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Mandela book of quotations published

The Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory has published a brand new, authorised book of quotations from the well-respected former president – one many people sincerely hope will assist his countless admirers to quote him accurately in the foreseeable future.

Nelson Mandela by Himself: The Authorised Book of Quotations was released at the Nelson Mandela Foundation on 27 June 2011, and sales were brisk at the launch function.

“We wanted this to be a publication of substance,” said the centre’s memory programme head Verne Harris, “and one that wasn’t necessarily in accordance with the well-established narrative of Mandela’s life.”


Beneath the editorship of Mandela Foundation communications manager Sello Hatang and senior researcher Sahm Venter, the new publication at the same time endeavors to make the task of the foundation a lot easier as it receives an abundance of phone calls every month from people looking to confirm Mandela’s words of wisdom.

Despite the fact that the book is small in size, it is made up of over 2 000 quotes by the elder statesman, collected over six decades. They’re categorised according to keywords such as responsibility, humanity, reconciliation, prison, integrity and South Africa – 317 sections in all.

The prison category is divided into 26 sub-sections, including comrades, loneliness, and reflections. The South Africa section has 13 sub-categories.

The book comes with a timeline of important Mandela events, in addition to a collection of books and documentaries that had been utilized as references.



Unpublished material

The editors, who claims that Mandela is among the most frequently quoted people on the planet, assure that each and every saying is 100% accurate. Hatang and Venter delved into Mandela’s notebooks, letters, speeches and audio material in order to put the collection together. Many quotations have been unpublished in the past.

“We pass through this world but once,” says the quotation inside the covers, “and opportunities you miss will never be available to you again.”


“Granddad doesn’t often talk openly about his feelings,” said Ndileka Mandela, daughter of Mandela’s older son Thembekile, at the event, “so this book is a invaluable resource along with an insight into his thoughts”.

“This book is long overdue,” said politician and businesswoman Cheryl Carolus. “For many years we’ve looked up to Madiba along with his generation as the leaders, however today we are the frontline generation and the future is in our hands. As a result, we can all reap the benefits of his wisdom.”



Ahead of his time

Mandela’s sayings are brought to you in chronological order within each section, in order that the reader can easily track the continuing development of his thoughts and opinions on any matter. Numerous topics are a great deal more significant today as they were a decade or two ago.

In 1992 Mandela said: “Many of us find it difficult to talk about sex to our children, but nature’s truth is that unless we guide the youth towards safer sex, the alternative is playing into the hands of a killer disease.”

HIV/Aids has swept through South Africa’s population in recent times, killing millions. As reported by the national Department of Health, until 1998 the South African Aids epidemic was in fact the fastest expanding on earth, however it has since retarded. Prevalence of mother-to-child transmission, in particular, has fallen from 8% in 2008 to 2% in 2011.


“In this regard Granddad was far ahead of his time,” said Ndileka Mandela. “During a Robben Island visit, I was shocked when he asked me very personal questions about my relationships, and warned me about safe sex. You didn’t talk about those things back then.”

A poignant entry from 2005 reads simply, “My son has died of Aids.”

“Yes, Aids has touched our family,” Ndileka Mandela said, making reference to the death of her uncle Makgatho, who passed away at the age of 54.

Mandela was adamant that the reason behind his son’s death ought not to be hidden, simply because treating Aids as something mysterious only enhances the stigma and misinformation which enables the disease to proliferate.

Source: mediaclubsouthafrica.com, nelsonmandela.org