South Africa Quotes

 Nothing factual that I write or say will be as truthful as my fiction. 
Author: Nadine Gordimer
Nationality: South African
b. 20 November 1923
  
 To me personally, and those who shared the experience of being political prisoners, the Red Cross was a beacon of humanity within the dark inhumane world of political imprisonment. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 Our resort to the armed struggle in 1960 with the formation of the military wing of the ANC (Umkhonto we Sizwe) was a purely defensive action against the violence of apartheid. The factors which necessitated the armed struggle still exist today. We have no option but to continue. We express the hope that a climate conducive to a negotiated settlement would be created soon, so that there may no longer be the need for the armed struggle. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 Tonight I am reaching out to every single South African, black and white, from the very depths of my being. A white man, full of prejudice and hate, came to our country and committed a deed so foul that our whole nation now teeters on the brink of disaster. A white woman, of Afrikaner origin, risked her life so that we may know, and bring to justice, this assassin. The cold-blooded murder of Chris Hani has sent shock waves throughout the country and the world. ... Now is the time for all South Africans to stand together against those who, from any quarter, wish to destroy what Chris Hani gave his life for – the freedom of all of us. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 No one nation should be complainant, prosecutor and judge. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 This group can speak freely and boldly, working both publicly and behind the scenes on whatever actions need to be taken", Mandela commented. "Together we will work to support courage where there is fear, foster agreement where there is conflict, and inspire hope where there is despair. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 It is a tragedy, what is happening, what Bush is doing. But Bush is now undermining the United Nations. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 Is it because the secretary-general of the United Nations is now a black man? They never did that when secretary-generals were white. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 It would be deeply regrettable if the making of the film inadvertently obscured the truth, and, as a result, led the world to believe that an appropriate response might be to cease buying mined diamonds from Africa. We hope that the desire to tell a gripping and important real life historical story will not result in the destabilization of African diamond producing countries, and ultimately their peoples. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 The history of the struggle in South Africa is rich with the stories of heroes and heroines, some of them leaders, some of them followers. All of them deserve to be remembered. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 There are many people who feel that it is useless and futile for us to continue talking peace and non-violence - against a government whose only reply is savage attacks on an unarmed and defenceless people. And I think the time has come for us to consider, in the light of our experiences at this day at home, whether the methods which we have applied so far are adequate. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 Only free men can negotiate; prisoners cannot enter into contracts. Your freedom and mine cannot be separated.  
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 I stand here before you not as a prophet but as a humble servant of you, the people. Your tireless and heroic sacrifices have made it possible for me to be here today. I therefore place the remaining years of my life in your hands. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 I remember we adjourned for lunch and a friendly Afrikaner warder asked me the question, "Mandela, what do you think is going to happen to you in this case?" I said to him, "Agh, they are going to hang us." Now, I was really expecting some word of encouragement from him. And I thought he was going to say, "Agh man, that can never happen." But he became serious and then he said, "I think you are right, they are going to hang you." 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 Let's hope that Ken Osterbroek will be the last person to die. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 The UN took a strong stand against apartheid; and over the years, an international consensus was built, which helped to bring an end to this iniquitous system. But we know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 It always seems impossible, until it is done. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 In its proper meaning equality before the law means the right to participate in the making of the laws by which one is governed, a constitution which guarantees democratic rights to all sections of the population, the right to approach the court for protection or relief in the case of the violation of rights guaranteed in the constitution, and the right to take part in the administration of justice as judges, magistrates, attorneys-general, law advisers and similar positions. In the absence of these safeguards the phrase 'equality before the law', in so far as it is intended to apply to us, is meaningless and misleading. All the rights and privileges to which I have referred are monopolised by whites, and we enjoy none of them. The white man makes all the laws, he drags us before his courts and accuses us, and he sits in judgement over us. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 It is fit and proper to raise the question sharply, what is this rigid colour-bar in the administration of justice? Why is it that in this courtroom I face a white magistrate, am confronted by a white prosecutor, and escorted into the dock by a white orderly? Can anyone honestly and seriously suggest that in this type of atmosphere the scales of justice are evenly balanced? Why is it that no African in the history of this country has ever had the honour of being tried by his own kith and kin, by his own flesh and blood? I will tell Your Worship why: the real purpose of this rigid colour-bar is to ensure that the justice dispensed by the courts should conform to the policy of the country, however much that policy might be in conflict with the norms of justice accepted in judiciaries throughout the civilised world. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 I hate race discrimination most intensely and in all its manifestations. I have fought it all during my life; I fight it now, and will do so until the end of my days. Even although I now happen to be tried by one whose opinion I hold in high esteem, I detest most violently the set-up that surrounds me here. It makes me feel that I am a black man in a white man's court. This should not be. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 I must deal immediately and at some length with the question of violence. Some of the things so far told to the Court are true and some are untrue. I do not, however, deny that I planned sabotage. I did not plan it in a spirit of recklessness, nor because I have any love of violence. I planned it as a result of a calm and sober assessment of the political situation that had arisen after many years of tyranny, exploitation, and oppression of my people by the Whites. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 I have already mentioned that I was one of the persons who helped to form Umkhonto. I, and the others who started the organization, did so for two reasons. Firstly, we believed that as a result of Government policy, violence by the African people had become inevitable, and that unless responsible leadership was given to canalize and control the feelings of our people, there would be outbreaks of terrorism which would produce an intensity of bitterness and hostility between the various races of this country which is not produced even by war. Secondly, we felt that without violence there would be no way open to the African people to succeed in their struggle against the principle of white supremacy. All lawful modes of expressing opposition to this principle had been closed by legislation, and we were placed in a position in which we had either to accept a permanent state of inferiority, or to defy the Government. We chose to defy the law. We first broke the law in a way which avoided any recourse to violence; when this form was legislated against, and then the Government resorted to a show of force to crush opposition to its policies, only then did we decide to answer violence with violence. But the violence which we chose to adopt was not terrorism. We who formed Umkhonto were all members of the African National Congress, and had behind us the ANC tradition of non-violence and negotiation as a means of solving political disputes. We believe that South Africa belongs to all the people who live in it, and not to one group, be it black or white. We did not want an interracial war, and tried to avoid it to the last minute. If the Court is in doubt about this, it will be seen that the whole history of our organization bears out what I have said, and what I will subsequently say, when I describe the tactics which Umkhonto decided to adopt. