He believes in this poem and a movie was made called Invictus. It gave him strength to go on, believe, let nothing stand in his way.
The Meaning of Invictus
Invictus, meaning “unconquerable” or “undefeated” in Latin, is a poem by William Ernest Henley. The poem was written while Henley was in the hospital being treated for tuberculosis of the bone, also known as Pott’s disease. He had had the disease since he was very young, and his foot had been amputated shortly before he wrote the poem.
This poem is about courage in the face of death, and holding on to one’s own dignity despite the indignities life places before us.
Then of course there was also the film that was made Ivictus. The film tells the inspiring true story of how Nelson Mandela joined forces with the captain of South Africa’s rugby team to help unite their country. Newly elected President Mandela knows his nation remains racially and economically divided in the wake of apartheid. Believing he can bring his people together through the universal language of sport, Mandela rallies South Africa’s rugby team as they make their historic run to the 1995 Rugby World Cup Championship match.
Nelson Mandela didn’t always look like a visionary. For 27 years, he simply looked like a prisoner, locked up for antiapartheid activism. What seemed like a long exercise in futility is now legend: after his release, he became his country’s president, and today is an icon of commitment and compassion. Fortunately, visionary thinkers aren’t always imprisoned, but they are often ridiculed, marginalized, or just plain dismissed for proposing big ideas that sound outlandish to others.