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Mandela, the great leader

Article By: Sikhumbuzo Keith Ncube

As we celebrate what would have been a centenary for Nelson Mandela, it is crucial that we take time to reflect on one of the greatest leaders the world has ever seen. We are so privileged in South Africa to have had this icon as our founding president and a symbol of a struggle that brought freedom to millions of South Africans. A man of influence that spanned continents .The name Mandela is still well known and his face well recognised worldwide. The legacy that he left behind will however be ineffective if we do not take lessons from him and carry them forward not only into our own lives but those of our children and children’s children. Let’s look at some leadership nuggets that we can glean from Tata Mandela that we can use for our daily living. The first one is that leaders have a Vision. The vision being a snap shot of the future end result that you desire to see. Leaders are willing to stand their ground regardless of what they are facing to ensure that the vision is achieved. One of the quotes from Tata Mandela that I will cherish is when he was in court and facing a death sentence and in his closing speech said this quote “During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, I have fought against black domination .I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve .But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die”. Vision has to be so strong you are willing to die for it. The second nugget is that leadership is Influence. Tata Mandela spent 27 years in prison but his influence did not diminish, if anything it got even stronger. Influence is the capacity to have effect on the character, development or behaviour of something or someone .Though he was in prison he was able to influence the behaviour and development of things outside of prison. How much influence do you have? Do you need to work on yourself to be more influential? Leadership is about unifying. It’s about bringing people together with different abilities and characteristics to work towards one purpose and one vision. Tata Mandela taught us perseverance. For more than 52 years he fought against a system until he saw change in 1994.Leaders do not give up on what they have set themselves to achieve. They perceiver in the face of challenges and resistance until they win. What a great leader we had in Tata. The one sure way to ensure his legacy leaves an impact for generations to come will be for us to learn from him and infuse his leadership qualities into our everyday lives. When we develop ourselves as strong leaders, we will build strong homes .When we have strong homes we will have strong communities and when we have strong communities we will have a strong country. Let’s build leaders, let’s build our country.