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Best 95 quotes from Nelson Mandela(Madiba)

Nelson-Mandela‬
Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, the great black African that you know well turns 95. Let us share 95 quotes from Madiba.

1.“Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.”
2.“Where you stand depends on where you sit.”

3.“The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” – Long Walk to Freedom

4. 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)

5.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

6.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

7.”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.

8.“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

9.”Let there be work, bread, water and salt for all.”

10.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.

11.“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.”- Defence statement during the Rivonia Trial, 1964

12.“Lead from the back – and let others believe they are in front.”

13.“I was called a terrorist yesterday, but when I came out of jail, many people embraced me, including my enemies, and that is what I normally tell other people who say those who are struggling for liberation in their country are terrorists. I tell them that I was also a terrorist yesterday, but, today, I am admired by the very people who said I was one.” – Larry King Live, 16 May 2000

14.“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” – University of the Witwatersrand South Africa, 2003

15.“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.

16.“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.”

17.“If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner.” Long Walk to Freedom

18.“Death is something inevitable. When a man has done what he considers to be his duty to his people and his country, he can rest in peace. I believe I have made that effort and that is, therefore, why I will sleep for the eternity.” – From an interview for the documentary Mandela, 1994

19.We live with the hope that as she battles to remake herself, South Africa, will be like a microcosm of the new world that is striving to be born. – Nobel Prize acceptance speech,1993

20.I watched, along with all of you, as the tens of thousands of our people stood patiently in long queues for many hours. Some sleeping on the open ground overnight waiting to cast this momentous vote. – Victory Speech, 1994

21.If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart. – Nelson Mandela

22.This is one of the most important moments in the life of our country. I stand here before you filled with deep pride and joy: — pride in the ordinary, humble people of this country. You have shown such a calm, patient determination to reclaim this country as your own, – and joy that we can loudly proclaim from the rooftops — free at last! – Victory Speech, 1994

23.I have always believed that exercise is the key not only to physical health but to peace of mind. – Long Walk to Freedom

24.A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination. – – Long Walk to Freedom -Long Walk to Freedom

25.The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall. – Long Walk to Freedom

26.I always knew that someday I would once again feel the grass under my feet and walk in the sunshine as a free man. – Long Walk to Freedom

27.There is no easy walk to freedom anywhere, and many of us will have to pass through the valley of the shadow of death again and again before we reach the mountaintop of our desires. – Long Walk to Freedom

28.Any man that tries to rob me of my dignity will lose. -Long Walk to Freedom

29.You may succeed in delaying, but never in preventing the transition of South Africa to a democracy. – Long Walk to Freedom

30.The authorities liked to say that we received a balanced diet; it was indeed balanced — between the unpalatable and the inedible. -Long Walk to Freedom

31.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 rest only for a moment, for with freedom comes responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not yet ended. – Long Walk to Freedom

32.I really wanted to retire and rest and spend more time with my children, my grandchildren and of course with my wife. But the problems are such that for anybody with a conscience who can use whatever influence he may have to try to bring about peace, it’s difficult to say no. [Talking to Newsweek about why he continues to be active in social and political issues, 2002]

33.In Natal, apartheid is a deadly cancer in our midst, setting house against house, and eating away at the precious ties that bound us together. This strife among ourselves wastes our energy and destroys our unity. My message to those of you involved in this battle of brother against brother is this: take your guns, your knives, and your pangas, and throw them into the sea! Close down the death factories. End this war now! – Rally Speech, Durban, 25 February 1990

34.We must use time wisely and forever realize that the time is always ripe to do right.

35.We are not anti-white, we are against white supremacy … we have condemned racialism no matter by whom it is professed. – Nelson Mandela, defence statement during the Treason Trial, 1961

36.We speak here of the challenge of the dichotomies of war and peace, violence and non-violence, racism and human dignity, oppression and repression and liberty and human rights, poverty and freedom from want. – Nelson Mandela – Nobel Lecture 1993

37.We are both humbled and elevated by the honor and privilege that you, the people of South Africa, have bestowed on us, as the first President of a united, democratic, non-racial and non-sexist South Africa, to lead our country out of the valley of darkness.

