Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela (18 July 1918 – 5 December 2013) was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, politician, 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. 

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It always seems impossible until its done.

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

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.

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

Forget the past.

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.

Sometimes I feel like one who is on the sidelines, who has missed life itself.

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.

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.

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.

You know you can only lead them from behind.

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

Let us give publicity to H.I.V./AIDS and not hide it because the only way to make it appear like a normal illness like TB like cancer is always to come out and say somebody has died because of H.I.V./AIDS and people will stop regarding it as something extraordinary.

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

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.

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.

Only free men can negotiate. A prisoner cannot enter into contracts.

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

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.

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

Let there be work bread water and salt for all.

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

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

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

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.

Before I went to jail I was active in politics as a member of South Africa's leading organization - and I was generally busy from 7 A.M. until midnight. I never had time to sit and think.

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

We can't afford to be killing one another.

Intervention only works when the people concerned seem to be keen for peace.

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

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.

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.

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

Communists have always played an active role in the fight by colonial countries for their freedom because the short-term objects of Communism would always correspond with the long-term objects of freedom movements.

No country can really develop unless its citizens are educated.

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.

I stand here before you not as a prophet but as a humble servant of you the people.

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

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

I really wanted to retire and rest and spend more time with my children my grandchildren and of course with my wife.

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.

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

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

I do not deny that I planned sabotage. I did not plan it in a spirit of recklessness nor because I have any love of violence. I planned it as a result of a calm and sober assessment of the political situation that had arisen after many years of tyranny exploitation and oppression of my people by the whites.

I detest racialism because I regard it as a barbaric thing whether it comes from a black man or a white man.

The United States has made serious mistakes in the conduct of its foreign affairs which have had unfortunate repercussions long after the decisions were taken.

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

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.

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

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

Give a child love laughter and peace not AIDS.

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.

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

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.

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?

My son has died of AIDS.

Africans require want the franchise on the basis of one man one vote. They want political independence.

Nonviolence is a good policy when the conditions permit.

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.

I should tie myself to no particular system of society other than of socialism.

By ancestry I was born to rule.

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

There is no such thing as part freedom.

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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.

I have always regarded myself in the first place as an African patriot.

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.

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

Any man or institution that tries to rob me of my dignity will lose.

Unlike some politicians I can admit to a mistake.

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

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