Today is Mandela Day. We have compiled ten quotes from Nelson Mandela. Enjoy the wisdom, the lessons and the inspiration from Africa’s iconic leader.
“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” – Nelson Mandela
“No one truly knows a nation until one has been inside its jails. A nation should not be judged by how it treats its highest citizens but its lowest ones.” – Nelson Mandela
“Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.” – Nelson Mandela
“I stand here before you not as a prophet but as a humble servant of you, the people. Your tireless and heroic sacrifices have made it possible for me to be here today. I therefore place the remaining years of my life in your hands.” – First day of his release, Cape Town (11 February 1990)
“I hate race discrimination most intensely and in all its manifestations. I have fought it all during my life; I fight it now, and will do so until the end of my days. Even although I now happen to be tried by one whose opinion I hold in high esteem, I detest most violently the set-up that surrounds me here. It makes me feel that I am a black man in a white man’s court. This should not be.” – First court statement, 1962
“Our children are our greatest treasure. They are our future. Those who abuse them tear at the fabric of our society and weaken our nation.” – National Men`s March, 1997
“There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find ways in which you yourself have altered.” – A Long Walk To Freedom, 1994.
“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.” – 90th birthday celebration of Walter Sisulu, Walter Sisulu Hall, Johannesburg, 18 May 2002
“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.” – Long Walk to Freedom
“Never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another and suffer the indignity of being the skunk of the world.” – Nelson Mandela, Inaugural Address, Pretoria 9 May 1994.
“Lead from the back – and let others believe they are in front.” – Nelson Mandela
“You sharpen your ideas by reducing yourself to the level of the people you are with and a sense of humour and a complete relaxation, even when you’re discussing serious things, does help to mobilise friends around you. And I love that.” – From an interview with Tim Couzens, Verne Harris and Mac Maharaj for Mandela: The Authorised Portrait, 2006, 13 August 2005
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” – University of the Witwatersrand South Africa, 2003
“No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” – Long Walk to Freedom.
Author: Staff Writer