Learning about Nelson Mandela and his role in history.


BUFFALO, NY - Nelson Mandela was born in 1918. Students in a high school history class were born in 1996. They are learning who Mandela was and what role he played in the fight for freedom in South Africa.

International Prep at Grover students were very engaged as teacher history teacher Rich Pyszczek explained the life of the anti-apartheid revolutionary and former South African President.

Some of the students thought Nelson Mandela and actor Morgan Freeman were the same, Pyszczek put their faces up on a screen and explained why it was important to make a clear distinction. "I wanted to take this time today to show you that this is a different person and the impact that he (Mandela) had."

We asked students for their thoughts on Mandela after class, Mohamed Hussein is from Kenya and now attending high school in Buffalo, NY. "Life wasn't fair you know back home, now that I read about Mandela, and the effect he had on the world, I thank him for it. My mom always used to talk to me about him and how he was a big impact in the world."

When students learned how long Mandela was in jail and if they would remain silent, Xavier Maye, 17, said, "you're going to have to take me because I like to speak my mind. So if it's a good cause for it, then I'll take the punishment for it."

Kylon Kane said, "I applaud him for his bravery because I know the things he did, I feel like I would do the same, but it takes a very strong man to stand up against the government, for the things that he believes in."

"He made the world a better place for most people and he influenced me to do good," said Abdi Iftin.

The teacher ended class by calling Nelson Mandela's life of 95-years, "one of the biggest underdog stories ever."