Nelson Mandela birth anniversary: 5 books to read from the inspirational leader

Nelson Mandela birth anniversary: 5 books to read from the inspirational leader

"Everyone can rise above their circumstances and achieve success if they are dedicated to and passionate about what they do." - Nelson Mandela. 

When times are grim, and there is uncertainty all around us, strong leaders from the past show us that, man has suffered losses, struggled and survived. 

One of such influential leaders and an exemplar of strength - Nelson Mandela is no less an inspiration for generations to come. South Africa's first black President, an anti-Apartheid hero and a Nobel laureate was born on July 18, 1918. 

One of the most recognisable figures in the 20th century, Madiba, as he was called, rose against all the odds to be known for his ideals and values. 

His legacy lives through his idea and his story. Mandela insisted that he was part of a larger struggle and a movement. He rose against racism and spoke strongly against discriminations. 

On his 102nd birth anniversary, let us remember the struggle of the Nobel man and appreciate his thoughts and everything he achieved through his books. 

Here are five books by Nelson Mandela that you must read and get inspired. 

1. Long walk to freedom: Famously known as the autobiography of the Nobel peace prize winner, the book charts Mandela's life from his early years to his career. His marriages, years in the jail and his relationship with the fellow inmates. The book also outlines the years of negotiations against the apartheid state, entry into politics and transforming the ANC to a modern political party and finally taking the reader to his election as South Africa's first black, democratically elected President. 

The book ends in his famous quote, "I have walked that long road to freedom. I have tried not to falter; I have made missteps along the way. But I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb ..."

2. The Prison Letters of Nelson Mandela: Mandela spent 27 years of his life in prison. While in prison, the future leader shared an interesting relationship with the inmates, and that is what makes this book a good read. During the 10,052 long days of being locked up, he wrote numerous letters to the prison authorities, his fellow activists and the government. 

But most importantly, revealing his thoughts and giving insights into his life, he wrote to his wife Winnie and his children. 

More than ever now, reading his letters from complete isolation could help us get through these tough times. The letters outline how Mandela engaged with the outside world while being behind bars. 

3. Conversations with myself: Considered to be a continuation of Long Walk to Freedom. It is a person archive account by Mandela into his life in prison. The book includes letters, notebooks, taped conversations, and prison diaries that take us through his 27 years locked in. 

4. Notes to the future: A book filled with quotations from Mandela's speeches, archives, correspondences and recordings. Almost the need of the hours as the world struggles to find peace and balance amid the chaos created by the pandemic. The quotes in the book are organised into four sections - Struggle, Victory, Wisdom and Future. The quotes are both personal yet deeply universal. 

5. Dare Not Linger - The Presidential Years: An account of the Presidential years of Nelson Mandela in South Africa, written by Mandela and Mandla Langa. The book was published four years after his death in 2013. It is based on an unfinished memoir that the leader had been working on after his term as President and includes archival articles, interviews and quotes. 

The title - Dare not Linger, comes from the closing lines of the 1994 autobiography book - Long Walk to Freedom. The line reads: "But I can only rest for a moment, for with freedom comes responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not ended."

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