251 Nelson Mandela Quotes on Love and Leadership

Rolihlahla Mandela, commonly known as Nelson Mandela, was born on 18 July 1918 in Mvezo, Eastern Cape.

He became Jongintaba’s ward after his father’s death in 1930. Influenced by ancestral tales of valor, Mandela yearned to contribute to his people’s freedom.

His teacher, Miss Mdingane, named him “Nelson” during his primary schooling in Qunu.

Although initially expelled from Fort Hare University due to a protest, he completed his BA there in 1943.

Moving to Johannesburg in 1941, he became involved in law and politics. Joining the African National Congress (ANC) in 1944, he rose in its ranks and championed civil disobedience against apartheid laws.


Arrested multiple times, his most notable trial was the Rivonia Trial in 1963-64, leading to life imprisonment.

Released in 1990, Mandela participated in ending apartheid and became South Africa’s first democratically elected President in 1994.

A symbol of resistance and reconciliation, he passed away on 5 December 2013.

I have handpicked the best quotes by Nelson Mandela in this blog post.

Nelson Mandela Quotes

1. “I am the captain of my soul.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

2. “May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

3. “The brave man is not the one who has no fears, he is the one who triumphs over his fears.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

4. “Lead from the back – and let others believe they are in front.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

5. “The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

6. “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

7. “It always seems impossible until it’s done.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

8. “Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

9. “A winner is a dreamer who never gives up.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

10. “It is not where you start but how high you aim that matters for success.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

Famous Nelson Mandela Quotes

11. “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 marginalized.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

12. “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).

13. “Freedom would be meaningless without security in the home and in the streets.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

14. “Our society needs to re-establish a culture of caring.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

15. “I was not a messiah, but an ordinary man who had become a leader because of extraordinary circumstances.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

16. “Your playing small does not serve the world. Who are you not to be great?” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

17. “Peace is the greatest weapon for development that any person can have.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

18. “Once a person is determined to help themselves, there is nothing that can stop them.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

19. “One cannot be prepared for something while secretly believing it will not happen.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

20. “Remember to celebrate milestones as you prepare for the road ahead.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

21. “We must use time creatively, and forever realize that the time is always ripe to do right.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

22. “The youth of today are the leaders of tomorrow.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

Best Nelson Mandela Quotes

23. “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).

24. “Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

25. “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).

26. “A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

27. “Fools multiply when wise men are silent.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

28. “There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

29. “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.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

30. “Forget the past.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

31. “You will achieve more in this world through acts of mercy than you will through acts of retribution.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

32. “A Nation should not be judged by how it treats its highest citizens, but its lowest ones.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

33. “Quitting is leading too.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

34. “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).

35. “I am not a saint unless you think of a saint as a sinner who keeps on trying.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

36. “In my country, we go to prison first and then become President.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

37. “We can change the world and make it a better place. It is in your hands to make a difference.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

38. “Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand. Sport can create hope where once there was only despair.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

39. “Times change, we need to change as well.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

40. “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).

Powerful Nelson Mandela Quotes

41. “Education is the great engine to personal development.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

42. “To deny people their human rights is to challenge their very humanity.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

43. “Appearances matter – and remember to smile.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

44. “Live life as though nobody is watching, and express yourself as though everyone is listening.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

45. “People must learn to hate and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

46. “Where you stand depends on where you sit.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

47. “Courage is not the absence of fear – it s inspiring others to move beyond it.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

48. “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).

49. “As long as poverty, injustice and gross inequality persist in our world, none of us can truly rest.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

50. “One of the things I learned when I was negotiating was that until I changed myself, I could not change others.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

51. “Forgiveness liberates the soul. It removes fear. That is why it is such a powerful weapon.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

52. “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).

