Today, the world celebrates the birth of the most respected anti-apartheid leader and a freedom fighter, Nelson Mandela whose name will forever be engraved in the pages of history.
Mandela, affectionately known as Madiba, made history when he became the first black president of South Africa in 1994, serving until 1999. A symbol of global peacemaking, and an idol of universal love and solidarity, he won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993.
In 2009, Mandela's birthday (July 18) was declared "Mandela Day" by the United Nations to promote global peace and celebrate the South African leader's legacy.
Mandela passed away at his home in Johannesburg on 5 December, 2013 at age 95.
Here are the 10 most admired and cherished quotes by the legendary leader, to remember him on his 96th birthday:
- "There is no easy walk to freedom anywhere, and many of us will have to pass through the valley of shadow of death again and again before we reach the mountaintop of our desires."
- "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."
- "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."
- "No one is born hating another person because of the colour 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."
- "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 that will determine the significance of the life we lead."
- "The greatest Glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time you fall."
- "Never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another."
- "In my country we go to prison first and them become President."
- "Let each know that for each the body, the mind and the soul have been freed to fulfill themselves."
- "It always seems impossible until it's done."