10 Quotes of South Africa’s Anti-apartheid hero, Ahmed Kathrada

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Ahmed Kathrada was a South African Activist and one of Nelson Mandela’s closet friend in the struggle against apartheid in South Africa.

Born August 21, 1929 in Schweizer-Reneke, South Africa, Ahmed Kathrada spent 26 years in Prison alongside Mandela and others on Robben Island.

Here are 10 Quotes of South Africa’s Anti-apartheid hero, Ahmed Kathrada

10 Quotes of South Africa’s Anti-apartheid hero, Ahmed Kathrada

1. Hatred, revenge, bitterness: these are negative emotions. The person harboring those emotions suffers more

2. In death, you once more challenge people from every strata, religion, and position to think about how their own actions do and can change the world for better or worse

3. The hardest thing to open is a closed mind.

4. Mandela was a complex character,both the aristocrat, and royalty, and the peasant; the intellectual and the ordinary person; he was a combination of so many different characteristics, you cannot just put him into one box and say ‘this is him’.

5. To build a strong foundation for a new country. the elements of forgiveness, absence of wickedness, absence of hatred, absence of revenge, is very crucial.

6. While we will not forget the brutality of apartheid, we will not want Robben Island to be a monument of our hardship and suffering. We would want it to be a triumph of the human spirit against the forces of evil; a triumph of wisdom and largeness of spirit against small minds and pettiness; a triumph of courage and determination over human frailty and weakness; a triumph of the new South Africa over the old

7. In terms of deprivation, the worst deprivation was the lack of children on the island… I saw a child, and touched a child, after 20 years. So it was the worst deprivation, absence of children. But you couldn’t escape, you had to accept the fact that you are a prisoner

8. The first thing we achieved on April 27, 1994 was dignity, dignity and equal human rights. Prior to that, all over South Africa there were signs saying “Europeans only” in libraries, restaurants, hotels, parks, railways, everywhere you go, and signs that said “non-Europeans not allowed”. There were even signs that said “non-Europeans and dogs not allowed”, which reduced human beings who were not white to the level of animals.

9. We don’t hold it against people who broke down under torture. I don’t know what I would have done under torture. I can never say. As brave as I can talk today, I can’t guarantee it.

10.When I say we have achieved dignity as human beings, we must always still be aware that the challenges are no longer apartheid. The challenges are poverty, hunger, malnutrition, unemployment, housing – those are the challenges. And there is no dignity in poverty, there is no dignity in hunger, so we cannot be satisfied in what we have achieved.

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