Invictus: The Poem that Inspired Mandela


As we remember the life of this remarkable man. May you be inspired by him and what inspired him as well. Invictus is a poem that kept Mandela inspired through the years that he was in prison. This poem was written on a piece of paper in his prison cell. He read and drew strength from it.

This Poem titled “Invictus” was written by the English poet William Ernest Henley (1849–1903). “Henley, at the age of 12 contracted tuberculosis of the bone. A few years later, the disease progressed to his foot, and physicians announced that the only way to save his life was to amputate directly below the knee. It was amputated when he was 17. Despite his disability, he survived with one foot intact and led an active life until his death at the age of 53.”

I hope you draw strength from this poem in whatever situation you can ever come across. The last part of this poem says “I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.” Be brave and go be change, remember servant leadership is what we should strive for.


Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
William Ernest Henley

RSA flag


I am that girl who stands on top of the ball called earth and as the ball rolls so does my life. Trying to balance without falling off. A risk taker, an advocate for youth policies and social entrepreneur.

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Posted in Inspiration
2 comments on “Invictus: The Poem that Inspired Mandela
  1. […] Invictus: The Poem that Inspired Mandela ( […]

  2. […] Invictus: The Poem that Inspired Mandela ( […]

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