Nelson Mandela is an international symbol of freedom, justice, and reconciliation. A fierce leader, he dedicated his life to fighting against South African apartheid, leading the African National Congress and using nonviolent and armed resistance to fight against racial segregation and discrimination. Jailed on Robben Island for 27 years, Mandela became a symbol of resistance, his former wife, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, doing all she could to continue the movement against apartheid and keep her husband’s name front and center.
Mandela’s release from prison in 1990 marked a pivotal turn in politics for South Africa and he was a key figure in the negotiations leading to the end of apartheid and the country’s first democratic elections. Mandela went on to become South Africa’s first Black president, approaching the nation’s healing with forgiveness and truth. He championed freedom globally, extending himself to advocate for the end of poverty, the promotion of education and lend his voice to the fight against HIV/AIDS around the world. Mandela’s inspirational leadership continued until his passing in 2013 at the age of 95.
While he has physically transitioned, his teachings and legacy are alive and well. As we remember the contributions of this giant of a man, we reflect on 10 inspirational quotes from Nelson Mandela, a true champion for freedom, courtesy of Britannica.
“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it.”
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
“It always seems impossible until it’s done.”
“Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.”
“The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”
“Real leaders must be ready to sacrifice all for the freedom of their people.”
“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.”
“Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.”
“Everyone can rise above their circumstances and achieve success if they are dedicated to and passionate about what they do.”
“It is in the character of growth that we should learn from both pleasant and unpleasant experiences.”
Long live the spirit of Nelson Mandela!
Cover photo: Remembering Nelson Mandela: 10 inspirational quotes from a true champion for freedom/Photo Courtesy of Trevor Samson/AFP/Getty Images