53. “My son has died of AIDS.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

54. “Our differences are our strength as a species and as a world community.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

55. “The more informed you are, the less arrogant and aggressive you are.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

56. “Be a lifelong student, read as many books as possible.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

57. “Everyone can rise above their circumstances and achieve success if they are dedicated to and passionate about what they do.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

58. “It never hurts to think too highly of a person; often they become ennobled and act better because of it.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

59. “Che Guevara’s life is an inspiration for every human being who loves freedom. We will always honor his memory.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

60. “Disabled children are equally entitled to an exciting and brilliant future.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

61. “It is music and dancing that make me at peace with the world.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

62. “Negotiation and discussion are the greatest weapons we have for promoting peace and development.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

63. “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).

64. “None of us, acting alone, can achieve the success.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

65. “We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, handsome, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

66. “Part of being optimistic is keeping one’s head pointed toward the sun, one’s feet moving forward.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

67. “A free press is one of the pillars of democracy.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

68. “Young people are capable, when aroused, of bringing down the towers of oppression and raising the banners of freedom.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

69. “If you want the cooperation of humans around you, you must make them feel they are important – and you do that by being genuine and humble.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

70. “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).

71. “We owe our children – the most vulnerable citizens in any society – a life free from violence and fear.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

72. “Exercise is the key not only to physical health but to peace of mind.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

73. “Music is a great blessing. It has the power to elevate and liberate us. It sets people free to dream. It can unite us to sing with one voice. Such is the value of music.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

74. “The best weapon is to sit down and talk.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

75. “It is in your hands to create a better world for all who live in it.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

76. “Today we are a nation at peace with itself, united in our diversity, not only proclaiming but living out the contention that South Africa belongs to all who live in it. We take our place amongst the nations of the world, confident and proud in being an African country.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

77. “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).

78. “Few things make the life of a parent more rewarding and sweet as successful children.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

79. “You can start changing our world for the better daily, no matter how small the action.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

Great Nelson Mandela Quotes

80. “Our fear is not that we are inadequate, but that we are powerful beyond measure.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

81. “There is no passion to be found playing small.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

82. “The time for the healing of the wounds has come. The moment to bridge the chasms that divide us has come. The time to build is upon us.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

83. “Sometimes it falls upon a generation to be great, you can be that generation.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

84. “We can’t fight AIDS unless we do much more to fight TB as well.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

85. “In order to build our nation, we must all exceed our own expectations.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

86. “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.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

87. “We forgive but not forgotten.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

88. “Any man or institution that tries to rob me of my dignity will lose.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

89. “Lead from the front – but don t leave your base behind.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

90. “Our hope is that the elementary reading of comics will lead to the joy of reading good books.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

91. “Artists reach areas far beyond the reach of politicians. Art, especially entertainment and music, is understood by everybody, and it lifts the spirits and the morale of those who hear it.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

92. “Never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

93. “Hating clouds the mind. It gets in the way of strategy. Leaders cannot afford to hate.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

94. “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).

95. “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).

96. “Poverty is not natural; it is man-made.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

97. “Education has become a very powerful weapon in the struggle to produce a well-developed person.”~ (Nelson Mandela).

98. “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

99. “The world is truly round and seems to start and end with those we love.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

100. “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).

101. “The Liberty Bell is “a very significant symbol for the entire democratic world.”” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

102. “There is no future without forgiveness.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

103. “When we read we are able to travel to many places, meet many people and understand the world.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

104. “If you want to change the world, help the women.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

105. “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).

106. “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.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

107. “In Africa, there is a concept known as ‘ubuntu’ – the profound sense that we are human only through the humanity of others; that if we are to accomplish anything in this world it will in equal measure be due to the work and achievement of others.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

108. “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).

109. “Our children are the rock on which our future will be built, our greatest asset as a nation.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

110. “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).

111. “With freedom comes responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk has not ended yet.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

Popular Nelson Mandela Quotes

112. “Our children are the rock on which our future will be built, our greatest asset as a nation. They will be the leaders of our country, the creators of our national wealth, those who care for and protect our people.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

113. “Know your enemy – and learn about his favorite sport.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

114. “There is a constant struggle between good and evil in the world. It is up to good people to choose the right side.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

115. “There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

116. “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).

