Inspiration and wisdom from divine felines

351 Inspiring Quotes by Nelson Mandela

Welcome to our collection of quotes by Nelson Mandela.

Wikipedia Summary for Nelson Mandela

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela (Xhosa: [xolíɬaɬa mandɛ̂ːla]; 18 July 1918 – 5 December 2013) was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, political leader and philanthropist who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. He was the country's first black head of state and the first elected in a fully representative democratic election. His government focused on dismantling the legacy of apartheid by tackling institutionalised racism and fostering racial reconciliation. Ideologically an African nationalist and socialist, he served as the president of the African National Congress (ANC) party from 1991 to 1997.

A Xhosa speaker, Mandela was born to the Thembu royal family in Mvezo, Union of South Africa. He studied law at the University of Fort Hare and the University of Witwatersrand before working as a lawyer in Johannesburg. There he became involved in anti-colonial and African nationalist politics, joining the ANC in 1943 and co-founding its Youth League in 1944. After the National Party's white-only government established apartheid, a system of racial segregation that privileged whites, he and the ANC committed themselves to its overthrow. Mandela was appointed president of the ANC's Transvaal branch, rising to prominence for his involvement in the 1952 Defiance Campaign and the 1955 Congress of the People. He was repeatedly arrested for seditious activities and was unsuccessfully prosecuted in the 1956 Treason Trial. Influenced by Marxism, he secretly joined the banned South African Communist Party (SACP). Although initially committed to non-violent protest, in association with the SACP he co-founded the militant Umkhonto we Sizwe in 1961 and led a sabotage campaign against the government. He was arrested and imprisoned in 1962, and subsequently sentenced to life imprisonment for conspiring to overthrow the state following the Rivonia Trial.

Mandela served 27 years in prison, split between Robben Island, Pollsmoor Prison and Victor Verster Prison. Amid growing domestic and international pressure and fears of racial civil war, President F. W. de Klerk released him in 1990. Mandela and de Klerk led efforts to negotiate an end to apartheid, which resulted in the 1994 multiracial general election in which Mandela led the ANC to victory and became president. Leading a broad coalition government which promulgated a new constitution, Mandela emphasised reconciliation between the country's racial groups and created the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to investigate past human rights abuses. Economically, Mandela's administration retained its predecessor's liberal framework despite his own socialist beliefs, also introducing measures to encourage land reform, combat poverty and expand healthcare services. Internationally, he acted as mediator in the Pan Am Flight 103 bombing trial and served as secretary-general of the Non-Aligned Movement from 1998 to 1999. He declined a second presidential term and was succeeded by his deputy, Thabo Mbeki. Mandela became an elder statesman and focused on combating poverty and HIV/AIDS through the charitable Nelson Mandela Foundation.

Mandela was a controversial figure for much of his life. Although critics on the right denounced him as a communist terrorist and those on the far left deemed him too eager to negotiate and reconcile with apartheid's supporters, he gained international acclaim for his activism. Widely regarded as an icon of democracy and social justice, he received more than 250 honours, including the Nobel Peace Prize. He is held in deep respect within South Africa, where he is often referred to by his Thembu clan name, Madiba, and described as the "Father of the Nation".

red and white no smoking sign

As we judge others so are we judged by others. The suspicious will always be tormented by suspicion.

--Nelson Mandela

black and white bird on seashore

Our experience has taught us that with goodwill a negotiated solution can be found for even the most profound problems.

--Nelson Mandela

green plants beside brown wooden door

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

--Nelson Mandela


yellow sunflower in close up photography

Live life as though nobody is watching, and express yourself as though everyone is listening.

--Nelson Mandela

round analog watch with black leather strap on top of white wooden surface

I did not enjoy the violence of boxing so much as the science of it. I was intrigued by how one moved one's body to protect oneself, how one used a strategy both to attack and retreat, how one paced oneself over a match.

--Nelson Mandela

red rose illustration

When those in power deny you of freedom the only path to freedom is power.

--Nelson Mandela

person in red shirt walking on brown field under gray sky during daytime

The United States of America is a threat to world peace.

--Nelson Mandela

silhouette of woman hugging mna under starry night sky

Without education, your children can never really meet the challenges they will face. So it's very important to give children education and explain that they should play a role for their country.

--Nelson Mandela

calm body of water near alp mountains during nighttime

In countries where innocent people are dying, the leaders are following their blood rather than their brains.

--Nelson Mandela

shallow focus photography of woman standing outdoors

Fools multiply when wise men are silent.

--Nelson Mandela

silhouette of mountains during sunset

Let the efforts of us all, prove that he Martin Luther King was not a mere dreamer when he spoke of the beauty of genuine brotherhood and peace being more precious than diamonds or silver or gold.

--Nelson Mandela

green grass field

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.

--Nelson Mandela


man in black shirt on pink background

Racism is a blight on the human conscience.