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons will live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for. But, my lord, if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 The ANC has never at any period of its history advocated a revolutionary change in the economic structure of the country, nor has it, to the best of my recollection, ever condemned capitalist society. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 Friends, Comrades and fellow South Africans. I greet you all in the name of peace, democracy and freedom for all. I stand here before you not as a prophet but as a humble servant of you, the people. Your tireless and heroic sacrifices have made it possible for me to be here today. I therefore place the remaining years of my life in your hands. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 The majority of South Africans, black and white, recognize that apartheid has no future. It has to be ended by our own decisive mass action in order to build peace and security. The mass campaign of defiance and other actions of our organization and people can only culminate in the establishment of democracy. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 There must be an end to white monopoly on political power, and a fundamental restructuring of our political and economic systems to ensure that the inequalities of apartheid are addressed and our society thoroughly democratized. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 Our march to freedom is irreversible. We must not allow fear to stand in our way. Universal suffrage on a common voters' roll in a united, democratic and non-racial South Africa is the only way to peace and racial harmony. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 We speak here of the challenge of the dichotomies of war and peace, violence and non-violence, racism and human dignity, oppression and repression and liberty and human rights, poverty and freedom from want. We stand here today as nothing more than a representative of the millions of our people who dared to rise up against a social system whose very essence is war, violence, racism, oppression, repression and the impoverishment of an entire people. I am also here today as a representative of the millions of people across the globe, the anti-apartheid movement, the governments and organisations that joined with us, not to fight against South Africa as a country or any of its peoples, but to oppose an inhuman system and sue for a speedy end to the apartheid crime against humanity. These countless human beings, both inside and outside our country, had the nobility of spirit to stand in the path of tyranny and injustice, without seeking selfish gain. They recognised that an injury to one is an injury to all and therefore acted together in defense of justice and a common human decency. Because of their courage and persistence for many years, we can, today, even set the dates when all humanity will join together to celebrate one of the outstanding human victories of our century. When that moment comes, we shall, together, rejoice in a common victory over racism, apartheid and white minority rule. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 That triumph will finally bring to a close a history of five hundred years of African colonisation that began with the establishment of the Portuguese empire. Thus, it will mark a great step forward in history and also serve as a common pledge of the peoples of the world to fight racism, wherever it occurs and whatever guise it assumes. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 In front of this distinguished audience, we commit the new South Africa to the relentless pursuit of the purposes defined in the World Declaration on the Survival, Protection and Development of Children. The reward of which we have spoken will and must also be measured by the happiness and welfare of the mothers and fathers of these children, who must walk the earth without fear of being robbed, killed for political or material profit, or spat upon because they are beggars. They too must be relieved of the heavy burden of despair which they carry in their hearts, born of hunger, homelessness and unemployment. The value of that gift to all who have suffered will and must be measured by the happiness and welfare of all the people of our country, who will have torn down the inhuman walls that divide them. These great masses will have turned their backs on the grave insult to human dignity which described some as masters and others as servants, and transformed each into a predator whose survival depended on the destruction of the other. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 The value of our shared reward will and must be measured by the joyful peace which will triumph, because the common humanity that bonds both black and white into one human race, will have said to each one of us that we shall all live like the children of paradise. Thus shall we live, because we will have created a society which recognises that all people are born equal, with each entitled in equal measure to life, liberty, prosperity, human rights and good governance. Such a society should never allow again that there should be prisoners of conscience nor that any person's human right should be violated. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 In relation to these matters, we appeal to those who govern Burma that they release our fellow Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Aung San Suu Kyi, and engage her and those she represents in serious dialogue, for the benefit of all the people of Burma. We pray that those who have the power to do so will, without further delay, permit that she uses her talents and energies for the greater good of the people of her country and humanity as a whole. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 Far from the rough and tumble of the politics of our own country. I would like to take this opportunity to join the Norwegian Nobel Committee and pay tribute to my joint laureate. Mr. F.W. de Klerk. He had the courage to admit that a terrible wrong had been done to our country and people through the imposition of the system of apartheid. He had the foresight to understand and accept that all the people of South Africa must through negotiations and as equal participants in the process, together determine what they want to make of their future. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 We live with the hope that as she battles to remake herself, South Africa, will be like a microcosm of the new world that is striving to be born. This must be a world of democracy and respect for human rights, a world freed from the horrors of poverty, hunger, deprivation and ignorance, relieved of the threat and the scourge of civil wars and external aggression and unburdened of the great tragedy of millions forced to become refugees. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 My fellow South Africans - the people of South Africa: This is indeed a joyous night. Although not yet final, we have received the provisional results of the election, and are delighted by the overwhelming support for the African National Congress. To all those in the African National Congress and the democratic movement who worked so hard these last few days and through these many decades, I thank you and honour you. To the people of South Africa and the world who are watching: this a joyous night for the human spirit. This is your victory too. You helped end apartheid, you stood with us through the transition. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 I watched, along with all of you, as the tens of thousands of our people stood patiently in long queues for many hours. Some sleeping on the open ground overnight waiting to cast this momentous vote. This is one of the most important moments in the life of our country. I stand here before you filled with deep pride and joy: - pride in the ordinary, humble people of this country. You have shown such a calm, patient determination to reclaim this country as your own, - and joy that we can loudly proclaim from the rooftops - free at last! 