Nelson Mandela’s Top 12 Famous Statements (Quotes)

Former South African President and 1993 Nobel Peace Laureate Nelson Mandela dies at the age of 95 at his home in Johannesburg. World leaders issued their statements of condolences to the man considered by South Africans as “The Father of the Nations.”

Nelson Mandela left the world with his famous quotes and statements during the time when he was leading the African people in struggle for their independence.

Education Nelson Mandela

Here are some of the most famous quotations from Nelson Mandela:

1. “During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. 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.” – Statement at the opening of his defence in the Rivonia treason trial, April 20, 1964.

2. “It always seems impossible until it’s done.”

3. “We understand it still that there is no easy road to freedom. We know it well that none of us acting alone can achieve success. We must therefore act together as a united people, for national reconciliation, for nation building, for the birth of a new world. Let there be justice for all. Let there be peace for all. Let there be work, bread, water and salt for all. Never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another and suffer the indignity of being the skunk of the world. Let freedom reign.”  Speech at his inauguration as South African president in Pretoria, May 10, 1994.

4. “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.”4. “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.”

5. “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.”

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

7. “The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”

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

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

10. “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.”

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

12. “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 sub-human, denies the humanity even of those who elevate themselves to the status of gods.” – Address to the UK’s Joint Houses of Parliament, July 11, 1996.

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