117. “Sometimes it falls upon a generation to be great. You 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.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

118. “Love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

119. “The wounds that cannot be seen are more painful than those that can be treated by a doctor.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

120. “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).

121. “Money won’t create success, the freedom to make it will.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

122. “Running taught me valuable lessons. In cross-country competition, training counted more than intrinsic ability, and I could compensate for a lack of natural aptitude with diligence and discipline. I applied this in everything I did.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

123. “We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

124. “A society that does not value its older people denies its roots and endangers its future. Let us strive to enhance their capacity to support themselves for as long as possible and, when they cannot do so anymore, to care for them.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

125. “Racism is a blight on the human conscience.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

126. “Although I am a gregarious person, I love solitude even more.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

127. “A bright future beckons. The onus is on us, through hard work, honesty and integrity, to reach for the stars.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

128. “Overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity. It is an act of justice.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

129. “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).

130. “I learned to have the patience to listen when people put forward their views, even if I think those views are wrong. You can’t reach a just decision in a dispute unless you listen to both sides.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

131. “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).

132. “By ancestry, I was born to rule.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

133. “No power on this earth can destroy the thirst for human dignity.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

134. “When the water starts boiling it is foolish to turn off the heat.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

135. “It is not the kings and generals that make history, but the masses of the people.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

136. “It is not our diversity which divides us; it is not our ethnicity or religion or culture that divides us. Since we have achieved our freedom, there can only be one division amongst us: between those who cherish democracy and those who do not.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

137. “There is no such thing as part freedom.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

138. “Courageous people do not fear forgiving, for the sake of peace.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

139. “We must work together to ensure the equitable distribution of wealth, opportunity and power in our society.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

140. “When we can sit in the face of insanity or dislikes and be free from the need to make it different, then we are free.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

141. “History will judge us by the difference we make in the everyday lives of children.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

Top Nelson Mandela Quotes

142. “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).

143. “Nonviolence is a good policy when the conditions permit.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

144. “An organization can only carry out its mandate if there is discipline, and where there is no discipline there can be no real progress.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

145. “We should never forget those on whose shoulders we stand and those who paid the supreme price for freedom.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

146. “Other people have qualities that may be better than your own. Let them express them.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

147. “Children are the most important asset in a country. For them to become that asset, they must receive education and love from their parents.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

148. “The very right to be human is denied every day to hundreds of millions of people as a result of poverty, the unavailability of basic necessities such as food, jobs, water and shelter, education, healthcare and a healthy environment.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

149. “The United States of America is a threat to world peace.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

150. “When I walked out of the gate I knew that if I continued to hate these people I was still in prison.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

151. “The day I am afraid to do, that is the day I am no longer fit to lead.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

152. “We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us, it’s in everyone.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

153. “It is not beyond our power to create a world in which all children have access to a good education.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

154. “There is nobody more dangerous than one who has been humiliated, even when you humiliate him rightly.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

155. “I dream of our vast deserts, of our forests, of all our great wildernesses. We must never forget that it is our duty to protect this environment.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

156. “No matter what the past has dealt you, don’t let it destroy your future.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

157. “I like friends who have independent minds because they tend to make you see problems from all angles.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

158. “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).

159. “Let there be work, bread, water and salt for all.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

160. “It is wise to persuade people to do things and make them think it was their own idea.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

161. “It is in the character of growth that we should learn from both pleasant and unpleasant experiences.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

162. “It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

163. “Do not allow your anger to control your reason, but rather your reason to control your anger.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

164. “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).

165. “You can never have an impact on society if you have not changed yourself.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

166. “Give a child love, laughter and peace, not AIDS.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

167. “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).

168. “If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

169. “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).

170. “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).

171. “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).

172. “Politics can be strengthened by music, but music has a potency that defies politics.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

173. “I am not an optimist, but a great believer of hope.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

174. “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).

175. “As long as women are bound by poverty and as long as they are looked down upon, human rights will lack substance.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

Wise Nelson Mandela Quotes

176. “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).

