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5 powerful Nelson Mandela quotes that resonate with Nigerians

On July 18 every year, the world celebrates Nelson Mandela International Day.

The iconic Nelson Mandela [Aljazeera]

Nelson Mandela, the iconic South African statesman, devoted his entire existence to the pursuit of justice, equality, and freedom. Although primarily known for his role in the fight against apartheid in South Africa, Mandela's wisdom and vision extended beyond his own country.

In this article, we direct our focus towards the profound impact of Mandela's words on Nigeria, a nation pulsating with strength, diversity, and aspirations.

Within the depths of Mandela's speeches and writings lie valuable insights and guidance that can shape the course of Nigeria's progress. These pearls of wisdom are not merely words on paper; they possess the potential to ignite change, foster unity, and inspire the collective Nigerian spirit.

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Mandela said:

Education is a fundamental tool for empowerment, progress, and transformation. Mandela recognised the crucial role education plays in shaping societies.

In the context of Nigeria, this quote highlights the significance of investing in quality education for all Nigerian children, irrespective of their backgrounds. By equipping the youth with knowledge and skills, Nigeria can build a brighter future and tackle the challenges it faces.

Reference: Mandela's autobiography, "Long Walk to Freedom" (1994).

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In this quote, Mandela emphasises the importance of not only attaining freedom but also ensuring the freedom and dignity of others.

Nigeria, as a diverse nation, echoes this sentiment, as it strives for a society where every citizen can enjoy equal rights and opportunities. Mandela's words remind us that true liberation requires us to uplift one another and foster inclusive communities.

Reference: Mandela's speech at the inauguration as South Africa's first democratically elected President, Pretoria, May 10, 1994.

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Mandela's faith in the ability of individuals to effect change resonates deeply with Nigeria. Despite the country's challenges, he believed that the power to transform society lies within the hands of its people.

This quote serves as a call to action for Nigerians to rise above adversity and work towards building a brighter future.

Reference: Mandela's speech at the Make Poverty History Campaign, Trafalgar Square, London, February 3, 2005.

Mandela saw the struggle against injustice as a universal cause. He acknowledged the fight for independence and liberation from colonial rule, which mirrored South Africa's own journey to freedom.

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The takeaway: In the hands of Nigerians lies the collective power of the people to rise against oppressive systems, to fight in unity against the oppressors, and to pave the way for a better future in spite of the current bleak circumstances.

Reference: Mandela's speech at the African National Congress' (ANC) National Conference, Durban, December 16, 1994.

Mandela understood the unifying power of sports and its potential to bridge divides and foster harmony. This quote explains the importance of sports as a catalyst for social cohesion and national pride.

It resonates strongly with Nigeria, a nation known for its passion for football, where sports have played a significant role in bringing people together and showcasing the country's talented spirit to the world.

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Reference: Mandela's speech at the Laureus World Sports Awards, Monaco, May 25, 2000.

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