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 Tomorrow, the entire ANC leadership and I will be back at our desks. We are rolling up our sleeves to begin tackling the problems our country faces. We ask you all to join us - go back to your jobs in the morning. Let's get South Africa working. For we must, together and without delay, begin to build a better life for all South Africans. This means creating jobs building houses, providing education and bringing peace and security for all. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 The calm and tolerant atmosphere that prevailed during the elections depicts the type of South Africa we can build. It set the tone for the future. We might have our differences, but we are one people with a common destiny in our rich variety of culture, race and tradition. People have voted for the party of their choice and we respect that. This is democracy. I hold out a hand of friendship to the leaders of all parties and their members, and ask all of them to join us in working together to tackle the problems we face as a nation. An ANC government will serve all the people of South Africa, not just ANC members. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 Now is the time for celebration, for South Africans to join together to celebrate the birth of democracy. I raise a glass to you all for working so hard to achieve what can only be called a small miracle. Let our celebrations be in keeping with the mood set in the elections, peaceful, respectful and disciplined, showing we are a people ready to assume the responsibilities of government. I promise that I will do my best to be worthy of the faith and confidence you have placed in me and my organisation, the African National Congress. Let us build the future together, and toast a better life for all South Africans. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 Today we are entering a new era for our country and its people. Today we celebrate not the victory of a party, but a victory for all the people of South Africa. Our country has arrived at a decision. Among all the parties that contested the elections, the overwhelming majority of South Africans have mandated the African National Congress to lead our country into the future. The South Africa we have struggled for, in which all our people, be they African, Coloured, Indian or White, regard themselves as citizens of one nation is at hand. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 Perhaps it was history that ordained that it be here, at the Cape of Good Hope that we should lay the foundation stone of our new nation. For it was here at this Cape, over three centuries ago, that there began the fateful convergence of the peoples of Africa, Europe and Asia on these shores. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 The names of those who were incarcerated on Robben Island is a roll call of resistance fighters and democrats spanning over three centuries. If indeed this is a Cape of Good Hope, that hope owes much to the spirit of that legion of fighters and others of their calibre. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 Ours has been a quest for a constitution freely adopted by the people of South Africa, reflecting their wishes and their aspirations. The struggle for democracy has never been a matter pursued by one race, class, religious community or gender among South Africans. In honouring those who fought to see this day arrive, we honour the best sons and daughters of all our people. We can count amongst them Africans, Coloureds, Whites, Indians, Muslims, Christians, Hindus, Jews - all of them united by a common vision of a better life for the people of this country. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 In 1980s the African National Congress was still setting the pace, being the first major political formation in South Africa to commit itself firmly to a Bill of Rights, which we published in November 1990. These milestones give concrete expression to what South Africa can become. They speak of a constitutional, democratic, political order in which, regardless of colour, gender, religion, political opinion or sexual orientation, the law will provide for the equal protection of all citizens. They project a democracy in which the government, whomever that government may be, will be bound by a higher set of rules, embodied in a constitution, and will not be able govern the country as it pleases. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 Democracy is based on the majority principle. This is especially true in a country such as ours where the vast majority have been systematically denied their rights. At the same time, democracy also requires that the rights of political and other minorities be safeguarded. In the political order we have established there will regular, open and free elections, at all levels of government — central, provincial and municipal. There shall also be a social order which respects completely the culture, language and religious rights of all sections of our society and the fundamental rights of the individual. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 The task at hand on will not be easy. But you have mandated us to change South Africa from a country in which the majority lived with little hope, to one in which they can live and work with dignity, with a sense of self-esteem and confidence in the future. The cornerstone of building a better life of opportunity, freedom and prosperity is the Reconstruction and Development Programme. This needs unity of purpose. It needs in action. It requires us all to work together to bring an end to division, an end to suspicion and build a nation united in our diversity. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 The people of South Africa have spoken in these elections. They want change! And change is what they will get. Our plan is to create jobs, promote peace and reconciliation, and to guarantee freedom for all South Africans. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 While we are and shall remain fully committed to the spirit of a government of national unity, we are determined to initiate and bring about the change that our mandate from the people demands. We place our vision of a new constitutional order for South Africa on the table not as conquerors, prescribing to the conquered. We speak as fellow citizens to heal the wounds of the past with the intent of constructing a new order based on justice for all. This is the challenge that faces all South Africans today, and it is one to which I am certain we will all rise. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 Your Majesties, Your Highnesses, Distinguished Guests, Comrades and Friends. Today, all of us do, by our presence here, and by our celebrations in other parts of our country and the world, confer glory and hope to newborn liberty. Out of the experience of an extraordinary human disaster that lasted too long, must be born a society of which all humanity will be proud. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 Our daily deeds as ordinary South Africans must produce an actual South African reality that will reinforce humanity's belief in justice, strengthen its confidence in the nobility of the human soul and sustain all our hopes for a glorious life for all. All this we owe both to ourselves and to the peoples of the world who are so well represented here today. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 We thank all our distinguished international guests for having come to take possession with the people of our country of what is, after all, a common victory for justice, for peace, for human dignity. We trust that you will continue to stand by us as we tackle the challenges of building peace, prosperity, non-sexism, non-racialism and democracy. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 The time for the healing of the wounds has come. The moment to bridge the chasms that divide us has come. The time to build is upon us. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 We succeeded to take our last steps to freedom in conditions of relative peace. We commit ourselves to the construction of a complete, just and lasting peace. We have triumphed in the effort to implant hope in the breasts of the millions of our people. We enter into a covenant that we shall build the society in which all South Africans, both black and white, will be able to walk tall, without any fear in their hearts, assured of their inalienable right to human dignity - a rainbow nation at peace with itself and the world. