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Nelson Mandela at 100 – 7 Inspirational Things He Taught the World

July 18th will mark 100 years since the birth of Nelson Mandela – South Africa’s anti-apartheid hero, global icon and a Nobel Peace Prize winner. Mandela, who died in 2013, bore the brunt of the apartheid regime that had incarcerated him for 27 years. Upon his release, he successfully negotiated for independence and became the first black South African president in 1994.

As the world plans to celebrate his centenary birthday, here are seven things that Nelson Mandela taught the world;

  1. Love brings us together

“No one is born hating another person because of the color 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.” Mandela said this in reference to his incarceration where, instead of being bitter with the apartheid regime, he chose to forgive them and forge forward. A world full of love is a world that will enjoy peace and prosperity. Former U.S. President Barack Obama tweeted this Mandela quote in August 2017.

  1. It is a strength to be both intelligent and kind

“A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.” At times, people’s kindness can be taken to be their weakness which some may try to exploit. But Nelson Mandela showed us that if you are kind and also intelligent, then that is a strength and no one will take advantage of you.

  1. Knowledge is power

“Education is the most powerful weapon in which you can use to change the world.” Educated people are more likely to successfully hold constructive conversations or table reformative agenda than uneducated people would. It is impossible to bring a change if you do not know what you’re even fighting for. Being knowledgeable and educated is power to you.

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Nelson Mandela with his wife Winnie after he was released from prison in 1990

  1. You must face your fears

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not the one who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” Mandela was definitely afraid of what would happen to him, but what mattered was not the fear, but what he chose to do with the fear. Feeling afraid is okay but to conquer or be conquered by that fear is your choice.

  1. Believe you can do it

“Hope is a powerful weapon and no one power on earth can deprive you of.” Nelson Mandela believed and hoped for freedom and independence for South Africa which finally came. Hope cannot be taken away from you and you must keep it alive believing that you can achieve something.

  1. It’s better to fail trying, than not to try at all

“Do not judge me by my success, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.” The victory of Mandela came after a struggle that saw him imprisoned for 27 years. Had he chosen to enjoy freedom instead of the struggle, maybe we would have even never heard of him. It is better to try to do something and fail than do nothing at all. Those who have fallen rise up stronger and better.

  1. No man is an island

“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.” By this, Nelson Mandela taught us that we must work together to bring the change that we want to see.

Mandela’s 100th birthday comes three months after his wife’s Winnie Madikezela Mandela death.


Famed Anti-apartheid Activist Winnie Madikizela Mandela Dies at Age 81

Alex Muiruri

Alex is a passionate writer born and raised in Kenya. He is professionally trained as a public health officer but loves writing more. When not writing, he enjoys reading, doing charity work and spending time with friends and family. He is also a crazy pianist!

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1 Comment

  1. Barbara Dean July 27, 2018

    Thanks for sharing this with us post with us


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