Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela

18 July 1918 – 5 December 2013


Place of birth: Mvezo, Cape Province, South Africa
Best thing about him: The President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999 and an anti-apartheid revolutionary and philanthropist. He was also South Africa’s first black president
Most important work: Long Walk to Freedom (autobiography)
Interesting facts:

  • He is often described as the “Father of the Nation” in South Africa
  • He has received a Nobel Peace Prize in 1993, as well as the US Presidential Medal of Freedom, among other 250 honors
  • He served 27 years in prison, charged for conspiring to overthrow the state


Nelson Mandela’s 20 most beautiful quotes:

1.”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.”

2.”Why is it that in this courtroom I face a white magistrate, am confronted by a white prosecutor and escorted into the dock by a white orderly? Can anyone honestly and seriously suggest that in this type of atmosphere the scales of justice are evenly balanced?”

3.”Man’s goodness is a flame that can be hidden but never extinguished.”

4.”Physical suffering is nothing compared to the trampling down of those tender bonds that form the basis of the institution of marriage and the family that unite man and wife.”

5.”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.”


6.”Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.”

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

8.”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.”

9.”Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.”

10.”When people are determined they can overcome anything.”

11.” Real leaders must be ready to sacrifice all for the freedom of their people.”

12.”It always seems impossible until it’s done.”

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

14.” Everyone can rise above their circumstances and achieve success if they are dedicated to and passionate about what they do.”


15.”Money won’t create success, the freedom to make it will.”

16.”I like friends who have independent minds because they tend to make you see problems from all angles.”

17.”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.”

18.”“I have often wondered whether a person is justified in neglecting his own family to fight for opportunities for others.”

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

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

21.”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.”

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

23.”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.”