80 Best Nelson Mandela Quotes To Inspire You

Looking for inspirational quotes by Nobel Peace Prize winner Nelson Mandela? We have rounded up the best collection of Nelson Mandela quotes, sayings, speeches, and writings (with images and pictures0 to inspire you about love, life, humanity, peace, and more.

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela (18 July 1918 – 5 December 2013) was a South African anti-apartheid activist who served as the first president of South Africa from 1994 to 1999.

He was the country’s first black head of state and the first elected in a fully representative democratic election.

During his long life, Mandela inspired countless individuals and touched many lives with his loving nature and wise words.

For 67 years Nelson Mandela devoted his life to the service of humanity — as a human rights lawyer, a prisoner of conscience, an international peacemaker and the first democratically elected president of a free South Africa.

Also See: Compassion Quotes

Nelson Mandela was the recipient of more than 250 awards, including honorary degrees from more than 50 universities worldwide.

Nelson Mandela is the proud recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, which he received along with de Klerk in 1993.

He dedicated the award to Mahatma Gandhi, whom he was deeply influenced from. July 18th is celebrated as International Nelson Mandela Day for freedom, justice and democracy.

Top 10 Nelson Mandela Quotes

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

    nelson mandela quotes
    nelson mandela quotes

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

    nelson mandela quote
    nelson mandela quote

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


  4. “Overcoming poverty is not a task of charity, it is an act of justice.” – Nelson Mandela


  5. “A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.” – Nelson Mandela


  6. “Real leaders must be ready to sacrifice all for the freedom of their people.” – Nelson Mandela


  7. “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” – Nelson Mandela                                                                                                                                                   

    inspirational nelson mandela quotes
    inspirational nelson mandela quotes

  8. “It is in your hands, to make a better world for all who live in it.” – Nelson Mandela                                 

    Nelson Mandela Quotes Pictures
    Nelson Mandela Quotes Pictures

  9. “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.” – Nelson Mandela


  10. “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

Famous Nelson Mandela Quotes

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

  2. “May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.” – Nelson Mandela                                                 

    powerful nelson mandela quotes
    powerful nelson mandela quotes

  3. “Money won’t create success, the freedom to make it will.” – Nelson Mandela


  4. “When people are determined they can overcome anything.” – Nelson Mandela                                   

    best nelson mandela quotes
    best nelson mandela quotes

  5. “Remember that hope is a powerful weapon even when all else is lost.” – Nelson Mandela


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


  7. “I have a special attachment to the people who befriended me during times of distress.” – Nelson Mandela


  8. “Forgiveness liberates the soul. It removes fear. That is why it is such a powerful weapon.” – Nelson Mandela                                                                                                                                   

    nelson mandela quotes forgiveness
    nelson mandela quotes forgiveness

  9. “No single person can liberate a country. You can only liberate a country if you act as a collective.” – Nelson Mandela


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


  11. “It is in the character of growth that we should learn from both pleasant and unpleasant experiences.” – Nelson Mandela


  12. “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.” – Nelson Mandela                                                                                               

    quotes by nelson mandela
    quotes by nelson mandela

  13. “I was not a messiah, but an ordinary man who had become a leader because of extraordinary circumstances.” – Nelson Mandela


  14. “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


  15. “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.” – Nelson Mandela


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


  17. “Sometimes, it falls upon a generation to be great. You can be that great generation. Let your greatness blossom.” – Nelson Mandela


  18. “Everyone can rise above their circumstances and achieve success if they are dedicated to and passionate about what they do.” – Nelson Mandela


  19. “Poverty is not an accident. Like slavery and apartheid, it is man-made and can be removed by the actions of human beings.” – Nelson Mandela


  20. “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


  21. “There can be no greater gift than that of giving one’s time and energy to helping others without expecting anything in return.” – Nelson Mandela                                                                                                   

    nelson mandela quotes leadership
    nelson mandela quotes leadership

  22. “Action without vision is only passing time, vision without action is merely day dreaming, but vision with action can change the world.” – Nelson Mandela


