Nelson Mandela's best quotes to mark his 98th birthday

‘It always seems impossible until it’s done’: It’s Nelson Mandela International Day and these are the wise words of the revolutionary hero who would have turned 98 today.

 

‘Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world’

People react as the hearse carrying the coffin of former South African President Nelson Mandela travels through a street in Pretoria, December 11, 2013, on its way to the Union Buildings, where it will lie in state for three days. REUTERS/Yves Herman (SOUTH AFRICA - Tags: OBITUARY POLITICS SOCIETY TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY) - RTX16DL7

Nelson Mandela was born into a South African tribe in a small village where he became the first person in his family to receive a formal education.

‘There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living’

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Nelson Mandela became a leader in the African National Congress and fought to oppose racial segregation.

‘We must use time wisely and forever realise that the time is always ripe to do right’

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA - FEBRUARY 10: South African President Nelson Mandela visits his former cell 10 February in South Africa's notorious Robben Island prison off Cape Town where he spent 19 of his 27 years in prison. Former political prisoners on the island held a reunion as Mandela marked the 5th anniversary of his liberation. (COLOR KEY: Seat is green.) AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read GUY TILLIM/AFP/Getty Images)

He was branded a terrorist for advocating human rights and was given a life sentence in prison, of which he served 27 years before his release in 1990.

‘After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb’

MMABATHO, SOUTH AFRICA: South African National Congress (ANC) President Nelson Mandela gives 15 March 1994 in Mmabatho a clenched fist to supporters upon his arrival for his first election rally for 27 April general elections. (Photo credit should read WALTER DHLADHLA/AFP/Getty Images)

Once released, Nelson continued to campaign for equality. His hard work finally paid off when all races were allowed to vote in the 1994 election.

‘I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear’

Nelson Mandela, accompanied by his wife Winnie, walks out of the Victor Verster prison near Cape Town after spending 27 years in apartheid jails in this February 11, 1990 file photo. REUTERS/Ulli Michel/Files (SOUTH AFRICA - Tags: CIVIL UNREST POLITICS TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY) ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE IS PART OF PACKAGE '30 YEARS OF REUTERS PICTURES' TO FIND ALL 56 IMAGES SEARCH '30 YEARS' - RTR4PFAA

He won the election and became president of South Africa.

‘A good leader can engage in a debate frankly and thoroughly, knowing that at the end he and the other side must be closer, and thus emerge stronger. You don’t have that idea when you are arrogant, superficial, and uninformed.’

Nelson Mandela laughs with journalists and performers participating in the second 46664 concert near the small Southern Cape province town of George. Nelson Mandela laughs with journalists and performers participating in the second 46664 concert near the small Southern Cape province town of George, March 18, 2005. Annie Lennox, Queen with Paul Rodgers, Katie Melua and India Arie are included in the line-up for the concert on Saturday, March 19. 46664 is an AIDS awareness campaign that takes it's name from Mandela's prison number during his 27 year incarceration. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings Pictures of the Year 2005 - RTR5EQY

Nelson was a strong force in keeping the peace in South Africa and in preventing the breakout of civil war.

‘Our human compassion binds us the one to the other – not in pity or patronisingly, but as human beings who have learnt how to turn our common suffering into hope for the future’

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - MARCH 8: Former President Nelson Mandela of South Africa speaks to visitors on March 8, 1999 in his residence in Houghton, a suburb of Johannesburg, South Africa. The ANC freedom fighter was in prison for 27 years and released in 1990. He became President of South Africa after the first multiracial democratic elections in April 1994. Mr. Mandela retired after one term in 1999 and gave leadership to the current president Mr. Thabo Mbeki. (Photo by Per-Anders Pettersson/Getty Images)

He passed away in 2013 surrounded by his family, but his endurance to promote peace and democracy have had a lasting affect on the world.