Today the world lost probably one of the greatest men that ever lived and though as an African I celebrate his life and that I am happy he has finally gone home to rest, I can’t still help but stand in awe of the inspirational life of Former South African leader Nelson Mandela who spent much of his life fighting the injustices of apartheid. So Mandela whereever you are, now the time has come for you to rest, go in peace, you’ve have earned your sleep but in our hearts, you will forever remain.
Over his storied career, Mandela eloquently voiced his opinions and detailed his life experiences, leaving a trail of some of the most inspiring quotations of our time.
Here are some of Mandela’s most memorable words :
|Democratic and Free Society|
“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 will live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for. But, my lord, if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”
–April 1964, statement from the dock at the opening of his defense case in the Rivonia trial
“Let the strivings of us all prove Martin Luther King Jr. to have been correct, when he said that humanity can no longer be tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war. Let the efforts of us all prove that he was not a mere dreamer when he spoke of the beauty of genuine brotherhood and peace being more precious than diamonds or silver or gold. Let a new age dawn.”
–December 1993, Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech
“Today we are entering a new era for our country and its people. Today we celebrate not the victory of a party, but a victory for all the people of South Africa.”
–May 1994, election victory speech to the people of Cape Town, South Africa
“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.”
–May 1994, at his inauguration as president of the Democratic Republic of South Africa.
|No One Is Born to Hate|
“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.”
–1994, from his autobiography, “Long Walk to Freedom”
|Bravery and Fear|
“The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”
–1994, “Long Walk to Freedom”
“We recall our terrible past so that we can deal with it, to forgive where forgiveness is necessary, without forgetting; to ensure that never again will such inhumanity tear us apart; and to move ourselves to eradicate a legacy that lurks dangerously as a threat to our democracy.”
–February 1999, opening address at the debate on the report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission
“AIDS is no longer just a disease; it is a human rights issue. It affects people of all ages but particularly young people. For the sake of all of them and our future, we must act and act now.”
Inspirational Quotes Courtesy (Emily Friedman for ABC News)