They say knowledge is power but without words, there is no way we can share knowledge. Words, when articulated properly, can drive people to reach greater heights. This phenomenon reflects in success quotes—particularly from Africa. Being a continent that has preserved culture and traditions for centuries, ancient quotes’ impact is still felt to date. Traditional storytellers and leaders use these quotes to inspire Africans to act. Most of these quotes are so powerful that they work like a charm. In this article, we look at 50 success quotes that will inspire you to succeed.
Success Quotes on Overcoming Fear
Most of our fears are due to horrible past experiences, feeling you aren’t good enough, or just skepticism. However, these quotes will change your perspective and help you overcome fear.
- “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
- “Everyone can rise above their circumstances and achieve success if they are dedicated to and passionate about what they do.” — Nelson Mandela
- “If I had worried about everything that could go wrong, I would never have started. Sometimes, you just need to take a leap of faith.” — Ken Njoroge of Cellulant, Kenya
- “Getting things done is better than having things perfect. Done is better than perfect. Whatever you have in your hands, get going with it. Just do it.” — Charles Igwe, Nollywood Global Media Group, Nigeria
- “Taking an idea that’s on paper or in your head and moving it forward into real, tangible action is the true spirit of entrepreneurship.” — Njeri Rionge
- “He who fears the sun will not become chief.” — Ugandan proverb
- “Ukimwogopa mkubwa, wadhani atakuwa lini mdogo?” — Swahili Proverb, East Africa – To fear a big (or important person) is futile; when will he ever be small?
- “Failure is an opportunity to learn and to do better next time. It’s part of the path to greatness, which was never meant to be smooth.” — Khanyi Dhlomo, Ndalo Media, South Africa
- “Failure is another stepping stone to greatness.” —Oprah Winfrey
- “Dreaming is good. But now your dream must be profitable. For example, you cannot find investors who will put funds in your project without them seeing the potential for profitability.” – Olivier Madiba, founder of Kiro’o Games in Cameroon
Success Quotes on Dealing with Failure
Nobody wants to fail after trying so hard. That’s why when we fail, we think of giving up. We know of famous people in history like Thomas Edison, with multiple failures before success. Therefore, these success quotes will give you the power to continue even after failing.
- “Failure is necessary for any learning curve. Failure makes you stronger, bolder, and less scared of taking risks.” — Nkemdilim Begho, Future Software Resources Limited, Nigeria
- “The ‘considering all scenarios’ aspect, is part of the lesson I took from my failed startup. Currently, regarding startups, I understand that it’s wise to consider taking calculated risks.” — Nkemdilim Begho, Future Software Resources Limited, Nigeria.
- “I have learned that if you face the challenges with positive energy, you are most likely to get better results.” — Adenike ‘Nike’ Ogunlesi
- “Do not be afraid to try. Fail again. Fail better. He who takes all the risks, takes all the rewards.” — Maira Koutsoudakis
- “One thing I always tell myself and made my philosophy is to admit when I need help and I always find somebody to help. It’s crucial to admit it when you are wrong and never make the same mistake again.” — Nkemdilim Begho, Future Software Resources Limited, Nigeria
- “Business is always a struggle. There are always obstacles and competitors. There is never an open road, except the wide road that leads to failure. Every great success has always been achieved by fight, every winner has scars. The men who succeed are the efficient few –they are the few who have the ambition and will-power to develop themselves. So choose to be among the few today.” — Chris Kirubi, Centum Investment, Kenya
- “Everything is possible. Impossible just takes a little longer.” — Wendy Ackerman, Pick n Pay SouthAfrica
- “Start at the bottom. You need 100% passion, 100% guts, and a total belief in your vision and your determination to succeed. Be prepared to put in crazy work hours and all kinds of sacrifices, but most important, NEVER GIVE UP!” — Bev Missing
- “Stay hungry. Stay foolish. And never be afraid to change course in the pursuit of your dreams.” — Rendani Mbuvha South African Scholar
- “A vision on its own is not enough. Hard work & dedication is required to make that vision a reality.” – Strive Masiyiwa, Econet Wireless, Zimbabwe.
Success Quotes about Positivity and Affirmations
A critical step towards success is believing in what you are doing and staying positive. In this case, affirmations can help you stay on course and believe in your vision. Also, the law of attraction comes into play here.
- “In life, you don’t get anywhere or do anything you hope to without some sort of sacrifice.” — Stephen Saad, Aspen Pharmacare, South Africa
- “The harder you work, the luckier you get.”— Mike Adenuga, Nigeria
- “Today is the beginning of the rest of your life. You are the pilot of your life. Lock in your destination; take off to it, from where you are.”– Vimal Shah, BIDCO, Kenya
- “True success is about a passion to create a better world– live a life that you can look back on and be truly proud of.”— Dr. Ola Orekunrin, Flying Doctors, Nigeria.
