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Nelson Mandela: In His Own Words

In this column, we consider poignant quotations from our cultural heroes

Glynn Griffiths, Nelson Mandela, the Last Rally
Glynn Griffiths, Nelson Mandela, the Last Rally Courtesy of the artist and The Horsebox Gallery

At the sad news of his death, we present Nelson Mandela's most inspiring quotes

For most of his life, Nelson Mandela was a beacon of hope for millions of people. But tonight the world received the tragic news that the former president of South Africa has passed away at the age of 95. An anti-apartheid revolutionary and inspiration to the people of South Africa, Mandela achieved extraordinary progress both for his country and for the advance of the international civil rights movement. He fought against the racism and prejudice of his government for 20 years and endured 27 years of imprisonment. An international campaign for Mandela's freedom was finally successful in 1990 and he went on to become the first black president of South Africa, helping to end the power of apartheid and winning the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize. Here, in memory of the great man, AnOther presents Mandela's top ten quotes:

1) “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.”

2) “The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”

3) “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.”

4) “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

5) “Sometimes it falls upon a generation to be great, you can be that generation”

6) “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.”

7) “It always seems impossible until it's done.”

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

9) “We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, handsome, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?”

10) “Death is something inevitable. When a man has done 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 will sleep for the eternity.”

Earlier this year we spoke to photographer Glynn Griffiths who took this brilliant photograph of Mandela at his final election rally. Read more here.

Text by Rhiannon Wastell


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