14 Quotes To Inspire You On 2014 Nelson Mandela International Day!

In November 2009, the United Nations General Assembly declared 18 July “Nelson Mandela International Day” to honour the former South African President’s contribution to the culture of peace and freedom (July 18 was the birthday of Nelson Mandela).

Nelson Mandela was a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, the former President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999 and an inspiration to many leaders across the world.

Before he became president, Nelson Mandela was a civil rights activist with the African National Congress and was arrested for protesting against the unfair treatment of black people in his country. He was imprisoned from 1964 until 1990.

Today, Mandela is referred to as The Father of South Africa.

After his stint as South Africa President, Mandela started the Nelson Mandela Foundation, which focuses on combating HIV/AIDS, improving rural development, and school construction.

Today, people globally will mark the day by devoting 67 minutes of time to helping others. The 67 minutes stands for the 67 years Nelson Mandela spent devoting his life to service of humanity.

NSHere are 14 memorable quotes from Nelson Mandela on social development:

  1. 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.”

  2. No country can really develop unless its citizens are educated.

  3. No one truly knows a nation until one has been inside its jails. A nation should not be judged by how it treats its highest citizens but its lowest ones.

  4. Our children are our greatest treasure. They are our future. Those who abuse them tear at the fabric of our society and weaken our nation.

  5. There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find ways in which you yourself have altered. – A Long Walk To Freedom, 1994.

  6. 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.

  7. Lead from the back – and let others believe they are in front.

  8. 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.

  9. The time is always right to do right.

  10. Overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity. It is an act of justice. It is the protection of a fundamental human right, the right to dignity and a decent life. While poverty persists, there is no true freedom. The steps that are needed from the developed nations are clear: The first is ensuring trade justice. I have said before that trade justice is a truly meaningful way for the developed countries to show commitment to bringing about an end to global poverty. The second is an end to the debt crisis for the poor countries. The third is to deliver much more aid and make sure it is of the highest quality. – At the Make Poverty History rally, London, 3 February 2005.

  11. As a tribute to the legions of women who navigated the path of fighting for justice before us, we ought to imprint in the supreme law of the land, firm principles upholding the rights of women. The women themselves and the whole of society must make this a prime responsibility.

  12. Our human compassion binds us the one to the other – not in pity or patronizingly, but as human beings who have learnt how to turn our common suffering into hope for the future.

  13. 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.

  14. When people are determined they can overcome anything.




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Busayo Sotunde is a prolific writer with special focus on Business, Entrepreneurship, Reproductive Health and other development issues in Africa. Her articles have been published by different outlets including Investing Port and Ventures-Africa.com. She has a penchant for reading and sustainable development. Follow Busayo on Twitter @BusayomiSotunde

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