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 We dedicate this day to all the heroes and heroines in this country and the rest of the world who sacrificed in many ways and surrendered their lives so that we could be free. Their dreams have become reality. Freedom is their reward. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 We are both humbled and elevated by the honour and privilege that you, the people of South Africa, have bestowed on us, as the first President of a united, democratic, non-racial and non-sexist government. We understand it still that there is no easy road to freedom We know it well that none of us acting alone can achieve success. We must therefore act together as a united people, for national reconciliation, for nation building, for the birth of a new world. Let there be justice for all. Let there be peace for all. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 No one is born hating another person because of the colour 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. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 Education is the great engine of personal development. It is through education that the daughter of a peasant can become a doctor, that the son of a mineworker can become the head of the mine, that a child of farmworkers can become the president of a great nation. It is what we make out of what we have, not what we are given, that separates one person from another. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 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. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 In my country we go to prison first and then become President. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 No one truly knows a nation until one has been inside its jails. A nation should not be judged by how it treats its highest citizens but its lowest ones. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 The greatest glory in living, lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 You may succeed in delaying, but never in preventing the transition of South Africa to a democracy. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 Any man that tries to rob me of my dignity will lose. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 The victory of democracy in South Africa is the common achievement of all humanity. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 The authorities liked to say that we received a balanced diet; it was indeed balanced - between the unpalatable and the inedible. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 Prison itself is a tremendous education in the need for patience and perseverance. It is above all a test of one's commitment. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 I always knew that someday I would once again feel the grass under my feet and walk in the sunshine as a free man. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 I have always believed that exercise is the key not only to physical health but to peace of mind. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 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. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 I detest racialism because I regard it as a barbaric thing, whether it comes from a black man or a white man. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 A man does not become a freedom fighter in the hope of winning awards, but when I was notified that I had won the 1993 Nobel peace prize jointly with Mr. F.W. de Klerk, I was deeply moved. The Nobel Peace Prize had a special meaning for me because of its involvement with South Africa... The award was a tribute to all South Africans, and especially to those who fought in the struggle; I would accept it on their behalf. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 I explained to the crowd that my voice was hoarse from a cold and that my physician had advised me not to attend. "I hope that you will not disclose to him that I have violated his instructions," I told them. I congratulated Mr. de Klerk for his strong showing. I thanked all those in the ANC and the democratic movement who had worked so hard for so long. Mrs. Coretta Scott King, the wife of the great freedom fighter Martin Luther King Jr., was on the podium that night, and I looked over to her as I made reference to her husband's immortal words. "This is one of the most important moments in the life of our country. I stand here before you filled with deep pride and joy -pride in the ordinary, humble people of this country. You have shown such a calm, patient determination to reclaim this country as your own, and now the joy that we can loudly proclaim from the rooftops. Free at last! Free at last! I stand before you humbled by your courage, with a heart full of love for all of you." 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 It was during those long and lonely years that my hunger for the freedom of my own people became a hunger for the freedom of all people, white and black. I knew as well as I knew anything that the oppressor must be liberated just as surely as the oppressed. A man who takes away another man's freedom is a prisoner of hatred, he is locked behind the bars of prejudice and narrow-mindedness. I am not truly free if I am taking away someone else's freedom, just as surely as I am not free when my freedom is taken from me. The oppressed and the oppressor alike are robbed of their humanity. When I walked out of prison, that was my mission, to liberate the oppressed and the oppressor both. Some say that has now been achieved. But I know that that is not the case. The truth is that we are not yet free; we have merely achieved the freedom to be free, the right not to be oppressed. We have not taken the final step of our journey, but the first step on a longer and even more difficult road. 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. The true test of our devotion to freedom is just beginning. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 I have walked that long road to freedom. I have tried not to falter; I have made missteps along the way. But I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come. But I can rest only for a moment, for with freedom comes responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not yet ended. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 I have come to join you today to add our own voice to the universal call for Palestinian self-determination and statehood. We would be beneath our own reason for existence as government and as a nation, if the resolution of the problems of the Middle East did not feature prominently on our agenda. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 When in 1977, the United Nations passed the resolution inaugurating the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian people, it was asserting the recognition that injustice and gross human rights violations were being perpetrated in Palestine. In the same period, the UN took a strong stand against apartheid; and over the years, an international consensus was built, which helped to bring an end to this iniquitous system. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 India is Gandhi's country of birth; South Africa his country of adoption. He was both an Indian and a South African citizen. Both countries contributed to his intellectual and moral genius, and he shaped the liberatory movements in both colonial theaters. He is the archetypal anticolonial revolutionary. His strategy of noncooperation, his assertion that we can be dominated only if we cooperate with our dominators, and his nonviolent resistance inspired anticolonial and antiracist movements internationally in our century. The Gandhian influence dominated freedom struggles on the African continent right up to the 1960s because of the power it generated and the unity it forged among the apparently powerless. Nonviolence was the official stance of all major African coalitions, and the South African A.N.C. remained implacably opposed to violence for most of its existence. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 The Gandhian influence dominated freedom struggles on the African continent right up to the 1960s because of the power it generated and the unity it forged among the apparently powerless. Nonviolence was the official stance of all major African coalitions, and the South African A.N.C. remained implacably opposed to violence for most of its existence. