It’s already one year since the world mourned the passing of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela (1918 – 2013). The face of South Africa’s struggle against the brutal apartheid system, he was imprisoned for 27 years from 1964 – 1990 with other African National Congress (ANC) members who spearheaded the fight against colonialism, racism and oppression in their country. During his long term of imprisonment, his second wife Winnie Madikizela – Mandela sustained an unrelenting campaign for his release while also highlighting the oppressive nature of the apartheid regime. Condemned as a communist and terrorist by some world leaders, Mandela survived his imprisonment to become South Africa’s first Black South African President after universal suffrage was successfully negotiated. As President, Mandela insisted on a process of national reconciliation in order to smooth a transition from apartheid and to begin to define what freedom and democracy should mean within the constraints of the re-imagined nation state of South Africa.
Like so many freedom fighters of the anti-colonial, anti-imperial and civil rights struggles, Mandela shared many words of wisdom with the world. To commemorate the first anniversary of his passing, we share 10 memorable and motivational Mandela quotes; many about fighting for personal, communal and universal freedom.