60 Nelson Mandela Quotes | Kidadl


60 Nelson Mandela Quotes

Arts & Crafts
Learn more
Reading & Writing
Learn more
Math & Logic
Learn more
Sports & Active
Learn more
Music & Dance
Learn more
Social & Community
Learn more
Mindful & Reflective
Learn more
Outdoor & Nature
Learn more
Read these Tokyo facts to learn all about the Japanese capital.

Why Nelson Mandela Quotes?

Nelson Mandela is regarded as an iconic leader in history. He is one leader that is regarded with universal respect by people all over the world. He said many iconic statements that lend wisdom and insight into his true beliefs. Nelson Mandela's quotes can provide you with inspiration and wisdom for everyday life. Read on and enjoy 62 of the most iconic quotes from Nelson Mandela.

What Parents Should Know

  • Nelson Mandela began his agitations with violent activism, but the larger part of his legacy was the pursuit of harmony.
  • He was the first-ever Black President of South Africa.
  • His autobiography 'Long Walk to Freedom' is an inspirational book worth a read for leaders and everyone.

What To Discuss With Kids

  • Kids should know that Nelson Mandela is one of the best choices of a role model that they can have.
  • He is also a great choice when seeking inspiration in times of adversity. He stood for the rights of every person regardless of skin color or nationality, and his values are the greatest legacy the world can learn from.
  • Kids should also know that Nelson Mandela was a force that stood against racial segregation.

Nelson Mandela Leadership Quotes

"There can only be one division amongst us: between those who cherish democracy and those who do not."

"Lead from the back — and let others believe they are in front."

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

"One of the things I learned when I was negotiating was that until I changed myself, I could not change others."

"During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people."

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

"I am not a saint, unless you think of a saint as a sinner who keeps on trying."

"A nation should not be judged by how it treats its highest citizens, but its lowest ones."

"A critical, independent and investigative press is the lifeblood of any democracy."

"We were expected to destroy one another and ourselves collectively in the worst racial conflagration. Instead, we as a people chose the path of negotiation, compromise and peaceful settlement."

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

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

"If I didn't leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I'd still be in prison."

Inspirational Nelson Mandela Quotes

"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."

"The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear."

"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." 

"Overcoming poverty is not a task of charity, it is an act of justice."

"Sometimes, it falls upon a generation to be great. You can be that great generation. "

"I had no epiphany, no singular revelation, no moment of truth, but a steady accumulation of a thousand slights, a thousand indignities, and a thousand unremembered moments."

"A winner is a dreamer who never gives up."

"Action without vision is only passing time, vision without action is merely day dreaming, but vision with action can change the world."

"It always seems impossible until it's done."

"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."

"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 mountain tops of our desires."

“As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.”

"The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall."

"It is said that no one truly knows a nation until one has been inside its jails."

"Instead of hatred and revenge we chose reconciliation and nation-building."

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

"Let your greatness blossom."

"Man's goodness is a flame that can be hidden but never extinguished."

"The power of education extends beyond the development of skills we need for economic success. It can contribute to nation-building."

Quotes From Nelson Mandela About Life

"I learned that to humiliate another person is to make him suffer an unnecessarily cruel fate."

"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world."

"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."

"I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul."

"I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it."

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

"Money won't create success, the freedom to make it will."

"I am fundamentally an optimist. Part of being optimistic is keeping one's head pointed toward the sun, one's feet moving forward."

"I never lose. I either win or learn."

"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."

"May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears."

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

"Like slavery and apartheid, poverty is not natural."

"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."

"Although I am a gregarious person, I love solitude even more." 

"It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead."

"Where you stand depends on where you sit."

While poverty persists, there is no true freedom."

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

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

"Live life as though nobody is watching, and express yourself as though everyone is listening."

Nelson Mandela Quotes About Love

"No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion."

"It is not our diversity which divides us; it is not our ethnicity, or religion or culture that divides us."

"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."

"Even as a boy, I defeated my opponents without dishonoring them."

"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."

"A fundamental concern for others in our individual and community lives would go a long way in making the world the better place we so passionately dreamt of." 

"The path of those who preach love, and not hatred, is not easy. They often have to wear a crown of thorns."

“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.”

Written By
David Jaiyeola

David has worked as a church pastor as well as a science teacher. He has also run many school groups, including science and debating clubs. With his psychology degree, writer David is an expert in knowing what interests children and what they like to read about. For a few years, he also worked at the international charity Dorcas to empower students from marginalized backgrounds and help them develop their talents. His interests include reading, writing, listening to music, playing board games, and traveling.

Read The Disclaimer

Was this article helpful?