South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, politician and philanthropist who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999.
Nelson Mandela was an important civil rights activist (like – among others – Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King Jr.) and a writer.
Becoming actively involved in the anti-apartheid movement in his 20s, Mandela joined the African National Congress in 1942. For 20 years, he directed a campaign of peaceful, non-violent defiance against the South African government and its racist policies. In 1993, Mandela and South African President F.W. de Klerk were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts to dismantle the country’s apartheid system. In 1994, Mandela was inaugurated as South Africa’s first black president. In 2009, Mandela’s birthday (July 18) was declared “Mandela Day” to promote global peace and celebrate the South African leader’s legacy.
Nobel Peace Prize, Bharat Ratna, Time’s Person of the Year, Sakharov Prize, Presidential Medal of Freedom, Congressional Gold Medal, Arthur Ashe Courage Award, Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, Gandhi Peace Prize, Philadelphia Liberty Medal, Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding, Lenin Peace Prize, Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal, Nishan-e-Pakistan, Al-Gaddafi International Prize for Human Rights, Ambassador of Conscience Award, International Simón Bolívar Prize, United Nations Prize in the Field of Human Rights, Order of the Nile, World Citizenship Award, U Thant Peace Award, Félix Houphouët-Boigny Peace Prize, Isitwalandwe Medal, Indira Gandhi Award for International Justice and Harmony, Freedom of the City of Aberdeen, Bruno Kreisky Award, UNESCO Peace Prize, Carter–Menil Human Rights Prize, Bishop John T. Walker Distinguished Humanitarian Service Award, Giuseppe Motta Medal, Ludovic-Trarieux International Human Rights Prize, J. William Fulbright Prize for International Understanding, W E B DuBois International Medal, Prince of Asturias Award for International Cooperation, Harvard Business School Statesman of the Year Award.
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
“No country can really develop unless its citizens are educated.”
“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.”
“It always seems impossible until it’s done.”
“There is nothing like to return to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.”
“Let freedom reign. The sun never set on so glorious a human achievement.”
“A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.”
“Courageous people do not fear forgiving, for the sake of peace.”
“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.”
“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.”
“We must use time wisely and forever realize that the time is always ripe to do right.”
“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.”
“In countries where innocent people are dying, their leaders are following their blood rather than their brains.”
“We can’t afford to be killing one another.”
“To deny people their human rights is to challenge their very humanity.”
These are only some of many important and generally applicable quotes of a righteous, courageous, and empathic man. With Nelson Mandela, we lost a significant symbol of hope, a symbol for the necessity to get rid of discrimination. Discrimination should not be part of the human nature.