38.Today we are entering a new era for our country and its people. Today we celebrate not the victory of a party, but a victory for all the people of South Africa. – Nelson Mandela – Inaugural speech, 1994

39.The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.- Nelson Mandela, Long Walk To Freedom, 1994

40.We owe it to all the peoples of the sub-continent to ensure that they see in us, not merely good leaders waxing lyrical about development, but as the front commanders in the blast furnaces of labour, productive investments and visible change. – Nelson Mandela, Southern African Development Community (SADC) 15th anniversary summit, Johannesburg 13 September 1995

41.I am the product of Africa and her long-cherished view of rebirth that can now be realised so that all of her children may play in the sun. – Nelson Mandela’s final speech as president to the South African parliament, Cape Town 26 March 1999

42.South Africans must recall the terrible past so that we can deal with it, forgiving where forgiveness is necessary but never forgetting. – Nelson Mandela, on leaving office as South African president, 15 June 1999

43.I must step down while there are one or two people who admire me. – Nelson Mandela, Daily Nation, Kenyan paper, 16 June 1999

44.The time is always right to do right. – Nelson Mandela, “The 100 Best Things Ever Said by Men” in South Africa’s Men’s Health magazine, February 2002

45.What I am condemning is that one power, with a president [George W. Bush] who has no foresight, who cannot think properly, is now wanting to plunge the world into a holocaust. – Nelson Mandela – Iraq War speech, 2003

46.Man’s goodness is a flame that can be hidden but never extinguished. – Nelson Mandela

47.A movement without a vision would be a movement without moral foundation

48.“I am fundamentally an optimist. Whether that comes from nature or nurture, I cannot say. Part of being optimistic is keeping one’s head pointed toward the sun, one’s feet moving forward. There were many dark moments when my faith in humanity was sorely tested, but I would not and could not give myself up to despair. That way lays defeat and death.”

49.South Africans must recall the terrible past so that we can deal with it, forgiving where forgiveness is necessary but never forgetting. – Nelson Mandela, on leaving office as South African president, 15 June 1999

50.Our march to freedom is irreversible. We must not allow fear to stand in our way. Universal suffrage on a common voters’ roll in a united, democratic and non-racial South Africa is the only way to peace and racial harmony.

51.Does anybody really think that they didn’t get what they had because they didn’t have the talent or the strength or the endurance or the commitment?

52.The names of those who were incarcerated on Robben Island is a roll call of resistance fighters and democrats spanning over three centuries. If indeed this is a Cape of Good Hope, that hope owes much to the spirit of that legion of fighters and others of their calibre. – Inaugural Speech, 1994

53.The people of South Africa have spoken in these elections. They want change! And change is what they will get. Our plan is to create jobs, promote peace and reconciliation, and to guarantee freedom for all South Africans. Inaugural Speech, 1994

54.The time for the healing of the wounds has come. The moment to bridge the chasms that divide us has come. The time to build is upon us

55.We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians; without the resolution of conflicts in East Timor, the Sudan and other parts of the world

56.”I dream of an Africa which is in peace with itself.”

57.”When the water starts boiling it is foolish to turn off the heat.”

58.When I walked out of prison, that was my mission, to liberate the oppressed and the oppressor both.

59.I am not a saint, unless you think of a saint as a sinner who keeps on trying.

60.The sun shall never set on so glorious a human achievement!
God bless Africa!

61.“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.

62.“Few things make the life of a parent more rewarding and sweet as successful children.”

63.”Only free men can negotiate; prisoners cannot enter into contracts. Your freedom and mine cannot be separated.”

64.”There is no such thing as part freedom”

65.“It always seems impossible until it’s done.”

66.“The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”

67.“Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.”

68. “A good head and good heart are always a formidable combination. But when you add to that a literate tongue or pen, then you have something very special.”

69.”After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.”

70.”Man’s goodness is a flame that can be hidden but never extinguished”

71.”When the water starts boiling it is foolish to turn off the heat.”

72.”Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

73.”If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.”

74. “There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”

75.”We are not anti-white, we are against white supremacy … we have condemned racialism no matter by whom it is professed.”
Nelson Mandela, defence statement during the Treason Trial, 1961.