  23. “If you want the cooperation of humans around you, you must make them feel they are important, and you do that by being genuine and humble.” – Nelson Mandela


  24. “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.” – Nelson Mandela


  25. “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 that will determine the significance of the life we lead.” – Nelson Mandela

Best Nelson Mandela Quotes To Inspire You

  1. “Fools multiply when wise men are silent.” – Nelson Mandela                                                                   

    famous nelson mandela quotes
    famous nelson mandela quotes

  2. “I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.” – Nelson Mandela


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


  4. “The greatest glory in living is not in falling, but in rising every time we fall.” – Nelson Mandela                                                                                                                                                                           

    quotes from nelson mandela
    quotes from nelson mandela

  5. “Courage is not the absence of fear — it’s inspiring others to move beyond it.” – Nelson Mandela


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


  7. “One of the most difficult things is not to change society — but to change yourself.” – Nelson Mandela


  8. “After climbing a great hill. One only finds that there are many more hills to climb.” – Nelson Mandela


  9. “As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” – Nelson Mandela


  10. “We must use time wisely and forever realize that the time is always ripe to do right.” – Nelson Mandela


  11. “You can start changing our world for the better daily, no matter how small the action.” – Nelson Mandela


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


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


  14. “There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.” – Nelson Mandela


  15. “You will achieve more in this world through acts of mercy than you will through acts of retribution.” – Nelson Mandela


  16. “We owe our children – the most vulnerable citizens in any society – a life free from violence and fear.” – Nelson Mandela


  17. “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


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


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


  20. “One of the things I learned when I was negotiating was that until I changed myself, I could not change others.” – Nelson Mandela


  21. “Those who conduct themselves with morality, integrity and consistency need not fear the forces of inhumanity and cruelty.” – Nelson Mandela


  22. “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


  23. “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


  24. “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


  25. “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


  26. “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


  27. “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


  28. “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


  29. “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


  30. “When a man has does what he considers to be his duty to his people and his country, he can rest in peace. I believe I have made that effort and that is, therefore, why I sleep for the eternity.” – Nelson Mandela


  31. “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


  32. “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


  33. “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.” – Nelson Mandela


  34. “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


  35. “I am fundamentally an optimist. 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

Nelson Mandela Quotes On Education

  1. “No country can really develop unless its citizens are educated.” – Nelson Mandela

  2. “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” – Nelson Mandela


  3. “No child in Africa, and in fact anywhere in the world, should be denied education.” – Nelson Mandela


  4. “From the poorest of countries to the richest of nations, education is the key to moving forward in any society.” – Nelson Mandela


  5. “Prison itself is a tremendous education in the need for patience and perseverance. It is above all a test of one’s commitment.” – Nelson Mandela


  6. “Let’s recommit to work towards our common goal: a nation where all of us are winners, all of us have shelter, food, and education.” – Nelson Mandela


  7. “I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities.” – Nelson Mandela


  8. “No country can really develop unless its citizens are educated. Any nation that is progressive is led by people who have had the privilege of studying.” – Nelson Mandela


  9. “It is not beyond our power to create a world in which all children have access to a good education. Those who do not believe this have small imaginations.” – Nelson Mandela


  10. “It reaffirmed my long-held belief that education was the enemy of prejudice. These were men and women of science, and science had no room for racism.” – Nelson Mandela


  11. “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


  12. “The power of education extends beyond the development of skills we need for economic success. It can contribute to nation-building and reconciliation.” – Nelson Mandela


  13. “Young people must take it upon themselves to ensure that they receive the highest education possible so that they can represent us well in future as future leaders.” – Nelson Mandela


  14. “Educating all of our children must be one of our most urgent priorities. We all know that education, more than anything else, improves your chances of building better lives.” – Nelson Mandela


  15. “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


  16. “Without education, your children can never really meet the challenges they will face. So it’s important to give children education and explain that they should play a role for their country.” – Nelson Mandela


  17. “The question of education has nothing to do with the question of the vote. On numerous occasions, it has been proved in history that people can enjoy the vote even if they have no education.” – Nelson Mandela