--Nelson Mandela

Longer Version:

Racism is a blight on the human conscience. The idea that any people can be inferior to another, to the point where those who consider themselves superior define and treat the rest as subhuman, denies the humanity even of those who elevate themselves to the status of gods.


green plants beside brown wooden door

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

--Nelson Mandela


body of water under clear blue sky painting

I cannot overemphasise the value we place on a free, independent and outspoken press.

--Nelson Mandela

man in blue tank top holding green and black skateboard

Education is the great engine to personal development.

--Nelson Mandela

Longer Version:

Education is the great engine of personal development. It is through education that the daughter of a peasant can become a doctor, that the son of a mineworker can become the head of the mine, that a child of farm workers can become the president of a great nation. It is what we make out of what we have, not what we are given, that separates one person from another.



man and woman kissing under blue sky during daytime

An initiative was essentially led by civil society because the policy of the government was that Africans must not be taught to graze in pastures which were reserved for the main white group.

--Nelson Mandela

low-angle photo of white daisy

Our economic approach to food and its distribution reflects our basic moral values.

--Nelson Mandela


brown and gray stick

It's never too late to do the right thing.

--Nelson Mandela

red flower in white background

There are times when a leader must move out ahead of the flock, go off in a new direction, confident that he is leading his people the right way.

--Nelson Mandela

laughing woman photo

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

--Nelson Mandela

swimming pool with stainless steel ladder

No problem is so deep that it cannot be overcome, given the will of all parties, through discussion and negotiation rather than force and violence.

--Nelson Mandela

blue textile with blue background

The curious beauty of African music is that it uplifts even as it tells a sad tale. You may be poor, you may have only a ramshackle house, you may have lost your job, but that song gives you hope.

--Nelson Mandela

pink rose in bloom close up photo

It enables me to go to bed with an enriching feeling in my soul and the belief that I am changing myself.

--Nelson Mandela

yellow flower field under clear sky

We tried in our simple way to lead our life in a manner that may make a difference to those of others.

--Nelson Mandela

brown tree branch during daytime

It is our duty to give support to the brother leader ... especially in regards to the sanctions which are not hitting just him, they are hitting the ordinary masses of the people ... our African brothers and sisters.

--Nelson Mandela

iceberg near mountain during day

It generally appears outlandish until its carried out.

--Nelson Mandela

pink flower

Reconciliation means working together to correct the legacy of past injustice.

--Nelson Mandela

pink rose in close up photography

A fundamental concern for others in our individual and community lives would go a long way in making the world the better place we so passionately dreamt of.

--Nelson Mandela

glass window pane with yellow concrete wall

Trade justice for the developing world and for this generation is a truly significant way for the developed countries to show commitment to bringing about an end to global poverty.

--Nelson Mandela


sunset

The process of illusion and disillusionment is part of life and goes on endlessly.

--Nelson Mandela


silhouette photo of mountain during night time

I have always endeavoured to listen to what each and every person in a discussion had to say before venturing my own opinion.

--Nelson Mandela

white textile in close up photography

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



flying blue and green hummingbird

Lead from the back and let others believe they are in front.

--Nelson Mandela

red strawberry fruit on red surface

Leaders in all spheres who are living with HIV should be encouraged, not coerced, to lead by example and disclose their HIV status.

--Nelson Mandela


black and white abstract illustration

There is nothing more important in life than giving. Tolerance is forged when people look beyond their own desires.

--Nelson Mandela

red rose illustration

Great peacemakers are all people of integrity, of honesty, but humility.

--Nelson Mandela

purple and white petaled flower

I am influenced more than ever before by the conviction that social equality is the only basis of human happiness.

--Nelson Mandela

four wooden boat on teal sea

You know, you can only lead them from behind.

--Nelson Mandela

green pine trees near mountain under blue sky during daytime

No power on this earth can destroy the thirst for human dignity.

--Nelson Mandela





bunch of tulips flower on wooden surface

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

woman in black shirt walking on sidewalk near brown concrete wall partition

Let us not be tempted by those who try to find the unique qualities in a particular group. In this case, among South Africa indigenous people, it reflected what has been evidenced throughout the world.

--Nelson Mandela

aerial photography of mountain range covered with snow under white and blue sky at daytime

There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.

--Nelson Mandela

red tulip in bloom during daytime

Whenever I am with energetic young people, I feel like a recharged battery.

--Nelson Mandela

blue sky with stars during night time

We raise our voices in holy gladness to celebrate the victory of the risen Christ over the terrible forces of death.

--Nelson Mandela

None

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

--Nelson Mandela

black and white photography of alarm clock displaying 1:37 time

It is not beyond our power to create a world in which all children have access to a good education.

--Nelson Mandela


None

Apart from life, a strong constitusion and an abiding connection to the Thembu royal house, the only thing my father bestowed upon me at birth was a name, Rolihlahla.

--Nelson Mandela

person on road at sunset

Let us give practical recognition to the injustices of the past,by building a future based on equality and social justice.

--Nelson Mandela

water color palette on white surface

You can never have an impact on society if you have not changed yourself.

