Nelson Mandela quotes

Born
July 18, 1918, Mvezo, Cape Province, South Africa.

Died
December 5, 2013.

Occupation
Activist, politician, philanthropist, lawyer.

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela  was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, politician, and philanthropist, who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999.

By ancestry, I was born to rule.
– Nelson Mandela
No country can really develop unless its citizens are educated.
– Nelson Mandela
If you are poor, you are not likely to live long.
– Nelson Mandela
Give a child love, laughter and peace, not AIDS.
– Nelson Mandela
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
Never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another.
– Nelson Mandela
In countries where innocent people are dying, the leaders are following their blood rather than their brains.
– Nelson Mandela
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.
– Nelson Mandela
My son has died of AIDS.
– Nelson Mandela
Money won’t create success, the freedom to make it will.
– Nelson Mandela
A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.
– Nelson Mandela
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
We must use time wisely and forever realize that the time is always ripe to do right.
– Nelson Mandela
When the water starts boiling it is foolish to turn off the heat.
– Nelson Mandela
After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.
– Nelson Mandela
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.
– Nelson Mandela
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.
– Nelson Mandela
Let there be work, bread, water and salt for all.
– Nelson Mandela
I was not a messiah, but an ordinary man who had become a leader because of extraordinary circumstances.
– Nelson Mandela
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
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
The names of Dingane and Bambata, Hintsa and Makana, Squngthi and Dalasile, Moshoeshoe and Sekhukhuni, were praised as the glory of the entire African nation. I hoped then that life might offer me the opportunity to serve my people and make my own humble contribution to their freedom struggle.
– Nelson Mandela
It is wise to persuade people to do things and make them think it was their own idea.
– Nelson Mandela
I should tie myself to no particular system of society other than of socialism.
– Nelson Mandela
I detest racialism, because I regard it as a barbaric thing, whether it comes from a black man or a white man.
– Nelson Mandela
Only free men can negotiate. A prisoner cannot enter into contracts.
– Nelson Mandela
There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.
– Nelson Mandela
There is nothing I fear more than waking up without a program that will help me bring a little happiness to those with no resources, those who are poor, illiterate, and ridden with terminal disease.
– Nelson Mandela
After one has been in prison, it is the small things that one appreciates: being able to take a walk whenever one wants, going into a shop and buying a newspaper, speaking or choosing to remain silent. The simple act of being able to control one’s person.
– Nelson Mandela
We pledge ourselves to liberate all our people from the continuing bondage of poverty, deprivation, suffering, gender and other discrimination.
– Nelson Mandela
Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.
– Nelson Mandela
To deny people their human rights is to challenge their very humanity.
– Nelson Mandela
A good leader can engage in a debate frankly and thoroughly, knowing that at the end he and the other side must be closer, and thus emerge stronger. You don’t have that idea when you are arrogant, superficial, and uninformed.
– Nelson Mandela
Where globalization means, as it so often does, that the rich and powerful now have new means to further enrich and empower themselves at the cost of the poorer and weaker, we have a responsibility to protest in the name of universal freedom.
– Nelson Mandela
We can’t afford to be killing one another.
– Nelson Mandela
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
Forget the past.
– Nelson Mandela
If there are dreams about a beautiful South Africa, there are also roads that lead to their goal. Two of these roads could be named Goodness and Forgiveness.
– Nelson Mandela
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
In my country we go to prison first and then become President.
– Nelson Mandela
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
Whatever position I occupied, it was the result of colleagues – of my comrades in the movement – who had decided in their wisdom to use me for the purpose of focusing the attention of the country and the international community on me.
– Nelson Mandela
I cannot conceive of Israel withdrawing if Arab states do not recognize Israel, within secure borders.
– Nelson Mandela
I realized quickly what Mandela and Tambo meant to ordinary Africans. It was a place where they could come and find a sympathetic ear and a competent ally, a place where they would not be either turned away or cheated, a place where they might actually feel proud to be represented by men of their own skin color.
– Nelson Mandela
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.
– Nelson Mandela
As long as poverty, injustice and gross inequality persist in our world, none of us can truly rest.
– Nelson Mandela
Our human compassion binds us the one to the other – not in pity or patronizingly, but as human beings who have learnt how to turn our common suffering into hope for the future.
– Nelson Mandela
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.
– Nelson Mandela
If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner.
– Nelson Mandela
I was first imprisoned in Pretoria, and then, thereafter, I was taken to Robben Island. I stayed there for a couple of weeks. I was taken back to Pretoria when I was charged in the Rivonia trial, when I was then sent to Robben Island for life.
– Nelson Mandela
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 defenceless people.
– Nelson Mandela
There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.
– Nelson Mandela
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
I stand here before you not as a prophet, but as a humble servant of you, the people.
– Nelson Mandela
Let freedom reign. The sun never set on so glorious a human achievement.
– Nelson Mandela
There is no such thing as part freedom.
– Nelson Mandela
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
You know, you can only lead them from behind.
– Nelson Mandela
I dream of an Africa which is in peace with itself.
– Nelson Mandela
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
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.
– Nelson Mandela
Courageous people do not fear forgiving, for the sake of peace.
– Nelson Mandela
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
It always seems impossible until its done.
– Nelson Mandela
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
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
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
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?
– Nelson Mandela
People respond in accordance to how you relate to them. If you approach them on the basis of violence, that’s how they’ll react. But if you say, ‘We want peace, we want stability,’ we can then do a lot of things that will contribute towards the progress of our society.
– Nelson Mandela
Our daily deeds as ordinary South Africans must produce an actual South African reality that will reinforce humanity’s belief in justice, strengthen its confidence in the nobility of the human soul, and sustain all our hopes for a glorious life for all.
– Nelson Mandela
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
I started to make a study of the art of war and revolution and, whilst abroad, underwent a course in military training. If there was to be guerrilla warfare, I wanted to be able to stand and fight with my people and to share the hazards of war with them.
– Nelson Mandela
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