Obama Speech in SA Leaves South Africans Talking

Former United States President, Barack Obama was the keynote speaker at the 16th annual lecture of Nelson Mandela at the Wanderers Cricket Stadium in Johannesburg on Tuesday.

Obama was among prominent leaders at the event, including South African president Cyril Ramaphosa, Mandela’s widow Graca Machel, businessman Patrice Motsepe and others.

Obama shared some of his fond memories of time spent with the late president, and said Mandela had an impact on him from when he was a young boy.

The former American president also stressed inequality and urged the packed stadium to fight against inequality and injustice.


The lecture was part of the Centenary Celebrations that are happening around the world, celebrating Mandela month, as Mandela would have turned 100 tomorrow, Wednesday 18 July.

Here are our Top 10 Quotes from Barack Obama in South Africa, 17 July 2018:

“I believe in Nelson Mandela’s vision. I believe in a vision shared by Gandhi and King and Abraham Lincoln. I believe in a vision… built on the premise that all people are created equal and they’re endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights.”

“Madiba studied Afrikaans in order to understand his captors”

“Madiba had a vision for the South Africa he wanted and he made peace with his enemy”

“As strong as Madiba may have been, he was strong because he knew he was not alone. He knew there were people around the country and around the world who kept working.”

“I can’t find common ground when someone disputes scientific facts. I don’t know where to start. Unfortunately too much of politics today sees people reject basic truth.”

“Madiba understood that democracy is not just about votes. Democracy depends on strong institutions, freedom of expression, free press and a free right to protest.

“Oppressing others who have oppressed you in the past is not justice”

“Madiba understood that we cannot say we have a just society just because we’ve placed someone who looks like us on top of an unjust system”

“Women and girls are still blocked from positions of power and responsibility”

“It’s a fact that racial discrimination still exists in the United States and South Africa”