Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s first black president, Nobel Prize winner and anti-Apartheid icon passed away on Thursday at his home in Johannesburg at the age of 95. By any standard, Madiba, as he was fondly referred to by those who loved him, lived a robust, fulfilling and impactful life. Few people have had as much impact on history as Madiba had. History will remember him as one of the greatest men who ever lived – an incredibly selfless man who made so much of a sacrifice to re-write the history of generations of South Africans and the world.
During his lifetime Mandela inspired us with his numerous words of wisdom, etched in our memories till tomorrow. And his words remain evergreen:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- It always seems impossible until it’s done.
- When a man has done what he considers to be his duty to his people and his country, he can rest in peace.
- Real leaders must be ready to sacrifice all for the freedom of their people.
- 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.
- Everyone can rise above their circumstances and achieve success if they are dedicated to and passionate about what they do.
- Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.
- 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.
- Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.
- 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.
- Money won’t create success, the freedom to make it will.
- We must use time wisely and forever realize that the time is always ripe to do right.
- Man’s goodness is a flame that can be hidden but never extinguished
- Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.
- I like friends who have independent minds because they tend to make you see problems from all angles.
- A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.
- When people are determined they can overcome anything.
Mfonobong Nsehe, Contributor
I chronicle Africa’s success stories and track its richest people