I waited with some anxiety, and suddenly, filling out the glass on the other side of the window was Winnie's lovely face. Winnie always dressed up for prison visits, and tried to wear something new and elegant. It was tremendously frustrating not to be able to touch me wife, to speak tenderly to her, to have a private moment together.

Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela

Profession: Statesman
Nationality: South African

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It was a useful reminder that all men, even the most seemingly cold-blooded, have a core of decency, and that if their heart is touched, they are capable of changing.

It is said that no one truly knows a nation until one has been inside its jails.

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

A leader. . .is like a shepherd. He stays behind the flock, letting the most nimble go out ahead, whereupon the others follow, not realizing that all along they are being directed from behind.

The names of Dingane and Bambata, Hintsa and Makana, Squngthi and Dalasile, Moshoeshoe and Sekhukhuni, were praised as the glory of the entire African nation. I hoped then that life might offer me the opportunity to serve my people and make my own humble contribution to their freedom struggle.

Courageous people do not fear forgiving, for the sake of peace.

If there is a country that has committed unspeakable atrocities in the world, it is the United States of America.

Fools multiply when wise men are silent.

My son has died of AIDS.

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

Communists have always played an active role in the fight by colonial countries for their freedom, because the short-term objects of Communism would always correspond with the long-term objects of freedom movements.

Without language, one cannot talk to people and understand them; one cannot share their hopes and apsirations, grasp their history, appreciate their poetry or savour their songs. I again realized that we were not different people with separate languages; we were one people, with different tongues.

Life has a way of forcing decisions on those who vacillate.

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