Obamas Pay Tribute to Nelson Mandela on What Would Have Been His 100th Birthday

| JUL 19, 2018 | 2:26 PM

Wednesday marked what would have been former South African President Nelson Mandela's 100th birthday, and the former American president and first lady posted heartwarming tributes to the anti-apartheid icon.

Former President Barack Obama gave a speech Tuesday at the 16th Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture, where he honored Mandela and called for people to live out his principles.

Obama followed his speech with a hopeful post on his Instagram account on Wednesday, where he is shown with a group of young people painting a mural of the late South African president:

Mandela Day is about taking action to change the world for the better. In these young people, I see Madiba's example of persistence and hope. They are poised to make this world more peaceful, more prosperous, and more just.

A short while later, Michelle Obama posted her tribute to Mandela:

Nelson Mandela's story reminds us that even in the darkest of times, change is always possible— but only if we're willing to work for it and fight for it. On the 100th anniversary of Madiba's birth, let us honor his memory by recommitting ourselves to the work of his life.

Mandela was South Africa's first president following the end of apartheid. Before that, he was a driving force behind the movement to end the country's extreme racial segregation. The leader passed away in 2013 at the age of 95.