--Nelson Mandela

laughing woman photo

Press Freedom will never be under threat in South Africa for as long as the ANC is the majority party.

--Nelson Mandela

backdrop solid

There are many people in South Africa who are rich and who can share those riches with those not so fortunate who have not been able to conquer poverty.

--Nelson Mandela

Arizona landscape rocks

Political division, based on color, is entirely artificial; and when it disappears, so will the domination of one color group by another.

--Nelson Mandela

yellow sunflower in close up photography

To a freedom fighter hope is what a lifebelt is to a swimmer -- a guarantee that one will keep afloat and free from danger.

--Nelson Mandela

purple textile with white line

What freedom am I being offered while the organization of the people remains banned? Only free men can negotiate. A prisoner cannot enter into contracts.

--Nelson Mandela

top view photography of heart latte coffee

Keep your friends close -- and your rivals even closer.

--Nelson Mandela


pink tulips in close up photography

Let us remind ourselves that our work is far from complete. Where there is poverty and sickness, including AIDS, where human beings are being oppressed, there is more work to be done. Our work is for freedom for all.

--Nelson Mandela

green

None of us, acting alone, can achieve the success.

--Nelson Mandela

yellow Labrador puppy running on field

We must nurture tolerance, collective wisdom, and democracy.

--Nelson Mandela

red strawberry fruit on red surface

Even if you have a terminal disease, you don't have to sit down and mope. Enjoy life and challenge the illness that you have.

--Nelson Mandela


selective focus photography of orange and beige butterfly on purple flowers

If you are poor, you are not likely to live long.

--Nelson Mandela

white pendant lamp

I want to sleep for eternity with a broad smile on my face. I want those who remain behind to say this man has done his duty.

--Nelson Mandela

toddlers standing outdoors

Prison itself is a tremendous education in the need for patience and perseverance. It is above all a test of one's commitment.

--Nelson Mandela

A white stripe pattern made up of concrete facade ribs

Prison life, fortunately, I spent a lot of years, about 18 years with other prisoners, and, as I say, they enriched your soul.

--Nelson Mandela

saguaro

Nothing is black or white.

--Nelson Mandela


white tulips in white background

Thinking is one of the most important weapons in dealing with problems.

--Nelson Mandela

blue and white abstract painting

I will use the rest of my life to help the poor overcome the problems confronting them -- poverty is the greatest challenge facing humanity. That is why I build schools; I want to free people from poverty and illiteracy.

--Nelson Mandela

plain background

The history of struggle is rich with stories of heroes and heroines -- some of them leaders, some of them followers, all of them deserve to be remembered.

--Nelson Mandela

blue painted wall with white paint

Who could doubt that sport is a crucial window for the propagation of fair play and justice? After all, fair play is a value that is essential to sport.

--Nelson Mandela

multicolored heart LED light on wall

There were many dark moments when my faith in humanity was sorely tested.

--Nelson Mandela

white desk lamp beside green plant

I knew we could improve our lives even in jail. We could come out as different men, and we could even come out with two degrees. Educating ourselves was a way to give ourselves the most powerful weapon for freedom.

--Nelson Mandela

brown mountain

Since the dawn of history, mankind has honoured and respected brave and honest people.

--Nelson Mandela

person in black shoes standing on gray concrete floor

Justice and I became friends, though we were opposites in many ways -- he was extroverted, I was introverted; he was lighthearted, I was serious.

--Nelson Mandela

snow-capped mountain at the horizon viewed from lake dock

Exercise is the key not only to physical health but to peace of mind.

--Nelson Mandela

white ceramic mug with coffee on brown wooden table

Sometimes it falls upon a generation to be great, you can be that generation.

--Nelson Mandela

Longer Version:

Sometimes it falls upon a generation to be great. You can be that great generation. Let your greatness blossom. Of course the task will not be easy. But not to do this would be a crime against humanity, against which I ask all humanity now to rise up.


empty gray floor beside pool

I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities.

--Nelson Mandela

Longer Version:

I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.


Clear blue ocean washing on the sandy shore on a clear day in Cancún

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.

--Nelson Mandela

black textile on white textile

Freedom is meaningless if people cannot put food in their stomachs, if they can have no shelter, if illiteracy and disease continue to dog them.

--Nelson Mandela

man and woman kissing

Take it upon yourself where you live to make people around you joyful and full of hope.

--Nelson Mandela

silhouette of man and woman during sunset

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.

--Nelson Mandela


yellow and white color illustration

The knowledge that in your day you did your duty, and lived up to the expectations of your fellow men is in itself a rewarding experience and magnificent achievement.

--Nelson Mandela

yellow flower field near bare trees during daytime

We should never forget those on whose shoulders we stand and those who paid the supreme price for freedom.

--Nelson Mandela

yellow sunflower under blue sky during daytime

Strong convictions are the secret of surviving deprivation; your spirit can be full even when your stomach is empty.

--Nelson Mandela





solid background

The Church was as concerned with this world as the next: I saw that virtually all of the achievements of Africans seemed to have come about through the missionary work of the Church.

