Inspiring Nelson Mandela quotes on education, leadership and life

Inspiring Nelson Mandela quotes on education, leadership and life

Famous people usually use Nelson Mandela's quotes on education, leadership, and life in their speeches. People have echoed his words on international stages, conferences, media houses, etc. Mandela's words about education, leadership, and life are refreshing, inspiring, and full of wisdom.

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Nelson Mandela quotes on education
Nelson Mandela's portrait with the South African flag in the background. Photo: @nelsonmandela (modified by author)
Source: UGC

Nelson Mandela's struggles, bravery, and achievements are inspiring. He was passionate about education, portrayed impeccable leadership skills, and survived many hurdles life threw at him. Mandela's educational journey was tough. For instance, the University of Fort Hare suspended him for political reasons.

Mandela returned home, only for his family to pressure him to marry. He fled home and worked as a clerk, among other jobs. Nelson suffered from TB and received poor medical attention for 27 years in jail but still pursued a Roman-Dutch law degree, wrote a book, and graduated in absentia.

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Nelson Mandela quotes on education, leadership and life

Nelson encouraged fellow prisoners to form the Robben Island University. Education, to him, was the key to independent thinking and a solution to social issues. Mandela built schools and health centres in rural areas even after his retirement in 1999. The best Nelson Mandela quotes on education, life, and servant-leadership are listed below.

Quotes by Nelson Mandela on education

nelson mandela's quotes on education
Nelson Mandela waving his hand in the air. Photo: @nelsonmandela (modified by author)
Source: UGC

Nelson Mandela's education quotes usually grab people's attention and inspire them. One of his greatest legacies is his unwavering belief in education. Nelson urged people to seek formal education and learn values that promote unity in diversity since an individual's success benefits a community. Below are some famous Nelson Mandela quotes about education:

  • This occasion (his graduation from Stellenbosch University) is a testimony to the fact that we South Africans have struck out on the road of building a joint future, that we are in the process of breaking down the divisive bulwarks of the past and building up a new nation – united in all its rich diversity.
  • Education is a great engine of personal development. It is through education that the daughter of a peasant can become a doctor, that the son of a mineworker can become the head of a mine, that the child of farm workers can become the president of a great nation.
  • Our previous system emphasized the physical and other differences of South Africans with devastating effects. We are steadily but surely introducing education that enables our children to exploit their similarities and common goals while appreciating the strength in their diversity.
  • We need to educate our young people to become adults who cherish the values of respect for women and children proclaimed in the National Men’s March today.
  • A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination. But when you add to that a literate tongue or pen, then you have something extraordinary.
  • The power of education extends beyond the development of skills we need for economic success. It can contribute to nation-building and reconciliation.
  • Many students in remote rural areas in our country do not become confident readers and writers. Indeed, they are denied the creativity that, in turn, negates the world, the boldness of their ideas.
  • Young people must take it upon themselves to ensure that they receive the highest education possible so that they can represent us well in future as leaders.

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quotes by nelson mandela on education
Nelson Mandela's portrait. Photo: @nelsonmandela (modified by author)
Source: UGC
  • No country can develop unless its citizens are educated.
  • I will spend the rest of my days trying to secure a more educated and secure South Africa.
  • Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.
  • Not a day goes by when I don’t read every newspaper I can lay my hands on, wherever I am.
  • It is one of our significant tasks of reconstruction to build an education system that provides quality opportunities for all our people.
  • It is fundamental that our children are prepared to compete with confidence in the international arena. We need to ensure that all our children have access to a world-class, quality education.
  • There are certain precautions you should take to prepare yourself to a fruitful study career. You must brush up your knowledge through systematic reading of literature and newspapers.
  • Without language, one cannot talk to people and understand them; one cannot share their hopes and aspirations, grasp their history, appreciate their poetry, or savour their songs.
  • It is not beyond our power to create a world in which all children have access to a good education. Those who do not believe this have small imaginations.
  • There are few misfortunes in this world that you cannot turn into a personal triumph if you have the iron will and the necessary skill.
  • To a narrow-thinking person, it is hard to explain that to be ‘educated’ does not mean being literate and having a BA and that an illiterate man can be a far more ‘educated’ voter than someone with an advanced degree.
  • South Africa’s need for rapid expansion of its scientific and technological skills is immense. On your shoulders rest the challenge of giving science a face that inspires our youth to seek out science, engineering, and technology.
  • Discussion sharpens one’s interest in any subject and accordingly inspires reading and corrects errors.

