I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. I felt fear myself more times than I can remember, but I hid it behind a mask of boldness. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.

Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela

Profession: Statesman
Nationality: South African

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History will judge us by the difference we make in the everyday lives of children.

If wealth is a magnet, poverty is a kind of repellent.

It is not where you start but how high you aim that matters for success.

There are times when a leader must move out ahead of the flock, go off in a new direction, confident that he is leading his people the right way.

Our children are our greatest treasure. They are our future. Those who abuse them tear at the fabric of our society and weaken our nation.

I made a mistake by being ejected from the presidency. Next time, I will choose a Cabinet which will allow me to be life President.

I detest racialism, because I regard it as a barbaric thing, whether it comes from a black man or a white man.

Only free men can negotiate. A prisoner cannot enter into contracts.

As so often happens in life, the momentousness of an occasion is lost in the welter of a thousand details.

There are so many men and women who hold no distinctive positions but whose contribution towards the development of society has been enormous.

I never lose. I either win or learn.

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.

Your playing small does not serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you.

When I came to Johannesburg from the countryside, I knew nobody, but many strangers were very kind to me. I then was dragged into politics, and then, subsequently, I became a lawyer.