The best things Nelson Mandela ever said (And Two things He Never Did)


Some of our favourite quotes, and incorrect attributions, from the man himself.


“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”


“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.”


“It always seems impossible until it’s done.”


“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.”


“It is music and dancing that makes me at peace with the world, and at peace with myself.”


““I have walked that long road to freedom. I have tried not to falter; I have made missteps along the way. But I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come. But I can only rest for a moment, for with freedom come responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not ended.”


“There is no passion to be found in playing small. In settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”


And finally… things Madiba never said…


“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.” This is a quote by Marianne Wilson writer of A Course IN Miracles, who’s now a candidate for the US House of Representatives. See the Nelson Mandela Foundation’s Official Statement here



“I am the Captain of my ship I am the master of my fate.”

This is a one-hit wonder by poet William Ernest Henley. The film Invictus implies that Madiba read it to the Captain of the South African rugby team. In fact, he did give him a famous quote but it was “The Man In The Arena” [] by Theodore Roosevelt. What is true is that Mandela read Invictus while in prison, and shared it with other inmates.







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