--Nelson Mandela


red surface

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

--Nelson Mandela

close-up photo of two men shaking hands near beach at sunset

The anchor of all my dreams is the collective wisdom of mankind as a whole.

--Nelson Mandela

blue rose with water droplet

The time comes in the life of any nation when there remains only two choices -- submit or fight.

--Nelson Mandela

Longer Version:

The time comes in the life of any nation when there remain only two choices - submit or fight. That time has now come to South Africa. We shall not submit and we have no choice but to hit back by all means in our power in defense of our people, our future, and our freedom.


man wearing knit cap on grey background

I was neglected by my family because I had disappointed them -- I'd run away from being forced into an arranged marriage, which was a big blow to them.

--Nelson Mandela

purple flowered hedge plants

A new world will be won not by those who stand at a distance with their arms folded, but by those who are in the arena, whose garments are torn by storms and whose bodies are maimed in the course of the contest.

--Nelson Mandela




pink and green flower painting

The greatest glory in living lies not in never failing, but in rising every time we fail.

--Nelson Mandela

silhouette of woman during sunset

We must also know that even before liberation in 1994 there in South Africa were people with resources who tried to share with those who were deprived.

--Nelson Mandela

brown wooden heart shaped figurine

Money won't create success, the freedom to make it will.

--Nelson Mandela


purple-petaled flower on selective focus photography

The importance of a high moral code, which is at the foundation of the Scout movement, cannot be stressed too highly.

--Nelson Mandela

pink and blue painted wall

A new society cannot be created by reproducing the repugnant past, however refined or enticingly repackaged.

--Nelson Mandela


ocean wave in shallow focus lens

There are many people who feel that it is useless and futile to continue talking about peace and non-violence against a government whose only reply is savage attacks on an unarmed and defenseless people.

--Nelson Mandela

silhouette of off-road car

Resentment is like a glass of poison that a man drinks; then he sits down and waits for his enemy to die.

--Nelson Mandela

brown and red paint brushes

I can't pretend that I'm brave and that I can beat the whole world.

--Nelson Mandela


photo of white and brown bricked wall during daytime

Sabotage did not involve loss of life, and it offered the best hope for future race relations. Bitterness would be kept to a minimum and, if the policy bore fruit, democratic government could become a reality.

--Nelson Mandela

ice berg

Success in politics demands that you must take your people into confidence about your views and state them very clearly, very politely, very calmly, but nevertheless, state them openly.

--Nelson Mandela

yellow flower field under clear sky

Only armchair politicians are immune from committing mistakes. Errors are inherent in political action.

--Nelson Mandela

sunset

Hope is a powerful weapon, and (one) no one power on earth can deprive you of.

--Nelson Mandela


selective focus of common poppy flower

I enjoyed the discipline and solitariness of long-distance running, which allowed me to escape from the hurly-burly of school life.

--Nelson Mandela

silhouette of elephant on brown sand during sunset

It is in your hands to create a better world for all who live in it.

--Nelson Mandela

white smoke

We can build a society grounded on friendship and our common humanity -- a society founded on tolerance. That is the only road open to us.

--Nelson Mandela

yellow and white painted wall

My dream would be a multicultural society, one that is diverse and where every man, woman and child are treated equally. I dream of a world where all people of all races work together in harmony.

--Nelson Mandela

pink and red flowers

Let us remind ourselves that it is ordinary people -- men and women, boys and girls -- that make the world a special place.

--Nelson Mandela

empty gray carpet

Without language, one cannot talk to people and understand them; one cannot share their hopes and aspirations, grasp their history, appreciate their poetry, or savor their songs.

--Nelson Mandela

white stars in the sky during night time

I like friends who have independent minds because they tend to make you see problems from all angles.

--Nelson Mandela

gray concrete painted wall

The relations between a man and his or her god is a personal matter; you can't go out and challenge the belief of people in a superior being.

--Nelson Mandela


pink and white roses on white surface

In my younger days, I was arrogant -- jail helped me to get rid of it. I did nothing but make enemies because of my arrogance.

--Nelson Mandela

black portable vinyl records

Rhetoric is not important. Actions are.

--Nelson Mandela

laughing woman photo

It is my deepest conviction that the children should be seen and heard as our most treasured assets.

--Nelson Mandela

raging waves through shores

Never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another.

--Nelson Mandela

adult black and white dog leaning on wooden fence

A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.

--Nelson Mandela

Longer Version:

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.



cluster of stars in the sky

One of the things I learned when I was negotiating was that until I changed myself, I could not change others.

--Nelson Mandela

black mountain under blue sky during night time

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.

--Nelson Mandela

island during daytime

No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background, or his religion.

--Nelson Mandela

Longer Version:

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.


brown wooden door

Good men and women can be mobilized to ensure that South Africa is united and that the spirit of reconciliation is strengthened and that progress in this country takes place as fast as it can.

--Nelson Mandela

red strawberry fruit on red surface

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.