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Nelson Mandela's quotes about freedom and leadership

quotes from nelson mandela on education
Nelson Mandela raising his fist in the air. Photo: @nelsonmandela (modified by author)
Source: UGC

Nelson Mandela sacrificed his freedom to liberate South Africans from colonialism and apartheid. He began fighting the White apartheid government in his 20s, fulfilled his mission despite the white minority's resistance, and became SA's president at age 75. Here are motivating Nelson Mandela's quotes on leadership and freedom:

  • Quitting is leading too.
  • Lead from the front –but don’t leave your base behind.
  • Real leaders must be ready to sacrifice all for the freedom of their people.
  • Lead from the back, and let others believe they are in front.
  • For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.
  • Since we have achieved our freedom, there can only be one division amongst us: between those who cherish democracy and those who do not.
  • Many people in this country have paid the price before me, and many will pay the price after me.
  • What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made in the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.
  • A good leader can engage in a debate frankly and thoroughly, knowing that at the end, he and the other side must be closer and thus emerge stronger. You don’t have that idea when you are arrogant, superficial and uninformed.
  • A leader… is like a shepherd. He stays behind the flock, letting the most nimble go out ahead, whereupon the others follow, not realizing all along they are being directed from behind.
  • It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur. You can take the front line when there is danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership.
  • A critical, independent, and investigative press is the life of any democracy. The press must be free from state interference. It must have the economic strength to stand up to the blandishments of government officials... It must enjoy the protection of the constitution so that it can protect our rights as citizens.

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Nelson Mandela's quotes about life

nelson mandela's quotes on leadership
Nelson Mandela's image. Photo: @nelsonmandela (modified by author)
Source: UGC

Nelson Mandela inspired the world to adopt equality in education, life, and leadership, regardless of gender, religion, race, etc. He also wanted people to embrace love, peace, and more virtues. Mandela advocated for women's representation, which has increased by over 40% since apartheid. Below are inspirational Nelson Mandela quotes about life:

  • Fools multiply when wise men are silent.
  • We must use time wisely and forever realize that the time is always ripe to do right.
  • It is not where you start but where you aim that matters from success.
  • It always seems impossible until it's done.
  • Money won't create success, the freedom to make it will.
  • Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.
  • It is what we make out of what we have, not what we are given, that separates one person from another.
  • It was not lack of ability that limited my people, but lack of opportunity… We were taught that the …best men were Englishmen.
  • At night, our cell block seemed more like a study hall than a prison… Robben Island was known as ‘the University’ […] because of what we learnt from each other.
  • I like friends who have independent minds because they tend to make you see problems from all angles.
  • Everyone can rise above their circumstances and achieve success if they are dedicated to and passionate about what they do.
  • As we let our light shine, we unconsciously permit other people to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
  • I learned that 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.
  • There is no passion found in playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.
  • A fundamental concern for others in our individual and community lives would go a long way in making the world the better place we so passionately dreamt of.
  • Everyone is capable of rising above their circumstances and attaining success if they are devoted to and passionate about everything they do.
  • Freedom cannot be achieved unless women have been emancipated from all forms of oppression…our endeavours must be about the liberation of the woman, the emancipation of the man, and the liberty of the child.
  • No one is born hating another person because of the colour of their 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.
  • It is not our diversity which divides us; it is not our ethnicity or religion, or culture that divides us.
  • I have found that I worked better and thought more clearly when I was in good physical condition, and so training became one of the inflexible disciplines of my life.

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education is the key to success by nelson mandela
Nelson Mandela smiling. Photo: @nelsonmandela (modified by author)
Source: UGC

What is Nelson Mandela's famous quote?

Three of Nelson Mandela's most famous quotes are:

  • Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.
  • Real leaders must be ready to sacrifice all for the freedom of their people.
  • Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.

What is Nelson Mandela's most famous speech?

His most famous speech is titled "I Am Prepared to Die". Mandela gave a three-hour speech on 20 April 1964 in the court of Rivonia trial. The speech ends with the words, "it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die."

The Rivonia Trial happened in South Africa between 9 October 1963 and 12 June 1964. The trial led to the imprisonment of Mandela and others sentenced to life at the Palace of Justice, Pretoria, for sabotage, treason and conspiracy.

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How did Nelson Mandela use education?

Nelson Mandela established the Mandela Institute for Education and Rural Development in 2007 to provide quality education for children in impoverished rural areas. Additionally, quotes that say education is the key to success by Nelson Mandela have brought a massive impact on global education, especially in Africa.

What Nelson Mandela said about leadership?

Mandela said, "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."

What is a famous quote about education?

Besides quotes from Nelson Mandela on education, here are five wise words about education from iconic leaders:

  • Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today. — Malcolm X
  • The goal of education is the advancement of knowledge and the dissemination of truth. — John F. Kennedy
  • Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress in every society, in every family. — Kofi Annan
  • The ability to read, write, and analyze; the confidence to stand up and demand justice and equality; the qualifications and connections to get your foot in the door and take your seat at the table — all of that starts with education. — Michelle Obama
  • Intelligence plus character — that is the goal of true education. —Martin Luther King Jr.

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Nelson Mandela's quotes on education, leadership and life inspire people to overcome obstacles and hardships. He always urged people to stand up and be the change they desired. He believed that people could uphold good leadership, improve their lives, and practice equality for all if they were knowledgeable or educated.

READ ALSO: 100+ best anime quotes of all time that are inspirational also posted more than 100 best anime quotes. Animes are cartoon TV series or movies. They originate from Japan but are now made in Hollywood and other film industries worldwide.

They were initially created for children and teens but now reach a wider audience of adults. These films have many deep, funny, inspirational, and romantic quotes.

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