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 Gandhi remained committed to nonviolence; I followed the Gandhian strategy for as long as I could, but then there came a point in our struggle when the brute force of the oppressor could no longer be countered through passive resistance alone. We founded Umkhonto we Sizwe and added a military dimension to our struggle. Even then, we chose sabotage because it did not involve the loss of life, and it offered the best hope for future race relations. Militant action became part of the African agenda officially supported by the Organization of African Unity (O.A.U.) following my address to the Pan-African Freedom Movement of East and Central Africa (PAFMECA) in 1962, in which I stated, "Force is the only language the imperialists can hear, and no country became free without some sort of violence." 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 Gandhi himself never ruled out violence absolutely and unreservedly. He conceded the necessity of arms in certain situations. He said, "Where choice is set between cowardice and violence, I would advise violence... I prefer to use arms in defense of honor rather than remain the vile witness of dishonor ..." 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 Gandhi arrived in South Africa in 1893 at the age of 23. Within a week he collided head on with racism. His immediate response was to flee the country that so degraded people of color, but then his inner resilience overpowered him with a sense of mission, and he stayed to redeem the dignity of the racially exploited, to pave the way for the liberation of the colonized the world over and to develop a blueprint for a new social order. He left 21 years later, a near maha atma (great soul). There is no doubt in my mind that by the time he was violently removed from our world, he had transited into that state. He was no ordinary leader. There are those who believe he was divinely inspired, and it is difficult not to believe with them. He dared to exhort nonviolence in a time when the violence of Hiroshima and Nagasaki had exploded on us; he exhorted morality when science, technology and the capitalist order had made it redundant; he replaced self-interest with group interest without minimizing the importance of self. In fact, the interdependence of the social and the personal is at the heart of his philosophy. He seeks the simultaneous and interactive development of the moral person and the moral society. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 His philosophy of Satyagraha is both a personal and a social struggle to realize the Truth, which he identifies as God, the Absolute Morality. He seeks this Truth, not in isolation, self-centeredly, but with the people. He said, "I want to find God, and because I want to find God, I have to find God along with other people. I don't believe I can find God alone. If I did, I would be running to the Himalayas to find God in some cave there. But since I believe that nobody can find God alone, I have to work with people. I have to take them with me. Alone I can't come to Him." 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 The sight of wounded and whipped Zulus, mercilessly abandoned by their British persecutors, so appalled him that he turned full circle from his admiration for all things British to celebrating the indigenous and ethnic. He resuscitated the culture of the colonized and the fullness of Indian resistance against the British; he revived Indian handicrafts and made these into an economic weapon against the colonizer in his call for swadeshi - the use of one's own and the boycott of the oppressor's products, which deprive the people of their skills and their capital. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 A great measure of world poverty today and African poverty in particular is due to the continuing dependence on foreign markets for manufactured goods, which undermines domestic production and dams up domestic skills, apart from piling up unmanageable foreign debts. Gandhi's insistence on self-sufficiency is a basic economic principle that, if followed today, could contribute significantly to alleviating Third World poverty and stimulating development. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 Gandhi rejects the Adam Smith notion of human nature as motivated by self-interest and brute needs and returns us to our spiritual dimension with its impulses for nonviolence, justice and equality. He exposes the fallacy of the claim that everyone can be rich and successful provided they work hard. He points to the millions who work themselves to the bone and still remain hungry. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 He stepped down from his comfortable life to join the masses on their level to seek equality with them. "I can't hope to bring about economic equality... I have to reduce myself to the level of the poorest of the poor." From his understanding of wealth and poverty came his understanding of labor and capital, which led him to the solution of trusteeship based on the belief that there is no private ownership of capital; it is given in trust for redistribution and equalization. Similarly, while recognizing differential aptitudes and talents, he holds that these are gifts from God to be used for the collective good. He seeks an economic order, alternative to the capitalist and communist, and finds this in sarvodaya based on nonviolence (ahimsa). 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 He rejects Darwin's survival of the fittest, Adam Smith's laissez-faire and Karl Marx's thesis of a natural antagonism between capital and labor, and focuses on the interdependence between the two. He believes in the human capacity to change and wages Satyagraha against the oppressor, not to destroy him but to transform him, that he cease his oppression and join the oppressed in the pursuit of Truth. We in South Africa brought about our new democracy relatively peacefully on the foundations of such thinking, regardless of whether we were directly influenced by Gandhi or not. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 If I am asked, by credible organizations, to mediate, I will consider that very seriously. But a situation of this nature does not need an individual, it needs an organization like the United Nations to mediate. We must understand the seriousness of this situation. The United States has made serious mistakes in the conduct of its foreign affairs, which have had unfortunate repercussions long after the decisions were taken. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 You will notice that France, Germany Russia, China are against this decision. It is clearly a decision that is motivated by George W. Bush's desire to please the arms and oil industries in the United States of America. If you look at those factors, you'll see that an individual like myself, a man who has lost power and influence, can never be a suitable mediator. Neither Bush nor Tony Blair has provided any evidence that such weapons exist. But what we know is that Israel has weapons of mass destruction. Nobody talks about that. Why should there be one standard for one country, especially because it is black, and another one for another country, Israel, that is white. ... Many people say quietly, but they don't have the courage to stand up and say publicly, that when there were white secretary generals you didn't find this question of the United States and Britain going out of the United Nations. But now that you've had black secretary generals like Boutros Boutros Ghali, like Kofi Annan, they do not respect the United Nations. They have contempt for it. This is not my view, but that is what is being said by many people. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 There is one compromise and one only, and that is the United Nations. If the United States and Britain go to the United Nations and the United Nations says we have concrete evidence of the existence of these weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and we feel that we must do something about it, we would all support it. There is no doubt that the United States now feels that they are the only superpower in the world and they can do what they like. And of course we must consider the men and the women around the president. Gen. Colin Powell commanded the United States army in peacetime and in wartime during the Gulf war. He knows the disastrous effect of international tension and war, when innocent people are going to die, young men are going to die. He knows and he showed this after September 11 last year. He went around briefing the allies of the United States of America and asking for their support for the war in Afghanistan. Dick Cheney, Rumsfeld, they are people who are unfortunately misleading the president. Because my impression of the president is that this is a man with whom you can do business. But it is the men who around him who are dinosaurs, who do not want him to belong to the modern age. