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"Sir Nelson Mandela" by Steve Payne

Author says: what if Nelson Mandela was a pin-stripe suited African lawyer in a smaller British South Africa? Please note that the opinions expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of the author(s).

July 18th 1918,

on this day Sir Nelson Mandela was born in the East Cape Province some eleven hundred kilometres from the capital where he would later serve as the first indigenous vice-regal representative to the British Crown Colony.

Mandela's qualifications for the position of governor were impeccable. A member of the cadet branch of the Royal House of Thembu, his great-grandfather Ngubengcuka was Inkosi Enkhulu (King) of the Transkeian homeland. And his father Gadla Henry Mphakanyiska served as a chief of the town of Mvezo.

The first of his family to go to school, his Methodist teacher called him Nelson in preference to his Xhosa name of Rolihlahla.

Subsequently, he studied at Clarkebury School (completing his junior certificate in two rather than the usual three years) and then progressing to the all-British Healdtown High School, a strict Methodist College where most Thembu royalty attended.

At Fort Beaufort, he took a keen interest in boxing and running. On his matriculation, his father sent him overseas to the University of London to study for a Bachelor of Laws Degree. On his return, he established a successful legal practice in Cape Town.

In 1960 British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan toured the British territories in Africa, travelling to the Cape Colony to deliver his keynote "winds of change" speech. In recognition of the dramatic changes that were sweeping the continent, "Supermac" announced that the incoming governor would be the pin-stripe suited African lawyer, Nelson Mandela.

To be continued..

Author says in this ATL we will explore a POD before the Boer War in which a Dutch South Africa emerges north of the Cape Colony. To view guest historian's comments on this post please visit the Today in Alternate History web site.

Steve Payne, Editor of Today in Alternate History, a Daily Updating Blog of Important Events In History That Never Occurred Today. Follow us on Facebook, Myspace and Twitter.

Imagine what would be, if history had occurred a bit differently. Who says it didn't, somewhere? These fictional news items explore that possibility. Possibilities such as America becoming a Marxist superpower, aliens influencing human history in the 18th century and Teddy Roosevelt winning his 3rd term as president abound in this interesting fictional blog.


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