Nelson Mandela
Former South African President Nelson Mandela waves as he leaves after casting his vote at a polling station in Houghton. Reuters

Today Nelson Mandel, the former South African president, died at the age of 95. Mandela will be forever known for changing South African history. The revered statesman who emerged from prison after 27 years to lead South Africa out of decades of apartheid was not only a great leader but peaceful, kind and caring of his people. Mandela lived a fascinating life, one that many people may not know much about and a lot of which they would not teach you in school.

In school you learn that yes he was jailed for a large portion of his life, but when he became a free man he liberated South Africa of apartheid. But did you also know that Mandela partied with A-list celebrities, wore disguises when traveling around South Africa and was married on his 80th birthday for the third time? That's only part of what made Mandela great. We're going to school with these six fast facts that you probably didn't know about Mandela's amazing life.

1. He wore disguises around South Africa. After Mandela's verdict trial he began secretly traveling around South Africa in disguise to garnish support for his organization, The African National Congress, which would later become his political party. He would disguise himself as a chauffeur, which earned him the nickname "The Black Pimpernel" as government troops searched for him in vain. It was even rumored that he dressed like a chef or gardener to evade the government.

2. Before receiving his Christian first name, Nelson, in his youth, Mandela was born with the forename "Rolihlahla." Which in the Xhosa language roughly translate to troublemaker. Starting with a name like that it's almost as if Mandela was meant to lead. With a name like troublemaker it only seems fitting Mandela went through such lengths in the face of adversity.

3. His ancestor was a king. That's right, Mandela was a descendant of a king. His great grandfather on his father's side was the ruler of the Thembu people in the present day Eastern Cape Province. His grandfather was named Mandela, which became Nelson's last name. How many ex-presidents and great leaders can say they actually come from royalty?

4. He Hung out with Michael Jackson and the Spice Girls. Before he even became president and far after it Mandela was a star in his own light. Attending and supporting fundraising concerts and events plus how high profiled he was and paired with his style and affable nature he was friends with a lot of big named stars. He would have guests like Michael Jackson, Whoopi Goldberg and the Spice Girls over for parties at his house.

5. He had his own personal designer. Mandela was a sharp dresser and he made sure to do his royal heritage proud. Once becoming president, Mandela would change his outfits several times a day. He also popularized Madiba shirts, which are designed by his personal designer Yusuf Surtee. Mandela even set a stylish, open minded precedent for South African parliament that continues today.

6. He served 18 years on a prison island. Eventually, Mandela was captured in 1962 in eastern South Africa. He was quickly jailed and sent to Robben Island. He was held there often in solitary confinement for 18 years. It is said Mandela slept on a straw mat in a damp room, and was forced to do manual labor, breaking larger rocks into smaller rocks. The worst part is he was not permitted to wear sunglasses and permanently damaged his eyes.

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