76.”Never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another…”
Nelson Mandela, Inaugural Address, Pretoria 9 May 1994.

77.”We enter into a covenant that we shall build a society in which all South Africans, both black and white, will be able to walk tall, without and fear in their hearts, assured of their inalienable right to human dignity – a rainbow nation at peace with itself and the world.”
Nelson Mandela, Inaugural Address, Pretoria 9 May 1994.

78.”Our single most important challenge is therefore to help establish a social order in which the freedom of the individual will truly mean the freedom of the individual. We must construct that people-centred society of freedom in such a manner that it guarantees the political liberties and the human rights of all our citizens.”
Nelson Mandela, speech at the opening of the South African parliament, Cape Town 25 May 1994.

79.”There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find ways in which you yourself have altered.”
Nelson Mandela, A Long Walk To Freedom, 1994.

80.”If we had any hopes or illusions about the National Party before they came into office, we were disabused of them quickly…The arbitrary and meaningless tests to decide black form Coloured or Coloured from white often resulted in tragic cases…Where one was allowed to live and work could rest on such absurd distinctions as the curl of one’s hair or the size of one’s lips.”
Nelson Mandela, Long Walk To Freedom, 1994.

81.”…the only [other] thing my father bestowed upon me at birth was a name, Rolihlahla. In Xhosa, Rolihlahla literally means ‘pulling the branch of a tree’, but its colloquial meaning more accurately would be ‘troublemaker’.”
Nelson Mandela, Long Walk To Freedom, 1994.

82.”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.”
Nelson Mandela, defence statement during the Rivonia Trial, 1964. Also repeated during the closing of his speech delivered in Cape Town on the day he was released from prison 27 years later, on 11 February 1990.

83.”We owe it to all the peoples of the sub-continent to ensure that they see in us, not merely good leaders waxing lyrical about development, but as the front commanders in the blast furnaces of labour, productive investments and visible change.”
Nelson Mandela, Southern African Development Community (SADC) 15th anniversary summit, Johannesburg 13 September 1995.

84.”… we charge you with the responsibility to lead our peoples and Continent into the new world of the next century – which must be an African Century – during which all our people will be freed of the bitterness born of the marginalisation and degradation of our proud continent of Africa.”
Nelson Mandela, speech to the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) summit, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso 8 June 1998.

85.”I am the product of Africa and her long-cherished view of rebirth that can now be realised so that all of her children may play in the sun.”
Nelson Mandela’s final speech as president to the South African parliament, Cape Town 26 March 1999.

86.”South Africans must recall the terrible past so that we can deal with it, forgiving where forgiveness is necessary but never forgetting”
Nelson Mandela, on leaving office as South African president, 15 June 1999.

87.”I must step down while there are one or two people who admire me.”
Nelson Mandela, Daily Nation, Kenyan paper, 16 June 1999.

88.”A tragedy of unprecedented proportions is unfolding in Africa”
Nelson Mandela, closing speech of the International Aids Conference, Durban December 2000.

89.”The time is always right to do right”
Nelson Mandela, “The 100 Best Things Ever Said by Men” in South Africa’s Men’s Health magazine, February 2002.

90.”The work of the [Truth and Reconciliation] Commission, imperfect as it may be, has laid a foundation on which South Africans can work to forge a common understanding of their past.”
Nelson Mandela, as quoted in New African January 2003.

91.”South Africans have no concept of time and this is also why we can’t solve poverty and social problems… It’s now 10 years since the fall of the Apartheid government and we cannot blame Apartheid for being tardy.”
Nelson Mandela, 22 August 2003.

92.“I dream of an Africa which is in peace with itself.”

93.“And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” ― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

94.“There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.”

95.“As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.”

2 thoughts on “Best 95 quotes from Nelson Mandela(Madiba)

  1. What an inspirational man he Nelson Mandela is. His sacrifice and humility, combined with his energy and commitment for transformation is so far reaching. I’ve pulled together 100 other Nelson Mandela’s quotes http://calebstorkey.com/101-nelson-mandela-quotes and I’ve written an eBook on the principles we can learn from his leadership through the years. Be lovely to dialogue and discuss these principles with others http://calebstorkey.com/nelson-mandela

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