Nelson Mandela's memorable moments

A chief's son. Pioneer. Revolutionary. Prisoner. Statesman. Elder.

Few modern-day world leaders are revered as much as Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela. Then again, few can lay claim to a life like Mandela's. His father had a premonition when he granted his son the birth name, Rolihlahla — which roughly translates to "pull a tree branch" or, colloquially, "troublemaker."

Mandela's legacy encompasses innumerable accomplishments that changed nations. Scroll through to see 10 defining moments.

Nelson Mandela memorable moments

South Africans march in the street and hold banners to protest the new restrictions on African citizens, soon to be known worldwide as Apartheid, implemented by the white minorty government of Daniel Malan, Soweto, Johannesburg, South Africa, early 1950s. During the Malan administration from 1948 - 1954 existing informal discrimination was systematically made law and remaining electoral, housing, civil, and employment rights of African citizens were dismantled.

Nelson Mandela memorable moments

Nelson Mandela at the law office he opened with his colleague, Oliver Tambo in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1952. This was the first black legal practice in Johannesburg. Both men were founding members of the African National Congress Youth League.

Nelson Mandela memorable moments

Nelson Mandela and friends sing 'Nikosi Sikelel I Afrika' at the end of their trial for treason in South Africa on March 29, 1961.

Last page of Nelson Mandela's speech from the dock

In the Rivonia Trial Mr Mandela chose, instead of testifying, to make a speech from the dock and proceeded to hold the court spellbound for more than four hours. His speech, which was made at the beginning of the defence case, ended with the words:

“During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”

Nelson Mandela memorable moments

A view of Nelson Mandela's former prison cell is seen on November 28, 2003 on Robben Island, off the coast of Cape Town, South Africa.