Quotations by Mandela, Nelson


As I walked out the door toward my freedom, I knew that if I did not leave all the anger, hatred, and bitterness behind, that I would still be in prison.

Nelson Mandela (1918-2013) South African revolutionary, politician, statesman
(Attributed)

On his release from 27 years behind bars. Quoted by Hillary Clinton from a conversation she had with him.
Added on 16-May-17 | Last updated 23-May-17
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There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.

Nelson Mandela (1918-2013) South African revolutionary, politician, statesman
A Long Walk to Freedom (1994)
Added on 14-Oct-05 | Last updated 14-Oct-05
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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 (1918-2013) South African revolutionary, politician, statesman
A Long Walk to Freedom, ch. 114 (1994)
    (Source)
Added on 9-Jun-15 | Last updated 9-Jun-15
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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 (1918-2013) South African revolutionary, politician, statesman
Long Walk to Freedom (1995)
Added on 12-Sep-16 | Last updated 12-Sep-16
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We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us, it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.

Nelson Mandela (1918-2013) South African revolutionary, politician, statesman
Inaugural Address, South Africa (10 May 1994)
Added on 1-Oct-10 | Last updated 1-Oct-10
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Only free men can negotiate; prisoners cannot enter into contracts. Your freedom and mine cannot be separated.

Nelson Mandela (1918-2013) South African revolutionary, politician, statesman
Letter from prison to Zindzi Mandela, given in Soweto speech (10 Feb 1985)

On refusing to bargain for freedom after 21 years in prison. Quoted in Time (25 Feb 1985).
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 9-Jun-15
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