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 I really wanted to retire and rest and spend more time with my children, my grandchildren and of course with my wife. But the problems are such that for anybody with a conscience who can use whatever influence he may have to try to bring about peace, it's difficult to say no. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 It's a tragedy what is happening, what Bush is doing. All Bush wants is Iraqi oil. There is no doubt that the U.S. is behaving badly. Why are they not seeking to confiscate weapons of mass destruction from their ally Israel? This is just an excuse to get Iraq’s oil. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 Bush is now undermining the United Nations. He is acting outside it, not withstanding the fact that the United Nations was the idea of President Roosevelt and Winston Churchill. Both Bush, as well as Tony Blair, are undermining an idea which was sponsored by their predecessors. They do not care. Is it because the secretary-general of the United Nations [Ghanaian Kofi Annan] is now a black man? They never did that when secretary-generals were white. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 If there is a country that has committed unspeakable atrocities in the world, it is the United States of America. They don't care for human beings. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 What I am condemning is that one power, with a president [George W. Bush] who has no foresight, who cannot think properly, is now wanting to plunge the world into a holocaust. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 I have fought against white domination and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 Israel should withdraw from all the areas which it won from the Arabs in 1967, and in particular Israel should withdraw completely from the Golan Heights, from south Lebanon and from the West Bank. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 I cannot conceive of Israel withdrawing if the Arab states do not recognize Israel, within secure borders. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 I salute the South African Communist Party for its sterling contribution to the struggle for democracy. You have survived 40 years of unrelenting persecution. The memory of great communists like Moses Kotane, Yusuf Dadoo, Bram Fischer and Moses Mabhida will be cherished for generations to come. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 I went to Cuba in July 1991, and I drove through the streets with Fidel Castro. There were a great deal of cheers. And I also waved back believing that these cheers were for me. Fidel was very humble; he smiled but he never said a word. But when I reached the square where I had to make some remarks to the crowd, then I realized that these cheers were not meant for me, they were meant for Fidel Castro. Because everybody forgot about me, and was really aroused by Fidel Castro. Then I realized that here was a man of the masses. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 Long live the Cuban Revolution. Long live comrade Fidel Castro... Cuban internationalists have done so much for African independence, freedom, and justice. We admire the sacrifices of the Cuban people in maintaining their independence and sovereignty in the face of a vicious imperialist campaign designed to destroy the advances of the Cuban revolution. We too want to control our destiny... There can be no surrender. It is a case of freedom or death. The Cuban revolution has been a source of inspiration to all freedom-loving people. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 Sometimes it falls upon a generation to be great. You can be that great generation. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 That was one of the things that worried me - to be raised to the position of a semi-god - because then you are no longer a human being. I wanted to be known as Mandela, a man with weaknesses, some of which are fundamental, and a man who is committed, but, nevertheless, sometimes fails to live up to expectations. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 Thinking too well of people often allows them to behave better than they otherwise would. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 We identify with the PLO because, just like ourselves, they are fighting for the right of self-determination. I support Israel's right to exist, but that doesn't mean that Israel has the right to retain the territories they conquered from the Arab world. It will be a grave mistake for us to consider our attitude towards [Yasser] Arafat on the basis of the Jewish community. We sympathise with the struggles of the Jewish people and their persecution, down the years. In fact, we have been very much influenced by the lack of racism among the Jewish communities. Arafat is a comrade in arms, and we treat him as such. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 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. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 Mr. Bush is arrogant and the President is racist for threatening to bypass the United Nations. Is it because the secretary-general of the United Nations is a black man? They never did that when secretary-generals were white. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 The Prime Minister of Britain Tony Blair is the foreign minister of the United States. He is no longer Prime Minister of Britain. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 The US leader and the British Prime Minister Tony Blair, are undermining the UN. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 It is a tragedy what is happening, what Bush is doing in Iraq. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 The UN was the main reason there has been no World War III and it should make the decisions on how to deal with Iraq. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 If there are dreams about a beautiful South Africa, there are also roads that lead to their goal. Two of these roads could be named Goodness and Forgiveness. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 If the United States of America or Britain is having elections, they don't ask for observers from Africa or from Asia. But when we have elections, they want observers. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.  
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 Does anybody really think that they didn't get what they had because they didn't have the talent or the strength or the endurance or the commitment? 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 I dream of an Africa which is in peace with itself. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 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. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 I dream of the realization of the unity of Africa, whereby its leaders combine in their efforts to solve the problems of this continent. I dream of our vast deserts, of our forests, of all our great wildernesses. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 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. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur. You take the front line when there is danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 Let freedom reign. The sun never set on so glorious a human achievement. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 Let there be work, bread, water and salt for all. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 Money won't create success, the freedom to make it will. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 Never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another.  
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 There can be no keener revelation of a society's soul than the way in which it treats its children. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 We must use time wisely and forever realize that the time is always ripe to do right.  
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 There is no passion to be found playing small - in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 There is no such thing as part freedom.  
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 When the water starts boiling it is foolish to turn off the heat. 
Author: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nationality: South African
b. 18 July 1918
  