177. “No country can really develop unless its citizens are educated. Any nation that is progressive is led by people who have had the privilege of studying.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

178. “Ethiopia always has a special place in my imagination and the prospect of visiting Ethiopia attracted me more strongly than a trip to France, England, and America combined. I felt I would be visiting my own genesis, unearthing the roots of what made me an African.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

179. “Great peacemakers are all people of integrity, of honesty, but humility.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

180. “Keep your friends close – and your rivals even closer.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

181. “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).

182. “Only armchair politicians are immune from committing mistakes. Errors are inherent in political action.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

183. “To be the father of a nation is a great honor, but to be the father of a family is a greater joy.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

184. “You mustn’t compromise your principles, but you mustn’t humiliate the opposition. No one is more dangerous than one who is humiliated.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

185. “It is a grave error for any leader to be oversensitive in the face of criticism.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

186. “MY greatest regret in life is that I never became the heavyweight boxing champion of the world.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

187. “As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

188. “You encourage people by seeing the good in them.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

189. “You see, when there is danger, a good leader takes the front line. But when there is a celebration, a good leader stays in the back room. If you want the cooperation of human beings around you, make them feel that they are important. And you do that by being humble.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

190. “I approach every problem with optimism.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

191. “The curious beauty about African music is that it uplifts even as it tells a sad story.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

192. “I am not truly free if I am taking away someone else’s freedom, just as surely as I am not free when my freedom is taken from me. The oppressed and the oppressor alike are robbed of their humanity.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

193. “When those in power deny you of freedom the only path to freedom is power.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

194. “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).

195. “Man’s goodness is a flame that can be hidden but never extinguished.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

196. “It is what we make out of what we have, not what we are given, that separates one person from another.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

197. “True reconciliation does not consist in merely forgetting the past.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

198. “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).

199. “Those who conduct themselves with morality, integrity and consistency need not fear the forces of inhumanity and cruelty.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

200. “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).

201. “Death is something inevitable. When a man has done what he considers to be his duty to his people and his country, he can rest in peace. I believe I have made that effort and that is, therefore, why I will sleep for the eternity.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

202. “Those who can’t imagine change reveal the deficits of their imaginations, not the difficulty of change.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

203. “No country can really develop unless its citizens are educated.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

204. “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).

205. “Our march to freedom is irreversible. We must not allow fear to stand in our way.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

Meaningful Nelson Mandela Quotes

206. “The Commonwealth makes the world safe for diversity.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

207. “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).

208. “Teach the children that Africans are not one iota inferior to Europeans.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

409. “I stand here before you not as a prophet, but as a humble servant of you, the people.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

210. “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).

211. “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).

212. “There is no easy walk to freedom anywhere.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

213. “Each of us, as citizens, has a role to play in creating a better world for our children.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

214. “Sport can create hope, where once there was only despair.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

215. “There are few misfortunes in this world that you cannot turn into a personal triumph if you have the iron will and the necessary skill.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

216. “Let your greatness bloom.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

217. “Israel should withdraw from all the areas which it won from the Arabs in 1967, and in particular Israel should withdraw completely from the Golan Heights, from south Lebanon and from the West Bank.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

218. “Our economic approach to food and its distribution reflects our basic moral values.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

219. “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).

220. “Take it upon yourself where you live to make people around you joyful and full of hope.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

221. “Blaming things on the past does not make them better.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

222. “Only free men can negotiate; prisoners cannot enter into contracts. Your freedom and mine cannot be separated.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

223. “Great anger and violence can never build a nation.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

224. “The message of reconciliation, of nation-building, of granting amnesty, indemnity, has struck a powerful, favorable chord. And people can understand that we’re here not for purposes of retribution but to forget the past and to build our country.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

225. “A government which uses force to maintain its rule teaches the oppressed to use force to oppose it.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

226. “I found solitary confinement the most forbidding aspect of prison life. There is no end and no beginning; there is only one’s mind, which can begin to play tricks. Was that a dream or did it really happen? One begins to question everything.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

227. “The power of imagination created the illusion that my vision went much farther than the naked eye could actually see.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

