70 Best Nelson Mandela Quotes on Courage, Freedom, Leadership

If you are searching for motivational Nelson Mandela Quotes About leadership, freedom, courage, education, hope and life, then read this blog for ideas.

What was Nelson Mandela most famous for?

Nelson Mandela influenced great change in South Africa that resonated around the world. He was a pioneer in ending white minority rule and fostering post-apartheid reconciliation in the early 1990s. In 1994, he became South Africa’s first democratically-elected president and its first black leader. Unlike his predecessors, Mandela stepped down at the conclusion of his term.

Before becoming president, Mandela was imprisoned for 27 years. He was jailed for standing up to the human rights abuses committed by the apartheid government against black South Africans. When he was released from prison in 1990, Mandela addressed the crowds from Cape Town’s City Hall, saying:

10 facts about Nelson Mandela.

  1. Mandela’s birth name was Rolihlahla. 
  2. He had a part in Spike Lee’s 1992 biopic “Malcolm X.
  3. From Cape Town to California, streets named after Mandela abound. 
  4. Before tying the knot with Mandela on his 80th birthday, Graça
  5. Machel was married to Mozambique President Samora Machel.
  6. When Mandela was eluding authorities during his fight against apartheid, he disguised himself in various ways, including as a chauffeur. 
  7. Besides politics, Mandela’s other passion was boxing. “I did not like the violence of boxing. 
  8. Mandela loved the simple pleasures of a traditional meal. 
  9. He studied law at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg and opened the nation’s first Black law firm in the city in 1952.
  10. Mandela wasn’t removed from the US terror watch list until 2008 — at age 89. 
  11. While he was in prison, Mandela would read William Ernest Henley’s “Invictus” to fellow prisoners. The poem, about never giving up, resonated with Mandela for its lines “I am the master of my fate. 

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nelson Mandela quotes courage

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.”-Nelson Mandela

 “A winner is a dreamer who never gives up.”-Nelson Mandela

“I am not a saint, unless you think of a saint as a sinner who keeps on trying.”-Nelson Mandela

“I never lose. I either win or learn.”-Nelson Mandela

“Man’s goodness is a flame that can be hidden but never extinguished.”-Nelson Mandela

“I learned that to humiliate another person is to make him suffer an unnecessarily cruel fate. Even as a boy, I defeated my opponents without dishonoring them.”-Nelson Mandela

 “Although I am a gregarious person, I love solitude even more.”-Nelson Mandela

“I am the captain of my soul.”-Nelson Mandela

“It is not where you start but how high you aim that matters for success.”-Nelson Mandela

nelson Mandela quotes about freedom

 “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

“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

“I have never cared very much for personal prizes. A person does not become a freedom fighter in the hope of winning awards.”-Nelson Mandela

“As long as many of our people still live in utter poverty, as long as children still live under plastic covers, as long as many of our people are still without jobs, no South African should rest and wallow in the joy of freedom.”-Nelson Mandela

 “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

nelson Mandela quotes on leadership

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

“Quitting is leading too.”-Nelson Mandela

“Know your enemy — and learn about his favorite sport.”-Nelson Mandela

 “Lead from the back — and let others believe they are in front.”-Nelson Mandela

 “It is said that no one truly knows a nation until one has been inside its jails.”-Nelson Mandela

 “A nation should not be judged by how it treats its highest citizens, but its lowest ones.”-Nelson Mandela

“Keep your friends close — and your rivals even closer.”-Nelson Mandela

“Success in politics demands that you must take your people into confidence about your views and state them very clearly, very politely, very calmly, but nevertheless, state them openly.”-Nelson Mandela

nelson Mandela quotes about life

“One cannot be prepared for something while secretly believing it will not happen.”-Nelson Mandela

“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

“Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.”-Nelson Mandela

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

“Live life as though nobody is watching, and express yourself as though everyone is listening.”-Nelson Mandela

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

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

nelson Mandela quotes on change

  1. “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
  2. “As I have said, the first thing is to be honest with yourself. You can never have an impact on society if you have not changed yourself.”-Nelson Mandela
  3. “Everyone can rise above their circumstances and achieve success if they are dedicated to and passionate about what they do.”-Nelson Mandela
  4. “I hate race discrimination most intensely and in all its manifestations. I have fought it all during my life; I fight it now and will do so until the end of my days.”-Nelson Mandela
  5. “We must use time creatively, and forever realize that the time is always ripe to do right.”-Nelson Mandela
  6. “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

