We challenged ourselves this week. Without Google – and in celebration of Mandela Day – we went on a journey to find the words of Nelson Mandela that had the most impact for us at Londolozi.
We came up with 12 (plus one).
Some of the quotes you will have seen before, but some are less well known. For our team, words of wisdom and Madiba “directives” were important, but as important were quotes that reminded us to celebrate our country and our African-ness, from the wilderness (obviously) to the music.
Lastly, six quotes stood out as particularly important. They covered the importance of morality and the human spirit, but also Mandela’s resolve to reshape the way that we reach out to each other. For what are we as human beings unless we work towards a place of mutual and beneficial understanding guided by the goodness within us?
Here is our 12 (plus one), sprinkled with some of the photo moments that speak to who we are and who we strive to be:
On Africa and Home
“I believe that South Africa is the most beautiful place on earth. Admittedly, I am biased but when you combine the natural beauty of sunny South Africa with the friendliness and cultural diversity of our people, and the fact that the region is a haven for Africa’s most splendid wildlife, then I think that we have been blessed with a truly wonderful land.”
“We are a winning nation! We acknowledge our problems and challenges and then proceed to tackle them with determination and in a spirit of optimism. We have overcome much in order to be where we are.”
“African music is something that goes straight to your heart and it tells the story of your own life, your living conditions, your aspirations.”
On Education and the Next Generation
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
“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.”
“Sometimes it falls upon a generation to be great. You can be that generation. Let your greatness blossom.”
On Communicating … Effectively
“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.”
“In human affairs, no single person, organisation or social formation ever has a final or an absolutely correct position. It is through conversation, debate and critical discussion that we approach positions that may provide workable solutions.”
“The relative success that we have achieved in Southern Africa vindicates our belief that conflicts can and must be resolved peacefully through dialogue.”
On Morality and the Human Spirit
“As we let our own light shine we unconsciously give other people the permission to do the same.”
“There can be no greater gift than that of giving one’s time and energy to help others without expecting anything in return.”
“We are in this modern globalised world each the keeper of our brother and sister. We have too often failed that moral calling.”
“During my long walk to freedom, I had the rare privilege to visit Londolozi. There I saw people of all races living in harmony amidst the beauty that mother nature offers.”
Many of the quotes above were taken from Nelson Mandela: Conversations with Myself and Nelson Mandela By Himself. We would love for you to add to our list. What is your favourite Nelson Mandela quote, and what will you be doing on Nelson Mandela Day (18 July)?