Mandela, who spent 27 years in prison before becoming the first black president of South Africa was also deeply committed to education and its importance in creating a better tomorrow for our world.
On occasion of his recent departure, as English users we will share with you some of his most memorable quotes. These are great to discuss in your English classes or with other English users, especially because all of them go far beyond the situation in South Africa. Additionally, to add a linguistic dimension, we added some language points about each quote.
- Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.
- Here the word is "education" is used as a metaphor. Metaphors are rhetorical devices that transfer the sense or aspects of one word to another.
- 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.
- A powerful message involving the zero conditional.
- There is no passion to be found playing small - in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.
- to play small (idiom) = to be mediocre or not try very hard
- I detest racialism, because I regard it as a barbaric thing, whether it comes from a black man or a white man.
- whether = regardless of if
- It always seems impossible until its done.
- adverbs of frequency (always) go before single verbs
For a brief biography on the life of this iconic leader, we recommend you watch the following mini biography.