In 1961, Nelson Mandela was dubbed "The Black Pimpernel" for his ability to evade the South African police. A pimpernel is a flower that closes up when bad weather approaches.
It seems that during his time as a fugitive, Mandela got the nickname because he avoided capture by hiding in plain sight. He alternately donned the attire of a gardener, a chef and a chauffeur in order to "fly under the radar," as it were.
Then, during his 27 years of incarceration, the man who would go on to become South Africa's oldest elected president at age 75 was identified by a number rather than his name: 46664. The number meant that he was the 466th convict to enter the Robben Island prison in 1964.
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