228. “The truth is we are not yet free; we have merely achieved the freedom to be free.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

229. “The virtue and the strength of UWC is that it provides small, but powerful cells of innovation, catalysts for change, breaking barriers of habit and opening broader vistas of experience for both pupils and educationalists.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

230. “A man who takes away another man’s freedom is a prisoner of hatred, he is locked behind the bars of prejudice and narrowmindedness.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

231. “While poverty persists, there is no true freedom.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

232. “Strong convictions are the secret of surviving deprivation; your spirit can be full even when your stomach is empty.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

233. “I greet you all in the name of peace, democracy and freedom for all.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

234. “The time comes in the life of any nation when there remains only two choices – submit or fight.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

235. “It is through education that the daughter of a peasant can become a doctor.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

236. “There is nothing more important in life than giving. Tolerance is forged when people look beyond their own desires.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

237. “My family is very large. 42 million.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

238. “To deny people of their human rights is to challenge their very humanity. To impose on them a wretched life of hunger 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.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

239. “Even behind prison walls, I can see the heavy clouds and the blue sky over the horizon.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

240. “Whenever I am with energetic young people, I feel like a recharged battery.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

241. “It is my deepest conviction that the children should be seen and heard as our most treasured assets.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

242. “I enjoyed the discipline and solitariness of long-distance running, which allowed me to escape from the hurly-burly of school life.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

243. “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).

244. “We need to exert ourselves that much more, and break out of the vicious cycle of dependence imposed on us by the financially powerful: those in command of immense market power and those who dare to fashion the world in their own image.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

245. “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).

246. “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).

247. “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).

248. “Nothing is black or white.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

249. “After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

250. “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).

251. “ As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.” ~ (Nelson Mandela).

Short Biography of Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela, born in 1918 in the Eastern Cape, grew up inspired by stories of his ancestors’ struggles.

Nelson Mandela

He was given the name Nelson by his teacher and pursued education, eventually attending the University of Fort Hare.

Political activism led him to Johannesburg, where he became involved in the African National Congress (ANC) and helped establish South Africa’s first black-owned law firm.

Despite legal challenges and a call for peaceful resistance, Mandela embraced armed struggle against apartheid.

Full NameRolihlahla Mandela
Born18 July 1918, Mvezo, South Africa
Died5 December 2013, Johannesburg, South Africa
ChildrenZindziswa Mandela, Zenani Mandela, MORE
SpouseGraça Machel, Winnie Mandela, Evelyn Mase
Grandchildren7, including Makgatho, Makaziwe, Zenani, Zindziswa
AwardsNobel Peace Prize, Bharat Ratna, MORE
ParentsGadla Henry Mphakanyiswa, Noqaphi Nosekeni
Political partyAfrican National Congress
OccupationActivist, lawyer, philanthropist, politician
Alma materUniversity of Fort Hare, University of London, University of South Africa, University of the Witwatersrand
NicknamesMadiba, Dalibunga

His efforts landed him in prison for nearly three decades.

Released in 1990, Mandela continued to champion democracy and equality, becoming South Africa’s first democratically elected President in 1994.

He passed away in 2013, leaving a legacy of resilience and dedication to justice.

