7 African Presidents And Ex-Presidents Who Were Once Prisoners

Since Joseph went from being a prisoner to a top Executive of entire Egypt – a worldwide superpower, during the Bible days, several men have transcended confinement to lead their nations including Africans. We have recorded 7 Africans who rose from prison to lead their countries. Appreciate, be spurred, and don’t forget to share.


1) Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela (18 July 1918 – 5 December 2013) was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary,  political pioneer, and humanitarian, who filled in as Leader of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. He was the nation’s first Black President and the first elected in a democratic election

Mandela was captured a ton of times, yet most remarkable was his imprisonment from 1962 to 1990. He spent a sum of 28 years in jail after he was seen as liable of treachery and scheme to savagely oust the administration by means of Umkhonto we Sizwe (“Spear the Nation”, curtailed MK), a militant group he helped to establish in 1961.

After across the board agitation, worldwide fights, and weight from the UN, Mandela was at last allowed unequivocal freedom in February 1990. He drove the ANC to the 1994 election and became the leader of South Africa.


2) Muhammadu Buhari


7 African Presidents And Ex-Presidents Who Were Once Prisoners

Muhammadu Buhari is a retired Major General, a former head of state from 31 December 1983 to 27 August 1985, and recent president of Nigeria.

After his first residency as a military head of state which finished in a jail sentence, Buhari proceeded to challenge in four presidential appointments of which he lost the initial three until his triumph in 2015

In August 1985, Major General Buhari was ousted in a military coup masterminded by General Ibrahim Babangida and different individuals from the ruling Supreme Military Council (SMC). Buhari was detained in 1985 out of a little monitored home in Benin for three years until 1988.

He had access to a TV that showed two channels and individuals from his family were permitted to visit him on the approval of Babangida.

From 2003 to 2011, Buhari challenged and lost in three distinctive presidential elections. In 2003 and 2007, he challenged under the All Nigeria People Party (ANPP).

In 2011 he changed party to the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) where he lost again to PDP and his opposition Goodluck Jonathan. Buhari eventually prevailed in 2015 when he challenged under the All Progressive Congress and defeated the incumbent Goodluck Jonathan of the PDP.

President Buhari’s success in 2015 was viewed as a milestone triumph since it denoted the end of PDP’s regime since 1999.


3) Olusegun Obasanjo

7 African Presidents And Ex-Presidents Who Were Once Prisoners

Olusegun Matthew Okikiola Aremu Obasanjo (born 5 march, 1937) is a former Nigerian armed force General and was a leader of Nigeria twice, once as a military ruler from 13 February 1976 to 1 October 1979 and as an equitably chosen president from 29 May 1999 to 29 May 2007.

Obasanjo was detained during the military tyranny of Sani Abacha (1993-1998). He stood in opposition to the human rights maltreatment of the Abacha system and was captured and detained for supposed interest in a prematurely ended overthrow dependent on declaration acquired through torment. Obasanjo was in the long run discharged after the passing of Abacha on 8 June 1998.

After his release, Obasanjo chose to run for the presidency on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, where he defeated Chief Olu Falae, the joint opposing candidate of the All People’s Party, and the Alliance for Democracy AD.

Obasanjo cleared the races with 62.6% of the votes. He became the first civilian head of state in Nigeria following 16 years of the military regime.

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4) Jomo Kenyatta

7 African Presidents And Ex-Presidents Who Were Once Prisoners

Jomo Kenyatta, (1897 – 22 August 1978) was a Kenyan anti-colonial extremist who assumed a noteworthy job in the change of Kenya from a state of the English Colony to an independent Nation.

In 1947, he was chosen Leader of the Kenya African Association, through which he campaigned for independence from English colonial rule, drawing in across the board indigenous help yet ill will from white pioneers.

In 1952, he was among the Kapenguria Six captured and accused of engineering the counter frontier Mau Mau Uprising. He was sentenced and stayed detained until 1959, and the exiled until 1961.