- “In today’s world, paradoxically, it is the boldest action that is often the safest. Remaining where you are in a world that is changing so rapidly is, in fact, the most dangerous of all places to be in.” — Hakeem Belo-Osagie
- “True success is about a passion to create a better world, live a life that you can look back on and be truly proud of.” — Dr. Ola Orekunrin
- “Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.” — Desmond Tutu
- “One of the truest tests of integrity is its blunt refusal to be compromised” — Chinua Achebe
- “The reality is that our competitors have always outspent us, but we’ve still executed better than them. Hence, I’m sure money is not the sole determinant factor of providing a better service or product.” — Nnamdi Chineme, Nigeria Property Centre, Nigeria
- “I am guided each day by these three questions: ‘What are you fixing?’ ‘What are you making?’ and ‘Who are you helping?” — Juliana Rotich, Ushahidi, Kenya
Quotes on Building the Right Business Ethics
To succeed in business, you need to build the right ethics. No business is new. However, your ethics will set you apart from your competitors. These success quotes will teach you the right mindset for building great business ethics.
- Focus on making your product or service awesome. I see a lot of guys go into business with a ‘how can I make money’ approach. But if you go in there saying ‘how can I make something awesome’, the money will follow.” — Alex Fourie, iFix, South Africa
- “Nineteen people may love your work, but the twentieth one will hate it and will tell you so; you cannot allow that to affect you. That may sound trite, but there is a huge risk in letting criticism get you down.” — Carrol Boyes, South Africa
- “Businesses that are spoilt with too much capital make the wrong decisions. Constraints are the most wonderful things in business, because constraints allow you to be innovative and come up with different solutions.” – Michael Jordaan, South, MonteGray Capital, South Africa
- “It’s crucial to listen to your customers. Deliver on time and don’t overpromise or underpromise or overpromise and underdeliver. I learnt to run my business very efficiently. It’s also important that you communicate and be responsive.” — Nkemdilim Begho, Future Software Resources Limited, Nigeria
- “Be prepared to sacrifice, and work harder than you’ve ever thought possible. Be prepared to work around the clock, to be laughed at, called a dreamer, and to be told several times that your ideas will not work.” — Nkemdilim Begho
- “A leader has a great duty. You have to perform beyond the expectation of the people.” — Lailah Gifty Akita
- “Aspiring entrepreneurs have to actually do something that they feel strongly passionate about, and in most cases they should seek inspiration from their own experience… If you had a terrible experience, you should despise the experience to the extent that you are continuously seeking a solution for it.” — Best Ayiorwoth, founder of GIPOMO in Uganda
- “The journey is forever. Do not ever let yourself feel like you have arrived, because if you do someone else will come and run right past you. You always have to keep going because you haven’t reached the mountain top yet.” — Kevin Ashley, Java House, Kenya.
- “Distinguished leaders impress, inspire and invest in other leaders.” — Anyaele Sam Chiyson
- “No action is too small when it comes to changing the world… I’m inspired every time I meet an entrepreneur who is succeeding against all odds.” — Cyril Ramaphosa
Other Quotes from Africa
- “A goat is never pronounced innocent if the judge is a leopard.” — unknown African Quote
- “If you don’t sleep because you don’t want to die, you will die because you don’t sleep.” — unknown African quote
- “Kupotea njia ndio kujua njia.” Meaning: when you get lost, that’s when you find your way. — Swahili Proverb, East Africa
- “Garap lo tbia gadbia mou sajati.” Means: the split tree still grows. — Wolof Proverb, West Africa
- “Kupoteya njia ndiyo kujua njia.” Meaning: to get lost is to learn the way. — Swahili saying Kenyan
- “Taratibu ndiyo mwendo.” Meaning: to Slowly is indeed the way to walk. — Kenyan proverb
- “Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.” — Maya Angelou.
- “Kidole kimoja hakivunji chawa.” Meaning: one finger can’t squeeze lice to death — Swahili saying
- “When you educate a man, you educate an individual. When you educate a woman, you educate a generation.” — African saying
- “If you think you are too small to make a difference, you haven’t spent a night with a mosquito.” — Kenyan Saying
Now It’s Your Turn
There goes our ultimate list of African success quotes. Did you find any of them intriguing? Let us know your favorite in the comments section. If there is a success quote you think should feature on this list free to share with us too. Also, don’t forget to share this post with a friend or two so that we can learn together.