--Nelson Mandela

landscape photo of mountain during nighttime

A Nation should not be judged by how it treats its highest citizens, but its lowest ones.

--Nelson Mandela

shallow focus photography of hand with red paint

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.

--Nelson Mandela

silhouette of man and woman during sunset

History will surely judge us harshly if we do not respond with all the energy and resources that we can bring to bear in the fight against HIV AIDS.

--Nelson Mandela

pink and white roses on white surface

There can be no greater gift than that of giving one's time and energy to help others without expecting anything in return.

--Nelson Mandela

five woman standing on seashore

Young people are capable, when aroused, of bringing down the towers of oppression and raising the banners of freedom.

--Nelson Mandela



brown mountain

People must learn to hate and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love.

--Nelson Mandela


purple flowers under sunny sky

We now undertake that we cannot rest while millions of our people suffer the pain and indignity of poverty in all its forms.

--Nelson Mandela

gray building

If the ANC does to you what the apartheid government did to you, then you must do to the ANC what you did to the apartheid government.

--Nelson Mandela

bonfire on focus photography

I am fundamentally an optimist.

--Nelson Mandela

Longer Version:

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.



man and woman kissing beside body of water during daytime

While poverty persists, there is no true freedom.

--Nelson Mandela

body of water during sunset

Resentment is a method of self harm. 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.

--Nelson Mandela

shallow focus photo of white rose

Our hope is that the elementary reading of comics will lead to the joy of reading good books.

--Nelson Mandela

silhouette of person wearing cowboy hat during sunset

One of the most difficult things is not to change society -- but to change yourself.

--Nelson Mandela

silhouette of mountain

Our continent must be allowed to do its own things, charting its course and destiny.

--Nelson Mandela

grass field under cloudy sky

Be a life-long student, read as many books as possible.

--Nelson Mandela

3 women playing soccer on green grass field during daytime

If you want to change the world, help the women.

--Nelson Mandela



brown and black butterfly on pink flower

The challenge for each one of you is to take up these ideals of tolerance and respect for others and put them to practical use in your schools, your communities and throughout your lives.

--Nelson Mandela


brown houses in front of hill under starry night

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

--Nelson Mandela

silhouette of stones during golden hour

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

--Nelson Mandela

brown mountain

The victory of democracy in South Africa is the common achievement of all humanity.

--Nelson Mandela

red flame

Peace is the greatest weapon for development that any person can have.

--Nelson Mandela

man in black tank top standing near tree under starry night

We slaughter one another in our words and attitudes. We slaughter one another in the stereotypes and mistrust that linger in our heads, and the words of hate we spew from our lips.

--Nelson Mandela


silhouette photo of couple standing on beach watching sunset

Poetry cannot block a bullet or still a sjambok, but it can bear witness to brutality-thereby cultivating a flower in a graveyard.

--Nelson Mandela


body of water during daytime

I made a mistake by being ejected from the presidency. Next time, I will choose a Cabinet which will allow me to be life President.

--Nelson Mandela


group of people inside the room in grayscale photo

Although I am a gregarious person, I love solitude even more.

--Nelson Mandela

white flower with black background

It is my greatest wish that the Children's Fund should continue to be a beacon of hope and light.

--Nelson Mandela

closeup photography of wall

One effect of sustained conflict is to narrow our vision of what is possible. Time and time again, conflicts are resolved through shifts that were unimaginable at the start.

--Nelson Mandela


None

I knew as well as I knew anything that the oppressor must be liberated just as surely as the oppressed.

--Nelson Mandela

forest trees photograph

If there is a country that has committed unspeakable atrocities in the world, it is the United States of America.

--Nelson Mandela

woman looking up to the sky while standing on white sand

Politics can be strengthened by music, but music has a potency that defies politics.

--Nelson Mandela


pink tulips in close up photography

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

photography of yellow petaled flowers field

I have been influenced in my thinking by both west and east.

--Nelson Mandela

yellow petaled flower screenshot

A bright future beckons. The onus is on us, through hard work, honesty and integrity, to reach for the stars.

--Nelson Mandela

green leaf in close up photography

I cannot and will not give any undertaking at a time when I, and you, the people, are not free. Your freedom and mine cannot be separated.

--Nelson Mandela

gray hummingbird

If wealth is a magnet, poverty is a kind of repellent.

--Nelson Mandela

selective focus photography of red tulip

Sport has the power to inspire and unite people. In Africa, soccer enjoys great popularity and has a particular place in the hearts of people.

--Nelson Mandela

Longer Version:

Sport has the power to inspire and unite people. In Africa, soccer enjoys great popularity and has a particular place in the hearts of people. That is why it is so important that the FIFA World Cup will, for the first time ever, be hosted on the African continent in 2010. We feel privileged and humbled that South Africa has been given this singular honour of being the African host country.



white and blue floral textile

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

--Nelson Mandela

Longer Version:

After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. I can rest only for a moment, for with freedom come responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not yet ended.


blue and white striped textile

It was not lack of ability that limited my people, but lack of opportunity.