  18. “The education I received was a British education, in which British ideas, British culture, British institutions, were automatically assumed to be superior. There was no such thing as African culture.” – Nelson Mandela


  19. “It can be said that there are four basic and primary things that the mass of people in a society wish for: to live in a safe environment, to be able to work and provide for themselves, to have access to good public health and to have sound educational opportunities for their children.” – Nelson Mandela


  20. “Education is the great engine of personal development. It is through education that the daughter of a peasant can become a doctor, that the son of a mine worker can become the head of the mine, that a child of farm workers can become the president of a great nation. It is what we make out of what we have, not what we are given, that separates one person from another.” – Nelson Mandela

Powerful Quotes By Nelson Mandela

  1. “Where you stand depends on where you sit.” – Nelson Mandela

  2. “While poverty persists, there is no true freedom.” – Nelson Mandela


  3. “Tread softly, breathe peacefully, laugh hysterically.” – Nelson Mandela


  4. “People respond in accordance to how you treat them.” – Nelson Mandela


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

    nelson mandela quotes images
    nelson mandela quotes images

  6. “When the water starts boiling it is foolish to turn off the heat.” – Nelson Mandela


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


  8. “Courageous people do not fear forgiving, for the sake of peace.” – Nelson Mandela


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


  10. “To deny people their human rights is to challenge their very humanity.” – Nelson Mandela


  11. “Great peacemakers are all people of integrity, of honesty, but humility.” – Nelson Mandela


  12. “Your playing small does not serve the world. Who are you not to be great?” – Nelson Mandela


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


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


  15. “In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.” – Nelson Mandela


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


  17. “I have always believed exercise is a key not only to physical health but to peace of mind.” – Nelson Mandela


  18. “Many people in this country have paid the price before me and many will pay the price after me.” – Nelson Mandela


  19. “If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner.” – Nelson Mandela


  20. “Only free men can negotiate; prisoners cannot enter into contracts. Your freedom and mine cannot be separated.” – Nelson Mandela


  21. “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


  22. “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


  23. “I think the time has come for us to consider, in the light of our experiences at this day at home, whether the methods which we have applied so far are adequate.” – Nelson Mandela


  24. “In a world that so often decries the apathy of its youth, we can open our arms for the millions of adolescents eager to contribute their new ideas and bounding enthusiasm.” – Nelson Mandela


  25. “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


  26. “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


  27. “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


  28. “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.” – Nelson Mandela


  29. “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


  30. “The future belongs to our youth. As some of us near the end of our political careers, younger people must take over. They must seek and cherish the most basic condition for peace, namely unity in our diversity, and find lasting ways to that goal.” – Nelson Mandela


  31. “In Africa there is a concept known as ‘ubuntu’ – the profound sense that we are human only through the humanity of others; that if we are to accomplish anything in this world it will in equal measure be due to the work and achievement of others.” – Nelson Mandela


  32. “No one in my family had ever attended school […] On the first day of school my teacher, Miss Mdingane, gave each of us an English name. This was the custom among Africans in those days and was undoubtedly due to the British bias of our education. That day, Miss Mdingane told me that my new name was Nelson. Why this particular name I have no idea.” – Nelson Mandela


  33. “A critical, independent and investigative press is the lifeblood of any democracy. The press must be free from state interference. It must have the economic strength to stand up to the blandishments of government officials. It must have sufficient independence from vested interests to be bold and inquiring without fear or favour. It must enjoy the protection of the constitution, so that it can protect our rights as citizens.” – Nelson Mandela


  34. “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 produced in me an anger, a rebelliousness, a desire to fight the system that imprisoned my people.” – Nelson Mandela


  35. “Honesty, sincerity, simplicity, humility, pure generosity, absence of vanity, readiness to serve others – qualities which are within reach of every soul – are the foundation of one’s spiritual life.” – Nelson Mandela

 

If you like these inspirational compassion quotes, then also check our collection of vegan quotes and kill them with kindness quotes to inspire you to be kind and positive in all situations.

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