Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was born on July 18, 1918 in Mvezo, a small village located in the district of Umtata, the Transkei capital in Africa. Mandela became the first member of his family to attend a school, where his teacher Miss Mdingane gave him the English name Nelson. He attended a Wesleyan mission school located next to the palace of the regent. Following Thembu custom, he was initiated at age sixteen, and attended Clarkebury Boarding Institute. He completed his Junior Certificate in two years, instead of the usual three. After enrolling, Mandela began to study for a Bachelor of Arts at the Fort Hare University. Later in his life, while in prison, he studied for a Bachelor of Laws from the University of London External Program. Mandela later started work as an articled clerk at a Johannesburg law firm, Witkin, Sidelsky and Edelman. Nelson Mandela completed his B.A. degree at the University of South Africa via correspondence, after which he began law studies at the University of Witwatersrand. He began actively participating in politics after the 1948 election victory of the Afrikaner-dominated National Party which supported the apartheid policy of racial segregation.Nelson Mandela served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999, and was the first South African president to be elected in a fully representative democratic election.