Betty Campbell, from Cardiff, was Wales' first black headteacher and an anti-apartheid campaigner.
She told ITV News how meeting Nelson Mandela influenced not only her personal life, but also her professional one.
Betty said: "What a great man he was during his lifetime. I know there's a lot being said about him on the worldwide stage, but I don't think people realise the affect he had on ordinary people in the street; on children in school.
"Look at what he went through - but he still came out on top. I think if that philosophy can be embedded in our kids, then most of them should do very well in life."