Table of Contents
Known as the ‘Father of Modern South Africa,’ and an instrumental authority in tearing down the Apartheid government. Mandela continues to be a leader and a role model long after his passing. There is much to learn from his life story, so before we see some inspiring Nelson Mandela quotes let’s read a bit more about his journey.
The history of Nelson Mandela
Nelson Mandela was the first black president of South Africa. He studied law in school and soon became one of South Africa’s first black lawyers. Around the 1950s, he was selected as the leader of the youth wing of the African National Congress (ANC) and its liberation movement. He also served his tenure from 1994 to 1999.
Nelson Mandela’s government was centered on annihilating the Apartheid government that was focused on racial segregation imposed by the law. The government prohibited the ANC for racial reasons and Mandela organized a secret military movement against the prohibition. He was also involved in several peaceful protests, but they were often met with brutality and violence from the government. This resulted in an armed military movement.
From 1962 to 1990, Mandela was imprisoned for conspiracy and treason against the government. While his initial sentence was life in prison, they released him early when the ANC became legal much after. However, even while in prison, he proved to be a symbol to rally for the oppressed who struggled to fight for their rights.
In 1993, Mandela was a proud receiver of the Nobel Peace Prize. The prize recognized his efforts and accomplishments in successfully destroying the Apartheid regime. This laid the foundation of democracy in South Africa, which continues to be the form of government at present.
Now let’s read some unique Nelson Mandela quotes to keep you inspired and celebrate this iconic leader!
20 quotes to inspire you
1. “Real leaders must be ready to sacrifice all for the freedom of their people.”
2. “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 eternity.”
3. “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. Sometimes it falls on a generation to be great. You can be that great generation. Let your generation blossom.”
4. “I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all people live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal that I hope to live and achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”
5. “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.”
6. “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
7. “Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.”
8. “I had no epiphany, no singular revelation, no moment of truth, but a steady accumulation of a thousand slights, a thousand indignities, and a thousand unremembered moments produced in me an anger, a rebelliousness, a desire to fight the system that imprisoned my people. There was no particular day on which I said, henceforth I will devote myself to the liberation of my people; instead, I simply found myself doing so, and could not do otherwise.”
9. “I like friends who have independent minds because they tend to make you see problems from all angles.”
10. “As long as many of our people still live in utter poverty, as long as children still live under plastic covers, as long as many of our people are still without jobs, no South African should rest and wallow in the joy of freedom.”
11. “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.”
12. “Greed and power have turned brother against brother.”
13. “It is what we make out of what we have, not what we are given, that separates one person from another.”
14. “Long speeches, the shaking of fists, the banging of tables and strongly worded resolutions of touch with objective conditions do not bring about mass action and can do a great deal of harm to the organization and the struggle we serve.”
15. “Difficulties break some men but make others. No axe is sharp enough to cut the soul of a sinner who keeps on trying, one armed with the hope that he will rise even in the end.”
16. “It is never my custom to use words lightly. If twenty-seven years in prison have done anything to us, it was to use the silence of solitude to make us understand how precious words are and how real speech is in its impact on the way people live and die.”
17. “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.”
18. “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.”
19. “Freedom is indivisible; the chain on any one of my people were the chains on all of them, the chains on all of my people were the chains on me.”
20. “There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.”
- Nelson Mandela was the first black president of South Africa. People recognize him across the world for his efforts against the Apartheid regime in the country.
- Nelson Mandela continues to be an inspiration today for his actions, life, and principles.
- His efforts paved the way for a democratic government in South Africa that continues to be prevalent today.
Did you enjoy reading these 20 Nelson Mandela quotes? Do not forget to comment below or reach out to us to share your thoughts.
Liked this blog? Read next: 10 Famous Swami Vivekananda quotes to get you inspired!
Q1. When did Nelson Mandela die?
Answer – Nelson Mandela died on December 5, 2013.
Q2. When is Nelson Mandela International Day?
Answer – We celebrate Nelson Mandela International Day on July 18th, which is also Mandela’s birthday. The United Nations announced this holiday in 2009.
Q3. Does Nelson Mandela have an autobiography?
Answer- Yes, Nelson Mandela’s autobiography is called ‘Long Walk to Freedom’.