Former SA prez Thabo Mbeki bio

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Credited with a key role in the formation of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development, NEPAD, Thabo Mbeki is one of the few African presidents with the people at heart and not his personal gain it would seem. This article gives you an account of Thabo Mbeki bio.

As one of the best presidents of post-apartheid, what do you know about Thabo Mbeki?

In this article that looks at Thabo Mbeki bio, you are going to learn about how life was growing up for Thabo Mbeki, his political journey, his family and life and all other things there are to know about him.

Thabo Mbeki bio

H.E. Mr. Thabo Mbeki
Image – World Investment Forum – UNCTAD
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79 years old now, Thabo Mbeki was born on 18 June 1942.

After working behind the scenes to end the Apartheid regime in SA, Thabo Mbeki took the reigns of power to shape the country out of the ruins of the Apartheid (a system of institutionalised racial segregation that existed in South Africa and South-West Africa from 1948 until the early 1990s) when he became president of South Africa from 16 June 1999 to 24 September 2008 as the second post-Apartheid president of the country after the great Nelson Mandela who served from 1994 to 1999.

Thabo Mbeki was exposed to politics by his father at a very young age.

His father was a longtime leader in the Eastern Cape African National Congress (ANC), an organization dedicated to the elimination of apartheid in South Africa, who was later imprisoned (1964–87) with Nelson Mandela.

With the resolve to drive the country out of the ruins of the Apartheid, Thabo Mbeki did so well when he grew the economy at an average rate of 4.5% per year, creating employment in the middle sectors of the economy.

Thabo Mbeki bio: Early life

Thabo Mbeki was born and raised in Mbewuleni, in the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa.

Mbeki is one of four children of Epainette and Govan Mbeki. He is also the grandson of Chief Sikelewu Mbeki.

The economist Moeletsi Mbeki is one of his brothers.

As mentioned before, Thabo Mbeki’s father, who introduced Thabo to politics at a younger age, was a stalwart of the African National Congress (ANC) and the South African Communist Party.

Thabo Mbeki is a native Xhosa speaker and his father, Govan, named him Thabo after his old close friend Thabo Mofutsanyana.

His parents were both teachers and activists in a rural area of strength to the African National Congress, and Mbeki describes himself as “born into the struggle”; a portrait of Karl Marx sat on the family mantelpiece, and a portrait of Mohandas Gandhi was on the wall.

Thabo Mbeki bio: Education

 Thabo Mbeki bio
Image | answersafrica.com

Education is very important in the life of anyone that desires a certain level of success in life; as such, Thabo Mbeki has studied to the highest levels of the academic ladder.

And given that his parents were teachers, they understand what education meant and thereby ensured Thabo was well educated, not that things were easy for him, as you would find out later, including getting expelled and having to study at home at some point.

Thabo Mbeki attended primary school in Idutywa and Butterworth and acquired a secondary education at Lovedale, Alice.

In 1959, he was expelled from school as a result of student strikes and forced to continue his studies at home.

In the same year, he sat for matriculation examinations at St. John’s High School, Umtata.

In the ensuing years, he completed A-level examinations (the same tests undertaken in schools in England) in Johannesburg; and undertook an economics degree as an external student with the University of London.

He was the first black South African to obtain a distinction in economics.

Thabo Mbeki bio: Family

Thabo Mbeki
Image | Ubetoo

Thabo Mbeki didn’t quite waste time in giving his parents a grandchild as, at aged 16, he had a child with a woman named Olive Mpahlwa. The child was named Monwabise Kwanda.

Monwabise Kwanda disappeared in 1981 with Thabo’s youngest brother Jama.

On 23 November 1974, Mbeki married Zanele at Farnham Castle in the United Kingdom.

They have no children.

Thabo Mbeki bio: Going into exile

Thabo Mbeki bio
Image | The New York Times

Politics in the Apartheid era wasn’t quite easy for the likes of Thabo and well-meaning South Africans who wanted to rescue the country from the racial segregation that was going on.

This culminated in the banning of the ANC that was in the thick of the fight against the White people.

After the banning of the ANC, the organisation decided it would be better for Mbeki to go into exile.

In 1962, Mbeki and a group of comrades left South Africa disguised as a football team.

They travelled in a minibus to Botswana and flew from there to Tanzania, where Mbeki accompanied Kenneth Kaunda, who later became Zambia’s post-independence president, to London.

Mbeki stayed with Oliver Tambo, who would later be elected the longest-serving president of the ANC in the absence of the jailed Rivonia trialists.

Mbeki worked part-time with Tambo and Yusuf Dadoo while studying economics at Sussex University in the coastal town of Brighton.

Thabo Mbeki bio: A huge African political figure

Thabo Mbeki
Image | The Guardian Nigeria News

Thabo Mbeki’s influence in African politics cannot really be downplayed as he was one of the leaders working assiduously for a united Africa.

He headed the formation of both the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) and the African Union (AU) and has played influential roles in brokering peace deals in Rwanda, Burundi, Ivory Coast and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

He has also tried to popularise the concept of the African Renaissance.

He sees African dependence on aid and foreign intervention as a major barrier and sees structures like NEPAD and the AU as part of a process in which Africa solves its own problems without relying on outside assistance.

Without a doubt, Thabo Mbeki is one of Africa’s best presidents who fought not for his pocket and his country only but for African as a whole.

This has been Ghbase.com bringing you all there is to know in Thabo Mbeki bio.

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