The most revered leader Mandela dies at the age of 95

 

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South African President Jacob Zuma has confirmed the news that Nelson Mandela has died, aged 95.

An emotional Mr Zuma broke the news to the nation during a live press conference that began about 8.45am AEDT.

“Our nation has lost its greatest son,” he said as he announced the death of Nelson Mandela.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the Mandela family,” he said.

“To them we owe a debt of gratitude. They have sacrificed much and endured much so that our people could be free.

In an interview with Reader’s Digest Mandela had said that he would want to be remembered ‘not as deity but an ordinary being with virtues and vices’. He used to like the poem by an English poet, W. E. Henley, called ‘Invictus’, the last lines of which go:

‘It matters not how strait the gate,

How charged with punishments the scroll,

I am the master of my fate,

I am the captain of my soul’

Lovingly called Madiba in South Africa, Mandela was seen as the warm and wise father of a transformed nation, as well as a truly global statesman having fought against the apartheid system of racially based division and discrimination in the country. Mandela spent 27 years in prison as he was tried for treason and organising an armed wing of the ANC during the repressive and brutal regime of South Africa. He was sentenced to life in prison without parole and was confined to a maximum security prison on Robben Island in Cape Town. His formidable spirit helped him survive through those three decades of despair in prison yet he came out smilingly as the country peacefully transformed from a minority white rule to multiracial democracy with Mandela installed as South African president in 1994.

For Mandela the issues of poverty, lack of education were of great concern, the two combined, as he said, “It’s important for us to ensure that education reaches everybody”.

Here is our list of the “Top 10 Nelson Mandela Quotes of All-Time.”

1. Nothing in this world is impossible and Mandela makes sure to remind us of that.

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

2. A lot of people find it easy to be pessimistic and think of the negatives that can arise out of a situation. But in this quote, Mandela shows us that thinking positive is the only way to go. The more positive you think, the more positive the outcome will probably be.

“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 lays defeat and death.”

3. Living isn’t just about doing for yourself, but what you do for others as well.

“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.”

4. An ode to the fact that racism is not passed on genetically, but passed on through teachings.

“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.”

5.  Life is a course with endless obstacles to hurdle.

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

6. We are too quick to give up and refuse to get up from our failures. If we don’t fight to get up, we are giving up on something bigger — life.

“The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”

7. Sometimes you can leave a place and find that the only thing that has changed after all the years is yourself.

“There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.”

8. Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.

“If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner.”

9. Be brave!

“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.”

10. From the poorest of countries to the richest of nations, education is the key to moving forward in any society.

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

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