Talk:Nelson Mandela

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This is the talk page for discussing improvements to the Nelson Mandela page.

Passion - Quote[edit]

There are plenty of sources on the web that claim Mandela said: "It always seems impossible until it is done." "There is no passion to be found in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living." I love the quotes, but I can find no hard evidence of him having actually said that ever. Nobody can tell where or when or even if he truly said that. There's nothing to back it up. And, sadly, the web is so full of shit(just say it because you know you want to)that I could imagine this quote was just assigned to him to make it stand out.

Can anybody help out with the origin of the Quote?


Mandela is one of the greatest leaders in the history of mankind and reading his quotes is very touching, especially the following: "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." —This unsigned comment is by (talkcontribs) .

We should mention that the "deepest fear" quote, which is often attributed to him, is really from Marianne Williamson:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. [1]

—This unsigned comment is by Rj (talkcontribs) .

Education as a weapon[edit]

"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela? Is this really from him? --Gbleem 00:59, 18 April 2007 (UTC)[reply]

In the transcript here, he uses that quote on Wednesday, July 16, 2003 - —This unsigned comment is by (talkcontribs) . 18:28, March 24, 2011
This source indeed confirms that Madela mentioned:
Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world and Mindset Network is a powerful part of that world changing arsenal.
(Source: "Lighting your way to a better future : Speech delivered by Mr N R Mandela at launch of Mindset Network," July 16, 2003)
-- Mdd (talk) 00:17, 19 June 2014 (UTC)[reply]
This is confirmed in: Nelson Mandela, ‎S. K. Hatang, ‎Sahm Venter (2012) Notes to the Future: Words of Wisdom. p. 101. And I will add this to the article. -- Mdd (talk) 00:21, 19 June 2014 (UTC)[reply] - Vertaal deze pagina

However, according to the Susan Ratcliffe (2011) Oxford Treasury of Sayings and Quotations. p. 137, Mandela mentioned this exact quote at a speech, Madison Park High School, Boston, 23 June 1990. -- Mdd (talk) 23:51, 18 June 2014 (UTC)[reply]
A 2013 article in the Boston Globe doesn't confirm Mandela was there this, but used slightly different words. The Boston Globe stated:
In his address, Mandela stressed the importance of education, saying he was "deeply concerned" so many students were dropping out of school.
"This is a very disturbing situation, because the youth of today are the leaders of tomorrow," he told the students. He urged students to "try as much as possible to remain in school."
"Because education is the most powerful weapon which we can use," he said to cheers.
Source: "Nelson Mandela’s 1990 visit left lasting impression" by Peter Schworm on, December 7, 2013
-- Mdd (talk) 00:06, 19 June 2014 (UTC)[reply]

Impossible quote[edit]

I have found numerous websites that attribute the phrase "It always seems impossible, until it is done". I think it was said in the new movie "Invictus". Is it trully his?

—This unsigned comment is by (talkcontribs) .
I was just checking in here very briefly and must be leaving soon, but a quick search reveals the earliest published citation to be found with Google Books is in Fat Into the Fire‎ (2007), by David P. Morrow, p. 228. I would not consider this a highly reliable source, but its presence in such a source does indicate it might have been quoted in some newspapers prior to that. I don't have time to search for any of these right now, but will post the quote with the source which I found. ~ Kalki (talk · contributions) 23:58, 2 March 2010 (UTC)[reply]


First black president[edit]

I heard that in 1952 Mandela said "I will be the first black president of South Africa". Is this right? 12:19, 5 April 2010 (UTC)[reply]

On language[edit]

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.

Could someone verify this quote? It is widely attributed to Mandela, but I have not been able to find the source. Camenae 02:48, 11 January 2011 (UTC)[reply]

Boy, it's a 10-year wait and I'm going to make it worth it. Apparently, it is an 'internationalization' of something he really said about his experience in communicating with the Afrikaner guards while in prison: “Because when you speak a language, English, well many people understand you, including Afrikaners, but when you speak Afrikaans, you know you go straight to their hearts.”, recorded from an interview in the book Nelson Mandela by Himself. 11:55, 28 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]


Nelson Mandela may have quoted people but what is the shame in that? He has made History, he lives History, he is History. Being quoted by Mandela would be the highest of compliments. He himself said that "A blind pursuit of cheap popularity has nothing to do with revolution".


