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During a 2001 interview, Nelson Mandela told Oprah what it was like to see his daughters at 2 and 3 and then not again until they were around 16:

"Not seeing them may be why I've developed an obsession with children — I missed seeing any for 27 years. It's one of the most severe punishments prison life can impose, because children are the most important asset in a country."

Image Source: Getty / AFP