The great Madiba: Nelson Mandela (Getty Images)

This was the nickname given to Nelson Mandela, the recently deceased former president of South Africa and freedom fighter, who is also one of my personal heroes. According to the Nelson Mandela Foundation—which you can visit by going HEREMadiba was a clan name given to Mandela that connected him to his immediate descendant, “a Thembu chief who ruled the Transkei in the 18th century.” It was also a name of respect, even more so now that Madiba is no longer with us.

In South Africa, President Jacob Zuma—with the support of his people and millions of others around the world (like me)—declared a week of mourning for Mandela that will end with his December 15th burial at Qunu, his ancestral home in the Eastern Cape. Of course, mourning over his loss will continue well beyond this week and into the foreseeable future.

Mourners praying outside Mandela’s home the night he died (AFP)

To honor Madiba—and to conclude my two-day tribute, which began with yesterday’s post, “Mandela”—I offer undoubtedly the best and most accurate insight into the man who changed my life and the lives of so many others: quotes from Mandela himself. I have no doubt they will inspire you as much as they have inspired me. And out of respect to my fallen hero, his words will be the only ones you read from this point forward.

I love you, Madiba. And I will miss you until my final day arrives…

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

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

“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.”

“It always seems impossible until it is done.”

“There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.”

mandela (bids farewell)

Mandela bids farewll (Tayo Fatunla)

“Let freedom reign. The sun never set on so glorious a human achievement.”

“To deny people their human rights is to challenge their very humanity.”

“Our human compassion binds us one to the other—not in pity or patronizingly, but as human beings who have learnt how to turn our common suffering into hope for the future.”

“Real leaders must be ready to sacrifice all for the freedom of their people.”

“Everyone can rise above their circumstances and achieve success if they are dedicated to and passionate about what they do.”

Posted on December 7, 2013, in Family, Perspectives and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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