Quick Facts about Nelson Mandela

  • Nelson Mandela was born on July 18, 1918, in Mvezo, Transkei, South Africa.
  • His original name was Rolihlahla; he got the name Nelson from a teacher at age seven.
  • Mandela hailed from a royal background; his father was a tribal chief.
  • He lost his father at the age of twelve.
  • Mandela went to the University of Fort Hare and later studied law in Johannesburg.
  • He became a lawyer in 1942.
  • South Africa’s racial divide was stark during Mandela’s youth.
  • White people led privileged lives, while most black people faced severe inequalities.
  • Mandela joined the African National Congress (ANC) in 1944 to fight for equality.
  • The apartheid system was introduced in 1948, deepening racial segregation.
  • Mandela became a key figure in the ANC and its Youth League.
  • He faced multiple arrests for his anti-apartheid activities.
  • Despite a ban on anti-apartheid groups, Mandela continued his fight.
  • He co-founded a secret military group, Umkhonto we Sizwe, in 1961.
  • In 1962, Mandela was arrested and initially sentenced to five years in prison.
  • Following a raid in 1963, he received a life sentence.
  • Mandela spent 27 years in prison, starting at Robben Island.
  • He was moved to different prisons over the years, ending at Victor Verster Prison.
  • Mandela stood by his principles, even refusing conditional release.
  • He learned Afrikaans in prison, earning respect from some guards.
  • International pressure mounted for Mandela’s release amid growing anti-apartheid support.
  • South African President FW de Klerk freed Mandela in 1990.
  • Mandela and de Klerk jointly won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993.
  • The 1994 general election was the first in South Africa where all races could vote.
  • Mandela became South Africa’s first black president in 1994.
  • He worked to improve the lives of South Africa’s black population and promote equality.
  • Mandela retired in 1999 and founded the Nelson Mandela Foundation.
  • He lived a quiet life with his wife Graça Machel from 2004.
  • Mandela passed away in December 2013, at the age of 95.
  • Nelson Mandela Day is celebrated on his birthday, July 18, to honor his legacy.

Top Questions about Nelson Mandela

Q: Who was Nelson Mandela?

A: Nelson Mandela was a leader in African nationalism and a lawyer from South Africa, born on July 18, 1918. He joined the African National Congress in 1944, leading a nonviolent fight against racial inequality.

Q: Did Nelson Mandela win a Nobel Peace Prize?

A: Yes, Nelson Mandela and F.W. De Klerk won the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize for their work in ending apartheid peacefully in South Africa.

Q: Why is Mandela called Madiba?

A: Mandela is called Madiba as a sign of respect and affection. Madiba is the name of the clan Mandela belonged to, named after a 19th-century chief.

Q: Why was Mandela imprisoned for 27 years?

A: Mandela was imprisoned for 27 years for leading the African National Congress in opposition to apartheid, which enforced racial segregation in South Africa.

Q: What happened in 1994 with Nelson Mandela?

A: In 1994, Nelson Mandela became South Africa’s first Black President after the African National Congress won 63% of the vote. He was inaugurated on May 10, 1994.

Q: What significant event happened to Mandela at age 9?

A: When Mandela was nine, his father died, and he became the ward of the Thembu people’s acting regent, growing up in the royal household.

Q: Who gave Nelson Mandela his first name?

A: Mandela’s teacher, Miss Mdingane, gave him the name Nelson during his primary school years, following the custom of assigning “Christian” names to schoolchildren.

Q: How many times did Mandela marry?

A: Nelson Mandela married three times: to Evelyn Ntoko Mase, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, and Graça Machel, who was his wife until his death in 2013.

Q: Who named Mandela Rolihlahla?

A: Mandela’s father named him Rolihlahla, which means “pulling the branch of a tree” or “troublemaker” in isiXhosa.

Q: Why did Nelson Mandela win the Nobel Prize?

A: Mandela won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 alongside F.W. de Klerk for their efforts to end apartheid and lay the groundwork for a democratic South Africa.

Q: Which political party did Mandela join?

A: Mandela joined the African National Congress in 1944 and was instrumental in forming its Youth League.

Q: Who shared the Nobel Prize with Mandela?

A: F.W. de Klerk shared the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize with Nelson Mandela for their collaborative effort to dismantle apartheid in South Africa.

Q: Where did Mandela study?

A: Mandela grew up in what was then the Transkei, attended Healdtown Methodist Boarding School, and went on to Fort Hare University College where he met lifelong friend and ally Oliver Tambo.

Q: What title is Mandela known by?

A: Nelson Mandela is revered worldwide as a symbol of democracy and justice, often referred to by his Thembu clan name, Madiba, and hailed as the “Father of the Nation” in South Africa.

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Chandan Negi
Chandan Negi

I’m the Founder of Internet Pillar - I love sharing quotes and motivational content to inspire and motivate people - #quotes #motivation #internetpillar