On 18 July South Africa will celebrate Nelson Mandela's 100th birthday. It will be a day of bittersweet memories as we remember what our icon achieved in his life.
Nelson Mandela goes by many names, he is Ntate Madiba or Ntate Mandela for millions of South Africans. No matter what we call him, his place in our hearts remains unchanged.
His inspiring words and wonderfully forgiving attitude will forever remain in the memories and hearts of every South African.
Briefly.co.za searched through the many wise quotes attributed to one of South Africa's greatest heroes and made a brief list of some of the best ones.
"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 is an ideal for which I am prepared to die."
These were the brave words of Madiba at the Rivonia treason trial in April 1964.
"I stand here before you not as a prophet but as a humble servant of you, the people."
Madiba said these historic words when he was released from prison 28 years ago in February 1990.
"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."
South Africans were bursting with pride when Madiba said these words upon receiving his Nobel Peace Prize in December 1994.
"We enter into a covenant that we shall build a society in which all South Africans, both black and white, will be able to walk tall, without any fear in their hearts, assured of their inalienable right to human dignity - a rainbow nation at peace with itself and the world."
Madiba had a beautiful dream for South Africa and all South Africans - clear from his words before he was inaugurated as the president of South Africa.
"We should take heart from our own experience and performance. In a cynical world we have become an inspiration to many."
Madiba was hopeful for the future of South Africa and his words reflected his hope during his last address to parliament in May 2004.
"I step down with a clear conscience, feeling that I have in a small way done my duty to my people and my country."
South Africans agreed with Madiba that he had done his duty when he said these words upon retiring as South African president in May 1999.
"My bosses always say that I have had 27 years in prison to loaf. It is now time to do some catching up."
Madiba was wise but he could also be funny. His comments on retiring in November 2000 proved as much.
What is your favourite quote by Ntate Madiba? Let us know on Facebook and we might share it.
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