77 Greatest Nelson Mandela Quotes of All Time

Which are your favorite Nelson Mandela quotes?

Nelson Mandela is the definition of going after what you believe in, no matter how hard it may be to do so.

Check out our powerful collection of the greatest Nelson Mandela quotes!


77 Greatest Nelson Mandela Quotes

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

2. “Human beings have got the ability to adjust to anything.” Nelson Mandela

3. “In my country we go to prison first and then become President.” – Nelson Mandela

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

5. “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

6. “You take the front line when there is danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership.” – Nelson Mandela

7. “Extremists on all sides thrive, fed by the blood lust of centuries gone by” – Nelson Mandela

8. “If there are dreams about a beautiful South Africa, there are also roads that lead to their goal. Two of these roads could be named Goodness and Forgiveness.” – Nelson Mandela

9. “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion.” – Nelson Mandela

10. “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

11. “When a deep injury is done to us, we never heal until we forgive.” Nelson Mandela


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12. “Courage is 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

13. “I have walked that long road to freedom. I have tried not to falter; I have made missteps along the way. But I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. 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 rest only for a moment, for with freedom come responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not yet ended.” – Nelson Mandela

14. “Let there be justice for all. Let there be peace for all. Let there be work, bread, water and salt for all.” – Nelson Mandela

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

16. “We must strive to be moved by a generosity of spirit that will enable us to outgrow the hatred and conflicts of the past.” – Nelson Mandela


17th Nelson Mandela Quote

“A winner is a dreamer who never gives up.”

18. “I detest racialism because I regard it as a barbaric thing, whether it comes from a black man or a white man.” – Nelson Mandela

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

20. “Our march to freedom is irreversible. We must not allow fear to stand in our way.” – Nelson Mandela

21. “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.” – Nelson Mandela

22. “Greed and power has turned brother against brother.” – Nelson Mandela

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


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

25. “The habit of attending to small things and of appreciating small courtesies is one of the important marks of a good person.” – Nelson Mandela

26. “You may succeed in delaying, but never in preventing the transition of South Africa to a democracy.” – Nelson Mandela

27. “As a leader of a mass organization, one must listen to the people.” – Nelson Mandela

28. “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

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

30.Overcoming poverty is not a task of charity, it is an act of justice. Like slavery and Apartheid, poverty is not natural.” – Nelson Mandela

31. “Together we must set out to correct the defects of the past.” – Nelson Mandela

32. “A man is never more truthful than when he acknowledges himself a liar.” – Nelson Mandela

33. “I am fundamentally an optimist. Whether that comes from nature or nurture, I cannot say.” – Nelson Mandela


34th Nelson Mandela Quote

“It always seems impossible until its done.”

35. “Only free men can negotiate. Prisoners cannot enter into contracts.” – Nelson Mandela

36. “There is no such thing as part freedom.” – Nelson Mandela

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

38. “For to be free is not merely to cast off ones chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.” – Nelson Mandela

39. “If wealth is a magnet, then poverty is a kind of repellent. Yet poverty often brings out the true generosity in others.” – Nelson Mandela

40. “No one truly knows a nation until he has been inside its jails. A nation should not be judged by how it treats its highest citizens but its lowest.” – Nelson Mandela

41. “The death of a human being, whatever may be his station in life, is always a sad and painful affair.” – Nelson Mandela

42. “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

43. “Difficulties break some men but make others. No axe is sharp enough to cut the soul of a sinner who keeps on trying.” – Nelson Mandela

44. “I knew as well as I knew anything that the oppressor must be liberated just as surely as the oppressed.” – Nelson Mandela

45. “Men and women, all over the world, right down the centuries, come and go. Some leave nothing behind. Not even their names.” – Nelson Mandela


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46. “Significant progress is always possible if we ourselves try to plan every detail of our lives and actions.” – Nelson Mandela

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

48. “After climbing a great hill, one only finds that the are many more hills to climb.” – Nelson Mandela

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

50. “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.” – Nelson Mandela

51. “Our people have the right to hope, the right to a future, the right to life itself.” – Nelson Mandela

52. “To go to prison because of your convictions and be prepared to suffer for what you believe in, is something worthwhile.” – Nelson Mandela

53. “Every community in our country has a fundamental right to be free from fear.” – Nelson Mandela


54th Nelson Mandela Quote

“I was made, by the law, a criminal, not because of what I had done, but because of what I stood for.”

55. “Never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another.” – Nelson Mandela

56. “The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” – Nelson Mandela

57. “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

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

59. “I have spent all my life dreaming of a golden age in which all problems will be solved and our wildest hopes fulfilled.” – Nelson Mandela

60. “It was during those long & lonely years that my hunger for the freedom of my people became a hunger for the freedom of all people.” – Nelson Mandela


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61. “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

62. “We do not want freedom without bread, nor do we want bread without freedom.” – Nelson Mandela

63. “A man who takes away another man’s freedom is a prisoner of hatred. He is locked behind the bars of prejudice and narrow-mindedness.” – Nelson Mandela

64. “I could not imagine that the future I was walking toward could compare in any way to the past that I was leaving behind.” – Nelson Mandela

65. “It is an achievement for a man to do his duty on Earth irrespective of the consequences.” – Nelson Mandela

66. “Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate, but that we are powerful beyond measure.” – Nelson Mandela

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

68. “Gone forever are the days when harsh and wicked laws provide the oppressors with years of peace and quiet.” – Nelson Mandela

69. “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

70. “Of course we desire education and we think it is a good thing, but you don’t have to have education in order to know that you want certain fundamental rights, you have got aspirations, you have got claims.” – Nelson Mandela


71st Nelson Mandela Quote

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

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

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

74. “I shall neither impose my own customs on others nor follow any practice which will offend my comrades.” – Nelson Mandela

75. “Money won’t create success. The freedom to make it will.” – Nelson Mandela

76. “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

77. “We too will die but that which we collectively contribute to our national cultural identity will live forever beyond us.” – Nelson Mandela


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