“I discovered for the first time people of my own age firmly aligned with the liberation struggle, who were prepared, despite their relative privilege, to sacrifice themselves of the cause of the oppressed.” 

Nelson Mandela

“On the first day of school, my teacher, Miss Mdingane, gave each of us an English name and said that from thenceforth that was the name we would answer to in school. This was the custom among Africans in those days and was undoubtedly due to the British bias of our education. 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. Africans of my generation—and even today—generally have both an English and an African name. Whites were either unable or unwilling to pronounce an African name, and considered it uncivilized to have one. That day, Miss Mdingane told me that my new name was Nelson. Why she bestowed this particular name upon me I have no idea. Perhaps it had something to do with the great British sea captain Lord Nelson, but that would be only a guess.”

Nelson Mandela

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

Nelson Mandela

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

Nelson Mandela

“There is little to be said in favour of poverty, but it was often an incubator of true friendship. Many people will appear to befriend you when you are wealthy, but precious few will do the same when you are poor”

Nelson Mandela

“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

“Let there be justice for all. Let there be peace for all. Let there be work, bread, water and salt for all. Let each know that for each the body, the mind and the soul have been freed to fulfill themselves.”

Nelson Mandela

“Like the gardener, a leader must take responsibility for what he cultivates; he must mind his work, try to repel enemies, preserve what can be preserved, and eliminate what cannot succeed.”

Nelson Mandela

“We do not want freedom without bread, nor do we want bread without freedom.

Nelson Mandela

“Appearances matter — and remember to smile.”

Nelson Mandela

“Don't Judge a person by his success stories, but only with how many times the person stood up, after falling down.”

Nelson Mandela

“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

“To make peace with an enemy one must work with that enemy, and that enemy becomes one’s partner.”

Nelson Mandela

“The arbitrary and meaningless tests to decide black from Coloured or Coloured from white often resulted in tragic cases where members of the same family were classified differently, all depending on whether one child had a lighter or darker complexion. 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

“It was ANC policy to try to educate all people, even our enemies: we believed that all men, even prison service warders, were capable of change, and we did our utmost to try to sway them.”

Nelson Mandela


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