We challenged ourselves this week. Without Google – and in celebration of Mandela Day – we went on a journey to find the words of Nelson Mandela that had the most impact for us at Londolozi.
We came up with 12 (plus one).
Some of the quotes you will have seen before, but some are less well known. For our team, words of wisdom and Madiba “directives” were important, but as important were quotes that reminded us to celebrate our country and our African-ness, from the wilderness (obviously) to the music.
Lastly, six quotes stood out as particularly important. They covered the importance of morality and the human spirit, but also Mandela’s resolve to reshape the way that we reach out to each other. For what are we as human beings unless we work towards a place of mutual and beneficial understanding guided by the goodness within us?
Here is our 12 (plus one), sprinkled with some of the photo moments that speak to who we are and who we strive to be:
On Africa and Home
“I believe that South Africa is the most beautiful place on earth. Admittedly, I am biased but when you combine the natural beauty of sunny South Africa with the friendliness and cultural diversity of our people, and the fact that the region is a haven for Africa’s most splendid wildlife, then I think that we have been blessed with a truly wonderful land.”
A winter sunset captured by Londolozi Ranger Mike Sutherland sums up the incredible beauty of the bushveld. We are very fortunate to call this land our home.
“We are a winning nation! We acknowledge our problems and challenges and then proceed to tackle them with determination and in a spirit of optimism. We have overcome much in order to be where we are.”
“African music is something that goes straight to your heart and it tells the story of your own life, your living conditions, your aspirations.”
Village elder, Linah Lamula, finds the rhythm (and the fire). No-one moves to the beat quite like her … and yes, we often try!
On Education and the Next Generation
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
“Our children are our greatest treasure. They are our future. Those who abuse them tear at the fabric of our society and weaken our nation.”
“Sometimes it falls upon a generation to be great. You can be that generation. Let your greatness blossom.”
Londolozi Tracker, Shadrack Mkabela, is a visionary. With the help of Good Work Foundation, he puts two young people (unrelated to him) through high school. He pays for their school uniforms, monitors their progress, and has even enrolled them in a digital literacy course so that they could become proficient in the Microsoft Office suite. He calls it “paying it forward.”
On Communicating … Effectively
“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.”
“In human affairs, no single person, organisation or social formation ever has a final or an absolutely correct position. It is through conversation, debate and critical discussion that we approach positions that may provide workable solutions.”
“The relative success that we have achieved in Southern Africa vindicates our belief that conflicts can and must be resolved peacefully through dialogue.”
The reason why this photo is so beautiful is missed by most people. Gogo Nora and Gogo Mo don’t speak the same language on paper. But put these two old birds together and they’ll find a way, and that “way” always starts with a smile.
On Morality and the Human Spirit
“As we let our own light shine we unconsciously give other people the permission to do the same.”
“There can be no greater gift than that of giving one’s time and energy to help others without expecting anything in return.”
“We are in this modern globalised world each the keeper of our brother and sister. We have too often failed that moral calling.”
They work together, live together and play together. They cry together and often, they “burn” together. They celebrate together and they create together. The Londolozi Kitchen team. Rich in spirit.
“During my long walk to freedom, I had the rare privilege to visit Londolozi. There I saw people of all races living in harmony admits the beauty that mother nature offers.”
Mandela visits Londolozi and walks through the village in 1992 – a privilege to all members of Londolozi.
Many of the quotes above were taken from Nelson Mandela: Conversations with Myself and Nelson Mandela By Himself. We would love for you to add to our list. What is your favourite Nelson Mandela quote, and what will you be doing on Nelson Mandela Day (18 July)?