We already brought you part one of our list of 15 things you probably did not know about Nelson Mandela, and now we’re back with part two! Check out eight more fascinating facts about the iconic activist and revolutionary that you definitely (probably) did not know below. You might be surprised by what you find out!
Number Eight: He Was on the United States’ Terror Watch List. And in fact, Mandela wasn’t removed from the list until 2008, when he was 89 years old. He was placed on the list because of his fight against apartheid along with other members of the African National Congress.
Number Seven: He Was Inspired by Poetry. Mandela read poetry to fellow prisoners while he was incarcerated, and one poem he would often read to them was William Ernest Henley’s “Invictus.” The lines that Mandela could especially relate to were, “I am the master of my fate. I am the captain of my soul.”
Number Six: He Used His Prison Number for Good. Mandela’s prison number was 46664, which he got because he was the 466th prisoner of 1964. Mandela made the number the name of his HIV/AIDS awareness campaign.
Number Five: He Feared an Arranged Marriage. In fact, Mandela feared arranged marriage so much that he and his cousin, Justice, ran away together in 1941 to avoid it.
Number Four: He Has His Own Day. July 18 is Mandela Day. The day is his birthday, but it is also a day to recognize and celebrate everything Mandela did in his pursuit of freedom.
Number Three: He Was a Grandfather to Many. Because Mandela represented a paternal figure to so many South Africans, they began calling him “mkhulu,” which means grandfather.
Number Two: His Most Famous Quote Didn’t Actually Come From Him. Mandela may be most well-known for a quote that goes, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure…As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” However, the quote didn’t come from Mandela; it comes from author Marianne Williamson.
Number One: He Received More Than 695 Awards. As if you didn’t think Mandela was awesome enough already, he has about 700 awards to prove it to you. This is including the Nobel Peace Prize he was awarded in 1993.