On his discharge, Kenyatta was named Leader of KANU (Kenya Africa National Union) and led the party to triumph in the 1963 general election.

He became Prime Minister and regulated the change of Kenya into a free republic. He became President in 1964 and rule till 1978 when he died of stroke

5) Jacob Zuma

7 African Presidents And Ex-Presidents Who Were Once Prisoners

Jacob Zuma was born in Nkandla, South Africa, on 12 April 1942. Zuma filled in as the fourth leader of South Africa from 2009 until his resignation on 14 February 2018. Prior to his ascent to administration, Zuma had at first served as the Deputy President of South Africa from 1995 to 2005 under President Thabo Mbeki, yet was dismissed based on corruption claims.

Zuma had faced noteworthy legal situations previously and during his administration, in any case, before any political office, Zuma spent time in jail in jail for his contribution with an activist wing, and for his battle against politically-sanctioned racial segregation(apartheid) in South Africa while an individual from the African National Congress (ANC).

Zuma joined the ANC in 1959 and in the end, joined its military wing known as Umkhonto we Sizwe (“Spear of the Nation”) in 1962.

He was captured in 1963 and condemned to 10 years in jail on Robben Island for plotting to topple South Africa’s apartheid government.

After his discharge from jail, Zuma kept on working for the ANC, enrolling individuals for the Umkhonto we Sizwe. He stayed a member of the ANC and rose in the party ranks. In December 1997 he was chosen deputy leader of the ANC and in June 1999 he was appointed deputy president South Africa by Thabo Mbeki.

After his legal battles, he turned into the president of the ANC in 2007, two years before his political election as president of South Africa.

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6) Kwame Nkrumah

Kwame Nkrumah

Kwame Nkrumah (21 September 1909 – 27 April 1972) was the first prime minister and leader of Ghana, having led it to independence from England in 1957.

In 1949, when the English colonial rulers chose 6 working-class Africans to draft another constitution that will present Ghana progressively self-government, Nkrumah who was then pioneer of the Conventions People Party (CPP) realized that the proposals would not give Ghana full freedom and requested that a constituent get together to compose the constitution.

The then English Senator Charles Arden-Clark would not agree to this, so Nkrumah called for Positive Activity – with associations starting a general strike on the 8th of January 1950. The strike got fierce, so Nkrumah and other CPP pioneers were captured and condemned to 3 years in jail.

As Ghana got ready for elections, Nkrumah’s right hand, Komla Agbeli Gbedemah, ran the CPP, with Nkrumah affecting occasions through smuggled notes composed on bathroom tissue.

The political race at long last finished with the CPP winning 34 of 38 seats, including Nkrumah’s Accra body electorate, Arden-Clarke requested Nkrumah’s discharge and requested that he structure an administration.

He was Leader from that point till Ghana turned out to be completely free in 1957, and became president in 1960.

7) Robert Mugabe

Robert Mugabe

Robert Gabriel Mugabe (born 21 February 1924) was a Zimbabwean progressive and legislator who was the leader of Zimbabwe since the nation gained freedom in 1980 till the 21st of November 2017, when he was forced to leave after a bloodless coup.

Because of his activism, resistance to English principle, and position as Sec-Gen of the Zimbabwe African National Association (ZANU), Mugabe was captured in December 1963 and condemned to 21 months detainment.

Thoughtful black jailers used to carry messages from Mugabe and different individuals from the ZANU official board to activists outside the jail.

At the official’s offering, ZANU activists assaulted a white-possessed farm, slaughtering its occupants.

The administration reacted by expanding Mugabe’s jail term uncertainly. He was later discharged in November 1974, and from 1975, he started pursuing guerilla wars against the white rulers. This, at last, prompted the UK to give the then Rhodesia full freedom – relying on the prerequisite that they lead a majority rule political decision. Mugabe led ZANU-PF to triumph in that election and became Prime Minister in April 1980.




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