 The truth isn't always beauty, but the hunger for it is. 
Author: Nadine Gordimer
Nationality: South African
b. 20 November 1923
  
 The gap between the committed and the indifferent is a Sahara whose faint trails, followed by the mind's eye only, fade out in sand. 
Author: Nadine Gordimer
Nationality: South African
b. 20 November 1923
  
 I opened the telegram and said, "He's dead -" and as I looked up into Graham Mill's gaze I saw that he knew who, before I could say. 
Author: Nadine Gordimer
Nationality: South African
b. 20 November 1923
  
 Among the group of people waiting at the fortress was a schoolgirl in a brown and yellow uniform holding a green eiderdown quilt and, by the loop at its neck, a red hot-water bottle. 
Author: Nadine Gordimer
Nationality: South African
b. 20 November 1923
  
 Writing is making sense of life. You work your whole life and perhaps you've made sense of one small area. 
Author: Nadine Gordimer
Nationality: South African
b. 20 November 1923
  
 Responsibility is what awaits outside the Eden of Creativity. 
Author: Nadine Gordimer
Nationality: South African
b. 20 November 1923
  
 The creative act is not pure. History evidences it. Sociology extracts it. The writer loses Eden, writes to be read and comes to realize that he is answerable. 
Author: Nadine Gordimer
Nationality: South African
b. 20 November 1923
  
 Censorship is never over for those who have experienced it. It is a brand on the imagination that affects the individual who has suffered it, forever. 
Author: Nadine Gordimer
Nationality: South African
b. 20 November 1923
  
 You can't change a regime on the basis of compassion. There's got to be something harder. 
Author: Nadine Gordimer
Nationality: South African
b. 20 November 1923
  
 I shall never write an autobiography, I'm much too jealous of my privacy for that. 
Author: Nadine Gordimer
Nationality: South African
b. 20 November 1923
  
 Mostly I'm interviewed by white people, and identified with white society. 
Author: Nadine Gordimer
Nationality: South African
b. 20 November 1923
  
 Well, you know, in the fundamentalist milieu of the Afrikaners, there was a sense that they were a chosen people, that they were bringing civilization to the blacks. 
Author: Nadine Gordimer
Nationality: South African
b. 20 November 1923
  
 Art defies defeat by its very existence, representing the celebration of life, in spite of all attempts to degrade and destroy it. 
Author: Nadine Gordimer
Nationality: South African
b. 20 November 1923
  
 Learning to write sent me falling, falling through the surface of the South African way of life. 
Author: Nadine Gordimer
Nationality: South African
b. 20 November 1923
  
 In the beginning was the Word. The Word was with God, signified God's Word, the word that was Creation. But over the centuries of human culture the word has taken on other meanings, secular as well as religious. To have the word has come to be synonymous with ultimate authority, with prestige, with awesome, sometimes dangerous persuation, to have Prime Time, a TV talk show, to have the gift of the gab as well as that of speaking in tongues. The word flies through space, it is bounced from satellites, now nearer than it has ever been to the heaven from which it was believed to have come. 
Author: Nadine Gordimer
Nationality: South African
b. 20 November 1923
  
 Like the prisoners incarcerated with the jaguar in Borges' story, 'The God's Script', who was trying to read, in a ray of light which fell only once a day, the meaning of being from the marking on the creature's pelt, we spend our lives attempting to interpret through the word the readings we take in the societies, the world of which we are part. It is in this sense, this inextricable, ineffable participation, that writing is always and at once an exploration of self and of the world; of individual and collective being. 
Author: Nadine Gordimer
Nationality: South African
b. 20 November 1923
  
 Humans, the only self-regarding animals, blessed or cursed with this torturing higher faculty, have always wanted to know why. 
Author: Nadine Gordimer
Nationality: South African
b. 20 November 1923
  
 Since humans became self-regarding they have sought, as well, explanations for the common phenomena of procreation, death, the cycle of seasons, the earth, sea, wind and stars, sun and moon, plenty and disaster. With myth, the writer's ancestors, the oral story-tellers, began to feel out and formulate these mysteries, using the elements of daily life - observable reality - and the faculty of the imagination - the power of projection into the hidden - to make stories. 
Author: Nadine Gordimer
Nationality: South African
b. 20 November 1923
  
 Myth was the mystery plus the fantasy - gods, anthropomorphized animals and birds, chimera, phantasmagorical creatures - that posits out of the imagination some sort of explanation for the mystery. Humans and their fellow creatures were the materiality of the story, but as Nikos Kazantzakis once wrote, 'Art is the representation not of the body but of the forces which created the body.' 
Author: Nadine Gordimer
Nationality: South African
b. 20 November 1923
  
 There are many proven explanations for natural phenomena now; and there are new questions of being arising out of some of the answers. For this reason, the genre of myth has never been entirely abandoned, although we are inclined to think of it as archaic. If it dwindled to the children's bedtime tale in some societies, in parts of the world protected by forests or deserts from international megaculture it has continued, alive, to offer art as a system of mediation between the individual and being. And it has made a whirling comeback out of Space, an Icarus in the avatar of Batman and his kind, who never fall into the ocean of failure to deal with the gravity forces of life. 
Author: Nadine Gordimer
Nationality: South African
b. 20 November 1923
  
 Perhaps it is the positive knowledge that humans now possess the means to destroy their whole planet, the fear that they have in this way themselves become the gods, dreadfully charged with their own continued existence, that has made comic-book and movie myth escapist. 
Author: Nadine Gordimer
Nationality: South African
b. 20 November 1923
  
 The forces of being remain. They are what the writer, as distinct from the contemporary popular mythmaker, still engage today, as myth in its ancient form attempted to do. 
Author: Nadine Gordimer
Nationality: South African
b. 20 November 1923
  
 The writer in relation to the nature of perceivable reality and what is beyond - imperceivable reality - is the basis for all these studies, no matter what resulting concepts are labelled, and no matter in what categorized microfiles writers are stowed away for the annals of literary historiography. Reality is constructed out of many elements and entities, seen and unseen, expressed, and left unexpressed for breathing-space in the mind. 
Author: Nadine Gordimer
Nationality: South African
b. 20 November 1923
  
 Literary scholars end up being some kind of storyteller, too. 
Author: Nadine Gordimer
Nationality: South African
b. 20 November 1923
  
 Perhaps there is no other way of reaching some understanding of being than through art? Writers themselves don't analyze what they do; to analyze would be to look down while crossing a canyon on a tightrope. 
Author: Nadine Gordimer
Nationality: South African
b. 20 November 1923
  
 Any writer of any worth at all hopes to play only a pocket-torch of light - and rarely, through genius, a sudden flambeau - into the bloody yet beautiful labyrinth of human experience, of being. 
Author: Nadine Gordimer
Nationality: South African
b. 20 November 1923
  
