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Kate's Konspiracies: The Mandela Effect

Updated: Feb 12, 2019

By KATE SANTILLAN, Contributing Writer

January 28, 2019

We all saw this one coming. Ever felt like you remember something differently than someone else? For instance, you remember your favorite shoe brand as a kid having a specific color in the logo, let’s say black, but you look back it and see it’s been red this whole time. Somehow everyone you know also remembers it being black but you check the year you wore these shoes and see that the logo has had red since it came out. This is called the Mandela effect; one the most common conspiracy theories out there.


Nelson Mandela is the name of a man who was an inspiring activist. His full name is Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela. He was a black nationalist and the first black president of South Africa during the years 1994-1999 according to The Editors of Encyclopedia Britannica. He was born on July 18, 1918, in South Africa. He was very involved with politics; he was a lawyer, Deputy President of the African National Congress (ANC), and even studied law for some time. Despite being associated with the law, he was imprisoned for 27 years and once was sentenced to life. This was before he became president of South Africa.


The reason for his imprisonment, as stated by Kath Bates, author of an article about Mandela called “The Imprisonment of Nelson Mandela”. “In 1960, some people held a demonstration against apartheid at Sharpeville, near Johannesburg. The police shot 69 black Africans..the government blamed the ANC and subsequently banned the organization. It was at this point that instead of being the leader of the ANC, Mandela became that of a secret army, known as..‘Spear of the Nation’. As a result, he was hunted by the police and had to hide and use a disguise. He also traveled to other countries to ask for help, but on August 5, 1962, Mandela was arrested again and accused of plotting to overthrow the government. In 1964, at the age of 46, he was given a life sentence.”, Nelson had been arrested before this incident.


What does this have to do with the Mandela effect? Well while Mandela was in prison, it was believed that he had died. However, in 2013, the world was flabbergasted when it found out he had actually died December 5, 2013. People were sure that Mandela died during the 80s in prison; not just a few people, but a few hundred thousand, maybe a million. No one found any evidence to prove he had already died except for one person who found a biography about Mandela and it states he died in the 80s in prison.


Soon after the death of Nelson Mandela, people all around the world found a couple of other things that they were sure were one way but turned out to be something else the whole time. The Berenstein Bears being the most popular. Do you remember the Berenstein Bears? When you were a child, did you ever turn on the TV and watch a cartoon show with a bunch of weird looking bears? Well, they’re actually called the Berenstain Bears rather than the Berenstein Bears. It is the littlest thing ever but it still shocked the world. It is believed by scientists and philosophers that at some point in time, the world shifted between parallel universes. The correct term for this type of beliefs is pseudoscientific beliefs. So little things like movie titles and deaths of famous people were changed, but we still remember how things used to be.


Other examples include the scene in Star Wars where everyone remembers Darth Vader saying “Luke, I am your father” but if you watch it now it actually says “No, I am your father”, the Kit Kat wording never having a dash in the middle of “Kit Kat” but people remember there being one, and the Monopoly man having a monocle but in reality he never did.


This conspiracy theory is an odd one because some people see it and others don’t. It is a huge debate that will live on as long as humanity is around. Keep your eyes open though, you never know when the world around you might be changing right before you.

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