elected by a fully representative democratic vote One of the greatest leaders of the th century, the man affectionately known as Madiba an honorary title bestowed by elders of his clan , is a leader whose trail is marked by humor, suffering, and the gift of forgiveness rather than a thirst for revenge Imprisoned foryears during his struggle to end the apartheid state in South Africa, he was the Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, and Martin Luther King Jr of his country Nelson Mandela focuses on his efforts to end the segregation that paralyzed his country, efforts that resulted in his being awarded theNobel Peace Prize, along with South Africa s previous president, Frederik Willem de Klerk, for their work for the peaceful termination of the apartheid regime, and for laying the foundations for a new democratic South Africa