nelson Mandela quotes on hope

  1. “Sometimes it falls upon a generation to be great, you can be that generation.”-Nelson Mandela
  2. “The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”-Nelson Mandela
  3. “Where you stand depends on where you sit.”-Nelson Mandela
  4. “After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.”-Nelson Mandela
  5. “There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.”-Nelson Mandela
  6. “When the water starts boiling it is foolish to turn off the heat.”-Nelson Mandela
  7. “Tread softly, breathe peacefully, laugh hysterically.”-Nelson Mandela
  8. “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

nelson Mandela quotes on education

  1. “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”-Nelson Mandela
  2. “Appearances matter — and remember to smile.”-Nelson Mandela
  3. “Nothing is black or white.”-Nelson Mandela
  4. “Great peacemakers are all people of integrity, of honesty, but humility.”
  5. “Let your greatness blossom.”-Nelson Mandela
  6. “In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”-Nelson Mandela

nelson Mandela quotes about love

  1. “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
  2. “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
  3. “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
  4. “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
  5. “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
  6. “You will achieve more in this world through acts of mercy than you will through acts of retribution.”-Nelson Mandela
  7. “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 live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”-Nelson Mandela

nelson Mandela quotes forgiveness

  1. “Courageous people do not fear forgiving, for the sake of peace.”-Nelson Mandela
  2. “The brave man is not the one who has no fears, he is the one who triumphs over his fears.”-Nelson Mandela
  3. “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
  4. “Men have different capacities and react differently to stress. But the stronger ones raised up the weaker ones, and both became stronger in the process.”-Nelson Mandela
  5. “Those who conduct themselves with morality, integrity and consistency need not fear the forces of inhumanity and cruelty.”-Nelson Mandela
  6. “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

famous nelson Mandela quotes

  1. “We owe our children – the most vulnerable citizens in any society – a life free from violence and fear.”-Nelson Mandela
  2. “Real leaders must be ready to sacrifice all for the freedom of their people.”
  3. “May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.”-Nelson Mandela
  4. “Courage is not the absence of fear — it’s inspiring others to move beyond it.”-Nelson Mandela

powerful nelson Mandela quotes

  1. “I am fundamentally an optimist. Whether that comes from nature or nurture, I cannot say. Part of being optimistic is keeping one’s head pointed toward the sun, one’s feet moving forward. There were many dark moments when my faith in humanity was sorely tested, but I would not and could not give myself up to despair. That way lays defeat and death.”-Nelson Mandela
  2. “Difficulties break some men but make others. No axe is sharp enough to cut the soul of a sinner who keeps on trying, one armed with the hope that he will rise even in the end.”-Nelson Mandela

inspirational nelson Mandela quotes

  1. “A leader is like a shepherd. He stays behind the flock, letting the most nimble go out ahead, whereupon the others follow, not realizing that all along they are being directed from behind.”-Nelson Mandela
  2. “Overcoming poverty is not a task of charity, it is an act of justice. Like slavery and apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings.”-Nelson Mandela
  3. “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

motivational nelson Mandela quotes

  1. “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. But I can only rest for a moment, for with freedom come responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not ended.”

Final Thoughts on These Powerful Nelson Mandela Quotes

We hope you enjoyed these handful quotes of Nelson Mandela.

Nelson Mandela was loved and admired the world over — profiled in books and movies and showered with awards and accolades. But even the most public of personalities have little-known facts buried in their biographies.

What is the main lesson you learned from Nelson Mandela Quotes?

  1. Never abandon hope or give up
  2. Learn the art of compromise
  3. Violence is not the answer
  4. Don’t be put off by difficulties
  5. Learn how to forgive
  6. How kind are you?
  7. Bond by sharing experience
  8. Fight discrimination
  9. Draw a line under your past

Books Recommended by Nelson Mandela (MUST READ)

10 books recommended by Nelson Mandela.

  1. War and Peace : Buy On Amazon
  2. On War : Buy On Amazon
  3. The Grapes of Wrath : Buy On Amazon
  4. July’s People : Buy On Amazon
  5. The Complete Works : Buy On Amazon
  6. The Collected Works : Buy On Amazon
  7. Red Star Over China : Buy On Amazon
  8. The Conservationist : Buy On Amazon
  9. The Revolt : Buy On Amazon
  10. Burger’s Daughter : Buy On Amazon

The 10 Best Personal Development Books?

  1. Jonathan Livingston Seagull. By Richard Bach.
  2. Think and Grow Rich. By Napoleon Hill.
  3. Think and Grow Rich. By Napoleon Hill.
  4. Steve Jobs. By Walter Isaacson.
  5. Long Walk To Freedom. By Nelson Mandela.
  6. Stop Acting Rich. By Thomas Stanley.
  7. As You Think. By James Allen.
  8. The Magic of Thinking Big. By David Schwartz.
  9. Talent is Overrated. By Geoff Colvin.
  10. Spark. By John Ratey.

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Roshan Sharma

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