In his long history Nelson Mandela has made many speeches on many occasions. Some of these Mandela speeches have been compiled into books, and many things Mandela has said in his speeches have become famous quotes. The Nelson Mandela inaugural speech is possibly his most famous. Any Nelson Mandela speech is well worth reading or listening to though.
As with the man himself a Mandela speech is usually well constructed, well thought out and packed with intelligence and meaning. The Mandela inauguration speech of 1994 is packed with purpose and feeling. The end of a long struggle and the beginnings of shining hope are what really come through. The ANC had struggled so long to make democracy in South Africa a reality. Mandela himself went through 27 years of imprisonment. Now here he and his country stood “Free at last”
The Nelson Mandela inauguration speech given at Cape Town on May 19, 1994 begins – “Today we are entering a new era for our country and its people. Today we celebrate not the victory of a party, but a victory for all the people of South Africa.” This was not just a victory for South Africa though but a victory for democracy everywhere. It is perhaps the Nelson Mandela inaugural speech given at Pretoria on May 10 that most people will remember most. “The time for the healing of the wounds has come,. The moment to bridge the chasms that divide us has come. The time to build is upon us” are moving words for a nation that had struggled so long. Nelson Rolihlahla could have chosen to lead the ANC into further conflict when he was released from prison, but he didn’t. This Mandela inauguration speech is recognised as an almost perfect display of forgiveness.
Forgiveness for a political system that had for so long held the nation down and forgiveness for the imprisonment of him and others are the implications in the Nelson Mandela speech 1994.
Hope and progression are the other main hallmarks the Nelson Mandela inauguration speech. In fact themes of hope and steadfastness come through in many Mandela speeches.
You can listen to the Mandela inaugural speech on somewhere like YouTube, but it is a good idea to read the words too. There are Mandela speeches available for reading from the 1950’s through to today, although Mandiba has retired and makes no more official speeches. His speeches give an insight into the long struggle for democracy and into his beliefs about humanity. To understand who Nelson Mandela is and what he has meant to his country and the world it is worth reading his speeches and at least his autobiography.
The Nelson Mandela inauguration was a moment in history not to be missed. This leader of power and vision has much to share with us all. Perhaps starting with the Mandela inauguration is a bit like reading a book backwards, but it doesn’t really matter where you start with Mandiba’s speeches. They all have something to say and lead you to somewhere else.