Did Nelson Mandela truly say this of his time in prison? "As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn't leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I'd still be in prison." Many blogs and several newspaper articles cite this quote, but the origins are indefinite.

  • In her book Living History (2003), Hillary Clinton quotes Mandela as saying this to her on the day he was released from prison (11 Feb 1990): "The day his imprisonment ended, he told me, 'as I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn't leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I'd still be in prison.' --Hughh (talk) 21:48, 15 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  • Mandela's grandson Kweku Mandela gives the same [undated] quote in a HuffPost blog post dated 19 Mar 2014.--Hughh (talk) 19:24, 19 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Mandela on the Palestinians in 1997[edit]

The quote was distorted and contained half sentences from two different paragraphs. I fixed this by writing the two paragraph as they are written in the Speech made by Mandela on the ANC website:

"When in 1977, the United Nations passed the resolution inaugurating the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian people, it was asserting the recognition that injustice and gross human rights violations were being perpetrated in Palestine. In the same period, the UN took a strong stand against apartheid; and over the years, an international consensus was built, which helped to bring an end to this iniquitous system.

But we know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians; without the resolution of conflicts in East Timor, the Sudan and other parts of the world."

Two dead links[edit]

Hi there. I notice that there are two links in the page that are dead. The ones of Mandela's:

  • Inaugural speech (1994)
  • & Inaugural celebration address (1994)

The message I got is the following:

  • Oops the page requested can not be found. You probably got here via an outdated link.” — {{{2}}}

Hope someone can help. Thanks. --Goose friend (talk) 00:53, 7 December 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Gandhi quote on the first picture of the page[edit]

It may be the case that Mandela misquoted Gandhi in his interview, but as can be seen in Gandhi's Wikiquote page, the line mentioned does not exist.

I am familiar to a similar quotation by Gandhi, however, which says "It is better to be violent, if there is violence in our hearts, than to put on the cloak of non-violence to cover impotence. Violence is any day preferable to impotence. There is hope for a violent man to become non-violent. There is no such hope for the impotent."

It is very different from the version that would have been quoted by Mandela "Where choice is set between cowardice and violence, I would advise violence ... I prefer to use arms in defense of honor rather than remain the vile witness of dishonor..."

In the first, violence is recognized as valuable for the sake of political positioning, but never recommended over non-violence. In Mandela's version, it seems to be easily interpretable (and even a suggestion) that non-violence and pacifism would be conceivable as cowardice. Additionaly, Gandhi does not legitimize the use of weapons, just of kinds of violence, while Mandela speaks explicitly of them.

I don't know if Mandela's quote is right, but I suppose it is. Even so, I think a quote that includes a misquoted quote shouldn't have a spotlight position in a Quote encyclopedia... Would someone change the picture's quote? -Japaa

The quote by Mandela of Gandhi is fairly accurate, as it most likely derives from Gandhi's essay "The Doctrine Of The Sword", in Young India (11 August 1920) which I have now added a section for upon the Gandhi page. Certainly neither Gandhi nor Mandela equate non-violence with cowardice, and both recognize that there is a weakness and desperation evident in the use of violence — but neither absolutely renounce or denounce violence against those who would resolutely persist in exploiting many of the apparent or actual weaknesses of others unjustly. BOTH assert the right of people to defend themselves and others against unjust assaults, even while recommending policies of non-violent resistance to those with the strength to manifest it, and forgiveness towards those who have erred in the past, and whose policies or practices of injustice are no longer a major threat to evident and manifest strength. ~ Kalki·· 06:11, 8 December 2013 (UTC) + tweaks[reply]
Thank you for your clarification, it seems to make all sense to me now. As it is said, 'the reaction of the opressed can't be confounded with the opressor's violence'. This session might be erased if it is needed! Japaa

Great Man Nelson Mandela[edit]

I would like to have had the honor to have met Nelson Mandela, i think he was funny and to the point by reading the articles. I was just a stupid white person just to believe what we were told, I like the words used "yesterday he was a terrorist but today people are hugging him" i agree with all the facts of America, Americans have mislead God's people wrong, they just want to rule the world. Well let me get straight to the point, Nelson Mandela is the Messiah "God's Servant" THE BRANCH. proof in the Old Testament. 10/04/2018 Cathy-- 12:29, 10 April 2018 (UTC)[reply]