13 motivational quotes by Nelson Mandela that will inspire you to ‘never give up’

Inspiration to the world, Nelson Mandela lived a long, impactful life. On his birthday, we remember him with these motivational quotes and hope that his legacy continues to encourage us.

18th Jul 2019
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Born to the Thembu royal family in Mvezo, British South Africa, in 1918, Nelson Mandela went on to become South Africa's most famous anti-apartheid revolutionary, political leader, and philanthropist.


He was arrested and sentenced to life imprisonment in 1963 for conspiring to overthrow the state, and served 27 years in prison. In 1990, Nelson Mandela - popularly known as Madiba - was finally released by the then president amid growing domestic and international pressure.


The icon of democracy and social justice went on to negotiate an end to apartheid and led his party to victory in the 1994 multiracial general election. He served as the first President of South Africa.


Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela (Art by: Raphael Djivan)




His withdrawal from politics after one term led him to focus on what mattered most to him: activism and philanthropy. Often called the "Father of the Nation", the selfless man single-handedly rewrote the history of generations of South Africans and the world. His work brought him more than 250 honours, including the Nobel Peace Prize.


Nelson Mandela passed away in 2013, aged 95, but his fight for freedom and human rights continues to be a guiding light to the world. On his birthday, we remember the man with 13 inspirational quotes that will never fail to motivate.


1.     “A winner is a dreamer who never gives up.”

2.     “Man’s goodness is a flame that can be hidden but never extinguished.”

3.     “I never lose, I either win or learn.”

4.     “May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.”

5.     “I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.”

6.     “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.”

Nelson Mandela

(Image: The Telegraph)


7.     “It always seems impossible, until it is done.”

8.     “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.”

9.     “There can be no greater gift than that of giving one’s time and energy to helping others without expecting anything in return.”

10.  “In my country we go to prison first and then become President.”

11. “People respond in accordance to how you treat them.”

12. “As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.”


13. “One of the most difficult things is not to change society, but to change yourself.”



(Edited by Teja Lele Desai)




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