Wise words from some of Mzansi's heroes and heroines

2018-03-21 12:50
PHOTO: Gallo images/ Getty images

PHOTO: Gallo images/ Getty images

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WATCH: Waiting for dignity | A 360 video story

2018-03-21 08:41

Residents of a Cape Town informal settlement say they will not be celebrating Human Rights Day due to the lack of dignified sanitation. Take a walk in their shoes through this 360 video.WATCH

Today isn’t just any public holiday in South Africa, it’s the day we commemorate the Sharpeville Massacre.

On 21 March 1960 69 people died and 180 were wounded following a police shootout at a march against pass laws, so we remember all the people who were brave and helped liberate the country on this day.

To honour them, we’ve put together our favourite inspirational quotes from some of South Africa’s most courageous people.

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear” – Nelson Mandela.


“The children of any nation are its future. A country, a movement, a person that does not value its youth and children does not deserve its future” – Oliver Thambo

“It is a law of life that problems arise when conditions are there for their solution” – Walter Sisulu

“We need to create the pathways to give hope to our youth that they can have the opportunity through education and hard work to escape the trap of poverty” – Chris Hani

“[Charlotte] Maxeke rolled up her sleeves and got to work. She made up her mind about where to focus her energies. She chased her dreams and came into her own – defying the architects of both colonisation and apartheid. Hers was a triumphant spirit that powered on in spite of the multitude of odds staked against her. It is the courage and strength of the women of the time, Maxeke and many others, which is the focal point, as well as the history of resistance by black women” – Zubeida Jaffer on Charlotte Maxeke

“I must say I had a tough time, but my spirits have not been dampened. You can tell my friends all over the world that this old girl is still her old self. I am looking forward to the day when my children will share in the wealth of our lovely South Africa. When I die, I’ll die a happy person because I have seen the rays of our new South Africa rising” – Lillian Ngoyi

“Women are the people who are going to relieve us from all this oppression and depression. The rent boycott that is happening in Soweto now [in the 1980s] is alive because of the women. It is the women who are on the street committees educating the people to stand up and protect each other” – Albertina Sisulu

“I don’t doubt for a moment that the revolution will result in a non-racial society. I have just come from being a patient in Groote Schuur Hospital where they now have integrated wards. For the first time in my life I have seen it working. The patients were mixed, the staff was mixed and the medical officers were mixed – it was totally integrated. It was beautiful. White and black together. And it works. To me that is terribly exciting” – Helen Joseph

“Be careful, think about the effect of what you say. Your words should be constructive, bring people together, not pull them apart” – Miriam Makeba

Happy Human Rights Day, South Africa!

Read more on:    human rights day

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