--Nelson Mandela


purple and blue light illustration

One of the sad realities today is that very few people, especially young people, read books. Unless we can find imaginative ways of addressing this reality, future generations are in danger of losing their history.

--Nelson Mandela

yellow sunflower in close up photography

I say to all those leaders, do not look the other way. Do not hesitate... It is within your power to avoid a genocide of humanity.

--Nelson Mandela

fine trees waving

History will judge us by the difference we make in the everyday lives of children.

--Nelson Mandela

sunset

Love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.

--Nelson Mandela

four handheld gardening tools on rack

We know it well that none of us acting alone can achieve success.

--Nelson Mandela




brown wooden board

Whether you change the linen or stitch up wounds, cook the food or dispense the medicines, it is in your hands to help build a public service worthy of all those who gave their lives for the dream of democracy.

--Nelson Mandela


selective focus photography of black and white bird on stem

Where people of goodwill get together and transcend their differences for the common good, peaceful and just solutions can be found even for those problems which seem most intractable.

--Nelson Mandela

blue sky with white clouds

Let each know that for each the body, the mind and the soul have been freed to fulfill themselves.

--Nelson Mandela

clear hour glass

Negotiation and discussion are the greatest weapons we have for promoting peace and development.

--Nelson Mandela

person walking on street while holding black umbrella near cars on road at nighttime

Quitting is leading too.

--Nelson Mandela


raindrops on clear window

Poverty is not natural; it is man-made.

--Nelson Mandela

None

But the hard facts were that fifty years of non-violence had brought the African people nothing but more and more repressive legislation, and fewer and fewer rights.

--Nelson Mandela

black textile on white textile

Leaders will have to give clear and decisive leadership towards a world of tolerance and respect for difference, and an uncompromising commitment to peaceful solutions of conflicts and disputes.

--Nelson Mandela

brown wooden surface

Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear.

--Nelson Mandela

yellow sunflowers

I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it.

--Nelson Mandela

Longer Version:

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.


white printer paper on brown wooden table

The education I received was a British education, in which British ideas, British culture, British institutions, were automatically assumed to be superior. There was no such thing as African culture.

--Nelson Mandela

pink and white clouds

The titanic effort that has brought liberation to South Africa, and ensured the total liberation of Africa, constitutes an act of redemption for the black people of the world.

--Nelson Mandela

white desk lamp beside green plant

Each of us is as intimately attached to the soil of this beautiful country as are the famous jacaranda trees of Pretoria and the mimosa trees of the bushveld -- a rainbow nation at peace with itself and the world.

--Nelson Mandela

sun

The collapse of good conscience and the absence of accountability and public scrutiny have led to crimes against humanity and violations of international law.

--Nelson Mandela


brown wooden surface

Honesty,sincer ity,simplicity, humility, pure generosity,abse nce of vanity,readines s to serve others -qualities which are within easy reach of every soul -are the foundation of one's spiritual life.

--Nelson Mandela

clear hour glass with brown frame

The New World Order that is in the making must focus on the creation of a world of democracy, peace, and prosperity for all.

--Nelson Mandela

seashore during golden hour

There will be life after Mandela. On my last day I want to know that those who remain behind will say: 'The man who lies here has done his duty for his country and his people.'

--Nelson Mandela




lighted candles on man's hand lying on the floor

To the youth of today, I also have a wish to make: be the scriptwriters of your destiny and feature yourselves as stars that showed the way towards a brighter future.

--Nelson Mandela

sunset

We can change the world and make it a better place. It is in your hands to make a difference.

--Nelson Mandela



sunset with storm clouds

I know that, throughout the world, there are good men and women concerned with the greatest challenges facing society today -- poverty, illiteracy, and disease.

--Nelson Mandela


white stone woman sculpture

Sport can create hope, where once there was only despair. It is more powerful than governments in breaking down racial barriers.

--Nelson Mandela

sunset

Once a person is determined to help themselves, there is nothing that can stop them.

--Nelson Mandela



brown desert under sunny sky

Your victory has demonstrated that no person anywhere in the world should not dare to dream of wanting to change the world for a better place.

--Nelson Mandela

orange flowers

If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner.

--Nelson Mandela

library shelf near black wooden ladder

Courageous people do not fear forgiving, for the sake of peace.

--Nelson Mandela

rock formation in body of water

In the end, reconciliation is a spiritual process, which requires more than just a legal framework. It has to happen in the hearts and minds of people.

--Nelson Mandela

tan wallpaper

Freedom is indivisible; the chains 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.

--Nelson Mandela


blue and white striped textile

I appeal to the Youth and those on the ground: start talking to each other across divisions of race and political organizations.

--Nelson Mandela

jumping on snow covered mountain during daytime

The Commonwealth makes the world safe for diversity.

--Nelson Mandela

photo of gray elephant on grass

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

--Nelson Mandela

white wall paint with black line

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

plain background

When you are behind bars with no hope of release, you need to find strength wherever you can. Personally, I found strength in Michael Jackson.

