Nelson Mandela quotes page 1
18 July 1918 – 5 December
2013; Nelson Mandela was an activist, politician and
philanthropist from South Africa. Mandela served as President of South Africa for five years, from 1994 until 1999.
Mandela was the first black President to be elected in a truly representative democratic process. Under his
Presidency, Mandela worked endlessly to help eradicate poverty in South Africa as well as help ease racial tensions
within the nation. When Mandela first stepped into the position of President, he faced a nation with deeply
ingrained racial divides, both economically and socially. Over half of the nation lacked electricity, and over
one-fourth lacked clean drinking water. At the time, South Africa had an illiteracy rate of over one-third of the
nation. To fight these disparities, Mandela focused his Presidency on social programs and aid for those citizens
being denied livable conditions. His work on the social front of South Africa was remarkably successful, as he
dropped the unemployment rate considerably and brought about a much more open relationship between the racial
divide. Mandela studied law at the Fort Hare University and the University of Witwatersrand. Nelson Mandela was
arrested in 1962 and in 1964 was sentenced to life imprisonment for conspiracy to overthrow the
state. Mandela was a remarkably controversial
political figure for most of his career. Despite this, Mandela's tireless work for change earned him more than 200
special honors and awards, including a US Presidential Medel of Freedom and the Nobel Peace Prize. Because of his
leadership and work within the country, he became known as "the father of the nation" to the South African
The time is always right to do right.
If the United States of America or Britain is having elections, they don't ask for observers
from Africa or from Asia. But when we have elections, they want observers.
I have walked that long road to freedom. I have tried not to falter. I have made missteps
along the way. But I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only
finds that there are many more hills to climb. I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a
view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come. But I
can only rest for a moment, for with freedom come responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for
my long walk is not ended.
I detest racialism, because I regard it as a barbaric thing, whether it comes from a black man
or a white man.
It always seems impossible until it's done.
I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it.
The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.
I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have
cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons will live together in
harmony with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for, and to see realised.
But my Lord, if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the
If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your
enemy. Then he
becomes your partner.
Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.
It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate
victory when nice things occur. You take the front line when there is danger. Then people
will appreciate your leadership.
Young people must take it upon themselves to ensure that they receive the
education possible so that
they can represent us well in future as future
Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back
The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time
Money won't create success, the freedom to make it will.
Never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again
oppression of one by another.
I have always believed exercise is a key not
only to physical health but to peace of mind.
One cannot be prepared for something while secretly believing it will not
Courage is not the absence of fear - it's inspiring others to move beyond it.
As I have said, the first thing is to be honest with yourself. You can never have an impact on
society if you have not changed yourself.
Overcoming poverty is not a task of charity, it is an act of justice. Like Slavery and
Apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by
the actions of human beings.
Appearances matter - and remember to smile.
A leader... is like a shepherd. He stays behind the flock, letting the most nimble go out ahead,
whereupon the others follow, not realizing that all along they are being directed from behind.
As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
I have never cared very much for personal prizes. A person does not become a freedom
fighter in the hope of winning awards.
Man's goodness is a flame that can be hidden but never extinguished.
I will not leave South Africa, nor will I surrender. Only through hardship, sacrifice and militant
action can freedom be won. The struggle is my life. I will continue fighting for freedom until
the end of my days.
It is said that 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.
I am the captain of my soul.
No one is born hating another person because of the color 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.
After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.
As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn't
leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I'd still be in prison.