A great tree has fallen – RIP Nelson Mandela

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Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela (18 July 1918 – 5 December 2013) has died at the age of 95.

There is so much to say and to celebrate about this man. Where does one even begin? Maybe the best way is to share some quotes from the great man himself. We have collected some below. His astounding sense of of humility, forgiveness, empathy and perspective has been an example to all South Africans, and to people all over the world. Memories of Mandela and his actions will be etched into people’s hearts and minds forever.

Over the last few days, hearing everyone’s stories of their interactions with Mandela, what struck me is how he always had time for the ‘little’ people. Everyman and woman. And this says so much about someone like Mandela, who was influencing history, fighting oppression, and more. But he always had the deepest respect for all people…and made time for them, in any situation.

I really like this excerpt from Paddy Upton’s blog which sums that up so well: “It’s easy to put one’s best foot forward and look good. This does not impress me much. What interests me is who we are when we’re not playing the part that is written on our CV. Who are we being in our private moments when away from scrutinizing eyes – when our true character gets to shine through? There are few more telling moments than how we treat the ‘little’ people when no one is watching; people like the restaurant or hotel breakfast waiter, the team bus driver, the not-so-good-looking supermarket cashier or the 51st autograph hunter of the day. What would the tea lady, receptionist and janitor at your office say about you?”

Read the full post here:
Nelson Mandela may have saved a nation but he nearly ruined my treasured photograph


RIP Tata Madiba. Hamba Kahle. We will miss you.

Mandela Quotes:

“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.”

“After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.”

“Difficulties break some men but make others. No axe is sharp enough to cut the soul of a sinner who keeps on trying, one armed with the hope that he will rise even in the end.”


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

“Tread Softly, Breathe Peacefully, Laugh Hysterically.”

“If I had my time over I would do the same again. So would any man who dares call himself a man.”

“I like friends who have independent minds because they tend to make you see problems from all angles.”

“Real leaders must be ready to sacrifice all for the freedom of their people.”


“I am fundamentally an optimist. Whether that comes from nature or nurture, I cannot say. Part of being optimistic is keeping one’s head pointed toward the sun, one’s feet moving forward. There were many dark moments when my faith in humanity was sorely tested, but I would not and could not give myself up to despair. That way lies defeat and death.”

“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.”

“Everyone can rise above their circumstances and achieve success if they are dedicated to and passionate about what they do.”

“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.”

“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.”

“Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.”

“Lead from the back — and let others believe they are in front.”

Mandela rugby world cup

“Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.”

“I hate race discrimination most intensely and in all its manifestations. I have fought it all during my life; I fight it now, and will do so until the end of my days.”

“A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.”


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