--Nelson Mandela

calm body of water and mountain

Where you stand depends on where you sit.

--Nelson Mandela

sunset highway

It is wise to persuade people to do things and make them think it was their own idea.

--Nelson Mandela

pink tulip flower

In a sick country every step to health is an insult to those who live on its sickness.

--Nelson Mandela

orange and white floor tiles

Honour belongs to those who never forsake the truth even when things seem dark and grim, who try over and over again, who are never discouraged by insults, humiliation and even defeat.

--Nelson Mandela

women's black and pink monokini

It is most unusual to return to a place that has changed in ways you yourself have altered.

--Nelson Mandela

green pine trees near mountain under blue sky during daytime

In my country we go to prison first and then become President.

--Nelson Mandela

brown and white humming bird flying

Only 50 years ago persons with intellectual disabilities were scorned, isolated and neglected. Today, they are able to attend school, become employed and assimilate into their local community.

--Nelson Mandela



close-up photography of heart shaped fairy lite on brown sand

We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians.

--Nelson Mandela

woman in black shirt walking on sidewalk near brown concrete wall partition

I looked into the vast dome of blue emptiness that stretched out above me in all directions and the illusion was still there, the size and speed, and what information they were sending to mother earth.

--Nelson Mandela


black mountain under blue sky during night time

We signal that good can be achieved amongst human beings who are prepared to trust, prepared to believe in the goodness of people.

--Nelson Mandela

yellow and white color illustration

We cannot proclaim this century the African Century and then ignore the AIDS pandemic, as some political leaders are apt to do. To claim this century the African Century is to declare war on AIDS.

--Nelson Mandela

orange and white floor tiles

When I came to Johannesburg from the countryside, I knew nobody, but many strangers were very kind to me. I then was dragged into politics, and then, subsequently, I became a lawyer.

--Nelson Mandela

selective focus photography of black and white bird on stem

I cannot say for certain if there is such a thing as love at first sight, but I do know that the moment I first glimpsed Winnie Nomzamo, I knew that I wanted to have her as my wife.

--Nelson Mandela

photo of clear sky full of stars

Let freedom reign. The sun never set on so glorious a human achievement.

--Nelson Mandela


close-up photo of pink flower

I approach every problem with optimism.

--Nelson Mandela

blue boat on sand near body of water during daytime

There is a universal respect and even admiration for those who are humble and simple by nature, and who have absolute confidence in all human beings irrespective of their social status.

--Nelson Mandela

swimming pool with stainless steel ladder

There's one place where (Fidel Castro's) Cuba stands out head and shoulders above the rest -- that is in its love for human rights and liberty!

--Nelson Mandela


purple flower

The habit of attending to small things and of appreciating small courtesies is one of the important marks of a good person.

--Nelson Mandela


a woman sits on the end of a dock during daytime staring across a lake

The Children's Hospital will be a credible demonstration of the commitment of African leaders to place the rights of children at the forefront. Nothing less would be enough.

--Nelson Mandela

man in black tank top standing near tree under starry night

I understand that the legal position is under review in South Africa and that there will soon be a broader set of organizations to which donors can give and claim tax deductions.

--Nelson Mandela


brown mountain

The Liberty Bell is a very significant symbol for the entire democratic world.

--Nelson Mandela

pink rose in close up photography

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

--Nelson Mandela

brown textile in close up image

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

orange lily in bloom close up photo

The impression that you are a demigod worried me. I wanted to be like an ordinary human being with virtues and vices.

--Nelson Mandela

boy standing on grass and facing fence during daytime

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

--Nelson Mandela


silhouette of trees during sunset

I am convinced that floods of personal disaster can never drown a determined revolutionary nor can the cumulus of misery that accompanies tragedy suffocate him.

--Nelson Mandela


cluster of stars in the sky

We must work together to ensure the equitable distribution of wealth, opportunity and power in our society.

--Nelson Mandela

woman and man holding hands

A winner is a dreamer who never gives up.

--Nelson Mandela

leafless tree under gray sky

I dream of the realization of the unity of Africa, whereby its leaders combine in their efforts to solve the problems of this continent. I dream of our vast deserts, of our forests, of all our great wildernesses.

--Nelson Mandela

purple petaled flower

Part of being optimistic is keeping one's head pointed toward the sun, one's feet moving forward.

--Nelson Mandela

assorted-color beach houses

I discovered even before I went to jail that apartheid was not run by people who were monolithic in their approach. Some of them didn't even believe in apartheid.

--Nelson Mandela


man in blue jacket and blue pants carrying black and red backpack standing on snow covered

We don't have to be victims of our past, that we can let go of our bitterness, and that all of us can achieve greatness.

--Nelson Mandela

purple-petaled flower on selective focus photography

The secret to success is to learn to accept the impossible, to do without the indispensable, and to bear the intolerable.

--Nelson Mandela

Arizona landscape

I commend #AIESEC's continuing efforts to develop the #future #business #leadership of our countries.

