Nelson Mandela

BIO-MANDELA-RALLYNelson Mandela: Gone to the Heaven of Freedom 

Out of the furnace of suffering, the jewel of a compassionate heart was forged. When Nelson Mandela stepped out of prison, after 27 long years of enduring gruelling ordeals, he brought with him the olive branch of forgiveness and embraced his oppressors in order to liberate his nation. This singular act made him divine because it was against human nature to reconcile with one’s enemies so effortlessly.  The world yearns for more Mandelas especially in Africa. The rancour that stems from mainly tribal and religious differences is wrecking the continent. Mandela demonstrated that we can rise from our prejudices and bitterness to become better human beings. He personified the Latin phrase: “Nil magnum nisi bonum” (no greatness without goodness). We become great when we become good, and being good starts from showing love and compassion to those around us.

His towering legacy now rests on each one of us, to continue to rebuild our world by using the bricks of peace.

This week, to celebrate Mandela, we suspend our regular interview and bring you notable quotes by some world leaders on Nelson Mandela:

South African President Jacob Zuma:

“Our thoughts are with the South African people, who today mourn the loss of the one person who, more than any other, came to embody their sense of a common nation. Our thoughts are with the millions of people across the world who embraced Madiba as their own, and who saw his cause as their cause. This is the moment of our deepest sorrow. Our nation has lost its greatest son.”

“What made Nelson Mandela great was precisely what made him human. We saw in him what we seek in ourselves.”

U.S President Barack Obama:

“He achieved more than could be expected of any man, and today he’s gone home. And we’ve lost one of the most influential and courageous and profoundly good human beings that any of us will share time with on this earth.”

“Through his fierce dignity and unbending will to sacrifice his own freedom for the freedom of others, Madiba transformed South Africa and moved all of us. His journey from a prisoner to a president embodied the promise that human beings and countries can change for the better.”

“A man who took history in his hands, and bent the arc of the moral universe toward justice.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel:

“Nelson Mandela was convinced that it is neither hatred nor vengeance that turn the world into a better place, but reconciliation and peaceful change. He lived it. This is why he is a giant of history, a statesman with a message resonating in all countries and for all times.”

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon:

“Nelson Mandela showed what is possible in our world, and within each one of us, if we believe a dream and work together for justice and humanity. Let us continue each day to be inspired by Nelson Mandela’s lifelong example to keep working for a better and more just world.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin:

“Mandela, having gone through the most difficult ordeals, was committed to the end of his days to the ideals of humanism and justice. A whole era of modern African history is connected with the name of Nelson Mandela, which is marked by victory over apartheid and building the democratic South Africa.”

Chinese President Xi Jinping:

“The Chinese people will always remember Mandela’s extraordinary contributions to the China-South Africa relationship and the course of progress of mankind.”

French President Francois Hollande:

“He became a global hero because he was profoundly human and profoundly good.”

Former U.S President Bill Clinton:

“History will remember Nelson Mandela as a champion for human dignity and freedom, for peace and reconciliation. We will remember him as a man of uncommon grace and compassion, for whom abandoning bitterness and embracing adversaries was not just a political strategy but a way of life.”

Queen Elizabeth of England:

“He worked tirelessly for the good of his country, and his legacy is the peaceful South Africa we see today.”

British Prime Minister David Cameron:

“A great light has gone out of the world.”

Prince Charles:

“Mr Mandela was the embodiment of courage and reconciliation. He was also a man of great humour and had a real zest for life. With his passing, there will be an immense void not only in his family’s lives, but also in those of all South Africans and the many others whose lives have been changed through his fight for peace, justice and freedom.”

Irish President Michael D. Higgins:

“Nelson Mandela is one of history’s greatest leaders; a man whose unprecedented courage and dedication broke down the cruel barriers of apartheid in South Africa and led the nation into a new and democratic age.”

Liberia’s President Ellen Johnston Sirleaf:

“Nelson Mandela lives on as his life will continue to be the guiding light for those who excel, for those who have suffered for freedom and for peace.”

Senegalese President Macky Sall:

“Nelson Mandela was undoubtedly the most influential man of the century.”

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta:

“An extraordinary life in a very ordinary way. His legacy encrypts the story of humanity now and tomorrow.”

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan:

“Dr. Mandela served as a source of inspiration to the oppressed peoples all over the world. In the course of his life-long epic struggle for freedom, fairness, justice, equity and the human rights of his oppressed people, Dr. Mandela made unparalleled personal sacrifices. The indefatigable spirit which he demonstrated throughout his life will continue to inspire present and future generations.”

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh:

“This is as much India’s loss as South Africa’s. He was a true Gandhian. His life and work will remain a source of eternal inspiration for generations to come.”

Archbishop Desmond Tutu:

“He inspired us to walk the path of forgiveness and reconciliation and so South Africa did not go up in flames.”

Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka:

“The soul of Africa has departed, and there is nothing miraculous left in the world.”

Jesse Jackson:

“My heart weighs heavy. The imprint he left on our world is everlasting. Nelson Mandela was a transformational figure; to say he was a ‘historical figure’ would not give him his full due.”

Muhammad Ali:

“He taught us forgiveness on a grand scale. His was a spirit born free, destined to soar above the rainbows. Today his spirit is soaring through the heavens. He is now forever free.”

Pope Francis:

“The steadfast commitment shown by Nelson Mandela in promoting the human dignity of all the nation’s citizens and in forging a new South Africa built on the firm foundations of non-violence, reconciliation and truth, I pray that the late President’s example will inspire generations of South Africans to put justice and the common good at the forefront of their political aspirations.”


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