In 2009, the United Nations General Assembly declared Nelson Mandela’s birthday, July 18, “Nelson Mandela International Day” in honor of the former South African President.
The General Assembly adopted Resolution 64/13 in recognition of Mandela’s “leading role in and support for Africa’s struggle for liberation and Africa’s unity, and his outstanding contribution to the creation of a non-racial , non-sexist, democratic South Africa.”
Today, 18 July 2011, marks the icon’s 93rd birthday. On this day, people of good conscience around the world pause in honor of Africa’s “last pure hero” – a man who dedicated 67 years of his life to serve humanity.
Happy birthday, Madiba!!!
Best Nelson Mandela Quotes
1) – Let freedom reign. The sun never set on so glorious a human achievement.
2) – That was one of the things that worried me – to be raised to the position of a semi-god – because then you are no longer a human being. I wanted to be known as Mandela, a man with weaknesses, some of which are fundamental, and a man who is committed, but never the less, sometimes he fails to live up to expectations.
3) – Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.
4) – I detest racialism, because I regard it as a barbaric thing, whether it comes from a black man or a white man.
5) – 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 only rest for a moment, for with freedom come responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not ended … Long Walk to Freedom
6) – 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 … Autobiography
7) – 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.
8) – 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 … Long Walk to Freedom
9) – There is no easy walk to freedom anywhere, and many of us will have to pass through the valley of the shadow of death again and again before we reach the mountaintop of our desires.
10) – It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur. You take the front line when there is danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership.
11) – I was called a terrorist yesterday, but when I came out of jail, many people embraced me, including my enemies, and that is what I normally tell other people who say those who are struggling for liberation in their country are terrorists. I tell them that I was also a terrorist yesterday, but, today, I am admired by the very people who said I was one … Larry King Live, 2000
12) – 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 … Letter to Winne Mandela, written on Robben Island, 1975
13) – The curious beauty of African music is that it uplifts even as it tells a sad tale. You may be poor, you may have only a ramshackle house, you may have lost your job, but that song gives you hope. African music is often about the aspirations of the African people, and it can ignite the political resolve of those who might otherwise be indifferent to politics.
14) – Man’s goodness is a flame that can be hidden but never extinguished.
15) – 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
16) – Money won’t create success, the freedom to make it will.
17) – During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people, I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if it needs be it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.
18) – I dream of the realization of the unity of Africa, whereby its leaders combine in their efforts to solve the problems of this continent. I dream of our vast deserts, of our forests, of all our great wildernesses.
19) – I have never cared very much for personal prizes. A man does not become a freedom fighter in the hope of winning awards, but when I was notified that I had won the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize jointly with Mr de Klerk, I was deeply moved. The Nobel Peace Prize had a special meaning to me because of its involvement with South African history…. The award was a tribute to all South Africans and especially to those who fought in the struggle; I would accept it on their behalf.