Nelson Mandela

South African President

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, political leader and philanthropist who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. He was the country's first black head of state and the first elected in a fully representative democratic election. 1 2 3

Daily Routine

Nelson Mandela had a deep love for boxing that motivated him to wake up each morning at 5 am and practice this passion.

Even during his 27 year stretch of imprisonment, in which hard labour was part and parcel of daily life, Mandela religiously followed his old boxing workouts.

From Monday to Thursday, Mandela jogged for 45 minutes, completed 100 finger tip press-ups, 200 sit-ups, 50 knee deep-knee bends and various calisthenics exercises. All within the confines of his 2.1 metre cell. Friday to Sundays were usually set aside as days of rest.

After being granted his freedom and claiming victory as the first democratically elected black head of state, Mandela days were consumed by diplomatic meetings, appearance and signings. Even as president, he habitually tried to uphold his morning exercise routine that served him so well across the decades.