 I have said that nothing factual that I write or say will be as truthful as my fiction. The life, the opinions, are not the work, for it is in the tension between standing apart and being involved that the imagination transforms both. Let me give some minimal account of myself. I am what I suppose would be called a natural writer. I did not make any decision to become one. I did not, at the beginning, expect to earn a living by being read. I wrote as a child out of the joy of apprehending life through my senses - the look and scent and feel of things; and soon out of the emotions that puzzled me or raged within me and which took form, found some enlightenment, solace and delight, shaped in the written word. 
Author: Nadine Gordimer
Nationality: South African
b. 20 November 1923
  
 I was evidence of the theory that books are made out of other books. But I did not remain so for long, nor do I believe any potential writer could. 
Author: Nadine Gordimer
Nationality: South African
b. 20 November 1923
  
 With adolescence comes the first reaching out to otherness through the drive of sexuality. For most children, from then on the faculty of the imagination, manifest in play, is lost in the focus on day dreams of desire and love, but for those who are going to be artists of one kind or another the first life-crisis after that of birth does something else in addition: the imagination gains range and extends by the subjective flex of new and turbulent emotions. There are new perceptions. The writer begins to be able to enter into other lives. The process of standing apart and being involved has come. 
Author: Nadine Gordimer
Nationality: South African
b. 20 November 1923
  
 Both Borges and Sartre, from their totally different extremes of denying literature a social purpose, were certainly perfectly aware that it has its implicit and unalterable social role in exploring the state of being, from which all other roles, personal among friends, public at the protest demonstration, derive. Borges was not writing for his friends, for he published and we all have received the bounty of his work. Sartre did not stop writing, although he stood at the barricades in 1968. 
Author: Nadine Gordimer
Nationality: South African
b. 20 November 1923
  
 Camus dealt with the question best. He said that he liked individuals who take sides more than literatures that do. 'One either serves the whole of man or does not serve him at all. And if man needs bread and justice, and if what has to be done must be done to serve this need, he also needs pure beauty which is the bread of his heart.' So Camus called for 'Courage in and talent in one's work.' And Márquez redefined tender fiction thus: The best way a writer can serve a revolution is to write as well as he can. I believe that these two statements might be the credo for all of us who write. They do not resolve the conflicts that have come, and will continue to come, to contemporary writers. But they state plainly an honest possibility of doing so, they turn the face of the writer squarely to her and his existence, the reason to be, as a writer, and the reason to be, as a responsible human, acting, like any other, within a social context. 
Author: Nadine Gordimer
Nationality: South African
b. 20 November 1923
  
 Being here: in a particular time and place. That is the existential position with particular implications for literature. 
Author: Nadine Gordimer
Nationality: South African
b. 20 November 1923
  
 Most imprisoned writers have been shut away for their activities as citizens striving for liberation against the oppression of the general society to which they belong. Others have been condemned by repressive regimes for serving society by writing as well as they can; for this aesthetic venture of ours becomes subversive when the shameful secrets of our times are explored deeply, with the artist's rebellious integrity to the state of being manifest in life around her or him; then the writer's themes and characters inevitably are formed by the pressures and distortions of that society as the life of the fisherman is determined by the power of the sea. 
Author: Nadine Gordimer
Nationality: South African
b. 20 November 1923
  
 There is a paradox. In retaining this integrity, the writer sometimes must risk both the state's indictment of treason, and the liberation forces' complaint of lack of blind commitment. 
Author: Nadine Gordimer
Nationality: South African
b. 20 November 1923
  
 The writer must take the right to explore, warts and all, both the enemy and the beloved comrade in arms, since only a try for the truth makes sense of being, only a try for the truth edges towards justice just ahead of Yeats's beast slouching to be born. 
Author: Nadine Gordimer
Nationality: South African
b. 20 November 1923
  
 The writer is of service to humankind only insofar as the writer uses the word even against his or her own loyalties, trusts the state of being, as it is revealed, to hold somewhere in its complexity filaments of the cord of truth, able to be bound together, here and there, in art: trusts the state of being to yield somewhere fragmentary phrases of truth, which is the final word of words, never changed by our stumbling efforts to spell it out and write it down, never changed by lies, by semantic sophistry, by the dirtying of the word for the purposes of racism, sexism, prejudice, domination, the glorification of destruction, the curses and the praise-songs. 
Author: Nadine Gordimer
Nationality: South African
b. 20 November 1923
  
 When the six-year-old daughter of a friend of mine overheard her father telling someone that I had been awarded the Nobel Prize, she asked whether I had ever received it before. He replied that the Prize was something you could get only once. Whereupon the small girl thought a moment: 'Oh' she said, 'so it's like chicken-pox.' 
Author: Nadine Gordimer
Nationality: South African
b. 20 November 1923
  
 I certainly find being the recipient at this celebratory dinner more pleasurable and rewarding than chicken-pox, having now in my life experienced both. But the small girl was not entirely wrong. Writing is indeed, some kind of affliction in its demands as the most solitary and introspective of occupations. 
Author: Nadine Gordimer
Nationality: South African
b. 20 November 1923
  
 We must live fully in order to secrete the substance of our work, but we have to work alone. 
Author: Nadine Gordimer
Nationality: South African
b. 20 November 1923
  
 When I began to write as a very young person in a rigidly racist and inhibited colonial society, I felt, as many others did, that I existed marginally on the edge of the world of ideas, of imagination and beauty. These, taking shape in poetry and fiction, drama, painting and sculpture, were exclusive to that distant realm known as 'overseas'. 
Author: Nadine Gordimer
Nationality: South African
b. 20 November 1923
  
 What we had to do to find the world was to enter our own world fully, first. We had to enter through the tragedy of our own particular place. If the Nobel awards have a special meaning, it is that they carry this concept further. In their global eclecticism they recognize that no single society, no country or continent can presume to create a truly human culture for the world. To be among laureates, past and present, is at least to belong to some sort of one world. 
Author: Nadine Gordimer
Nationality: South African
b. 20 November 1923
  




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