BBC reporter, Nomsa Maseko, was a 10-year-old, living in South Africa when Nelson Mandela was freed from prison.
After his death she explained just what that meant for her and her family.
Mandela led South Africa out of the racist system of apartheid, and into democracy, becoming the country's first black president.
Watch Nomsa's personal tribute here.
Read more: Watch: Nelson Mandela has died
Pictures: The world remembers Nelson Mandela