--Nelson Mandela

silhouette of mountain

Our rich and varied cultural heritage has a profound power to help build our nation.

--Nelson Mandela


man in green shirt and blue knit cap sitting on floor

He knew when to compromise. Yet he never compromised his principles. He was a militant. Yet a militant who knew how to plan, assess concrete situations and emerge with rational solutions to problems.

--Nelson Mandela


white brick wall planning

I am confident that nobody will accuse me of selfishness if I ask to spend time, while I am still in good health, with my family, my friends and also with myself.

--Nelson Mandela

white and black soccer ball on grass field

Do not judge me by my success, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.

--Nelson Mandela

red flower in white background

We pledge ourselves to liberate all our people from the continuing bondage of poverty, deprivation, suffering, gender and other discrimination.

--Nelson Mandela


time lapse photography body of water

I have never cared very much for personal prizes. A person does not become a freedom fighter in the hope of winning awards.

--Nelson Mandela

closeup photo of bird beside purple petal flowers

There is nobody more dangerous than one who has been humiliated, even when you humiliate him rightly.

--Nelson Mandela

aerial view of green lake surrounded by green trees during daytime

The world remains beset by so much human suffering, poverty and deprivation. It is in your hands to make of our world a better one for all, especially the poor, vulnerable and marginalised.

--Nelson Mandela

crack in wall

I greet you all in the name of peace, democracy and freedom for all.

--Nelson Mandela



photo of giraffe

Together as a nation, we have the obligation to put sunshine into the hearts of our little ones. They are our precious possessions. They deserve what happiness life can offer.

--Nelson Mandela



orange flowers

The call now is for each of us to ask ourselves: are we doing all we can to help build the country of our dreams?

--Nelson Mandela


person walking holding brown leather bag

The Good News borne by our risen Messiah who chose not one race, who chose not one country, who chose not one language, who chose not one tribe, who chose all of humankind!

--Nelson Mandela




brown and gray brick wall

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.

--Nelson Mandela

purple and white petaled flower

I have retired, but if there's anything that would kill me it is to wake up in the morning not knowing what to do.

--Nelson Mandela


toddler hugging siberian husky

By ancestry, I was born to rule.

--Nelson Mandela

white bicycle parked beside wall

I was not a messiah, but an ordinary man who had become a leader because of extraordinary circumstances.

--Nelson Mandela

pink petaled flower on white surface

What has sustained me even in the most grim moments is the knowledge that I am a member of a tried and tested family which has triumphed over many difficulties.

--Nelson Mandela

silhouette of mountains during starry night

To deny people their human rights is to challenge their very humanity.

--Nelson Mandela

Longer Version:

To deny people of their human rights is to challenge their very humanity. To impose on them a wretched life of huger and deprivation is to dehumanize them. But such has been the terrible fate of all black persons in our country under the system of apartheid.



brown and white long coated small dog lying on green grass

Appearances matter -- and remember to smile.

--Nelson Mandela

red flowers with water droplets

When a man is denied the right to live the life he believes in, he has no choice but to become an outlaw.

--Nelson Mandela




boy wearing American flag print eyeglasses sticking his mouth open

In prison, illusions can offer comfort.

--Nelson Mandela

selective focus photo of green snake plant

Know your enemy -- and learn about his favorite sport.

--Nelson Mandela

round black vinyl disc on vinyl player

AIDS is no longer just a disease, it is a human rights issue.

--Nelson Mandela

grayscale photo of pug on floor

Blaming things on the past does not make them better.

--Nelson Mandela

woman standing on beachfront

There are so many men and women who hold no distinctive positions but whose contribution towards the development of society has been enormous.

--Nelson Mandela

seashore during golden hour

Educating all of our children must be one of our most urgent priorities. We all know that education, more than anything else, improves our chances of
building better lives.

--Nelson Mandela

Hey! I miss you

Times change, we need to change as well.

--Nelson Mandela

white cow eating green grass

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.

--Nelson Mandela


river between trees under blue sky

Disasters will always come and go, leaving their victims either completely broken or steeled and seasoned and better able to face the next crop of challenges that may occur.

--Nelson Mandela

galaxy

These numbers are staggering, in fact incomprehensible. By all accounts, we are dealing with the greatest health crisis in human history.

--Nelson Mandela

orange leaves tree

I went as an observer, not a participant, for I do not think that I ever spoke. I wanted to understand the issues under discussion, evaluate the arguments, see the calibre of the men involved.

--Nelson Mandela

yellow and white abstract painting

If our expectations--if our fondest prayers and dreams-- are not realized, then we should all bear in mind that the greatest glory of living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time you fall.

--Nelson Mandela

pink and green flower painting

In the 21st Century, the capacity to communicate will almost certainly be a key human right.

--Nelson Mandela

leafless tree on body of water during daytime

I cannot conceive of Israel withdrawing if Arab states do not recognize Israel, within secure borders.

--Nelson Mandela

We wish you a perfect day!