Eight inspirational Nelson Mandela quotes


On Wednesday 27 April 2022, South Africa celebrates 28 years of democracy. Former president Nelson Mandela played a massive role in South Africa’s democracy. The late anti-apartheid activist became Mzansi’s first black president and became the first democratic leader of the country in 1990.

Here are seven quotes by Nelson Mandela about freedom in South Africa. 

ALSO READ: ‘Ukubonga’: Zoë Modiga to celebrate Freedom Day at upcoming Joburg gig


“I cherish my own freedom dearly, but I care even more for your freedom. Too many have died since I went to prison. Too many have suffered for the love of freedom.” (Published in Nelson Mandela’s book, Conversations With Myself)

“You can see that 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 mountain tops of our desires…(Nelson Mandela speaking at the African National Congress (ANC) address on 21 September 1953.)

“Only through hardship, sacrifice and militant action can freedom be won. The struggle is my life. I will continue fighting for freedom until the end of my days.” (Press statement issued by Nelson Mandela on 26 June 1961.)

“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 needs be, it an ideal for which I am prepared to die.” (From Nelson Mandela’s speech at the Rivonia Trial on 20 April 1964.)

“Freedom should not be understood to mean leadership positions or even appointments to top positions. It must be understood as the transformation of the lives ordinary people in the hostels and the ghettos; in the squatter camps; on the farms and in the mine compounds.” (From the former president’s speech while addressing leaders in the Free State on 17 September 1994.)

“If freedom was the crown which the fighters of liberation sought to place on the head of mother Africa, let the upliftment, the happiness, prosperity and comfort of her children be the jewel of the crown.” (From Nelson Mandela’s speech at the organisation of African Unity on 13 June 1994). 

“We have waited too long for our freedom. We can no longer wait. Our march to freedom is irreversible. We must not allow fear to stand in our way.” (Nelson Mandela’s speech after he was released from prison in Cape Town on 11 February 1990). 

ALSO READ: ‘Being able to do what I love’: TikTokers on meaning of Freedom Day


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here