Nelson Mandela: The Secret Things He Taught Me By Odusote Oluwakayode
Since the transition of one of the greatest human that ever lived into the ‘Beulah Land’, the world has been paying tributes for the outstanding achievements of Late Nelson Madiba Mandela for a legacy of love, dedication, sincerity and forgiveness.
After the gory experience that lasted twenty seven years at Robben Island, he had the privilege to preside over the affairs of the nation that once referred to him a terrorist. He governed with charismatic leadership and proved that the power of love and forgiveness is a non expensive antidote the human race of hatred, segregation and ego needs to truly progress. Thanks to the man that struggled with huge sacrifices which opened the eyes of the world to such understanding.
In the face of all the tales of woe that the blacks had to deal with during apartheid, the ascension of Mandela into political power as first black president of South Africa was never hinged on the claim of victory over the minority white population. He was praised for Presiding over the transition from apartheid minority rule to a multicultural democracy; Mandela saw national reconciliation as the primary task of his presidency. His leadership was not engrossed with egoistic tendencies to prove lordship.
He led a nation built on the supreme bedrock of the governed for a collective success, and was bound by a common interest with sound political ideal. Mandela could have easily resolved to be a “sit tight” leader claiming to have the monopolistic knowledge and idea of governance, a trend common in some countries of Africa. Mandela’s presidency and life was at par with such political and leadership idea.
Against the myopic vision of most selfish leaders, he had a belief that blacks and white are connected as one people. After all, we are all human beings created by God. If leaders across the globe will be wise to see that the world they have the privilege to govern is not theirs, perhaps, wealth acquisition at the detriment of the poor masses would be forgone.
Madiba’s life should be relevant to teach us that there are no differences between blacks/whites, Christian/Muslim, Yoruba/Igbo/Hausa/Itsekiri and Man/Woman. If all leaders could see what Madiba saw, perhaps, most of our young unemployed would be employed, most of our best brains would not run to developed countries for a better life, most of our infrastructures would serve for prosperity, our economic growth would translate to economic development, insurgency would not be witnessed as we currently witness and deaths of thousand averted.
The success of a country is dependent on a leader’s ability to see beyond the present and the ability to permit beyond self comfort.
Part of the problems of African leaders’ are seriously tied to power, self comfort and glory. They harness every resource to control at will. They are always preparing to divide by every means available just to solely exercise political control. Political power to them is everything needed to b respected and feared.
I hope Nelson Mandela’s story will say, teach, inspire and educate human minds that there’s always a life to live – live it well. Madiba was gracefully old; he was ripe of age to be with his creator. Madiba never allowed wealth, race, religion, tribe and self interest to determine his delivery to the governed. He respected every human as equal owner in the project called a United South Africa.
The truth is that, the way Madiba regarded power and respected the governed is how Africa and her leaders should regard power- responsibility to deliver responsibly.
Nelson Mandela’s life reminds us to believe and be optimistic. There are good leaders. It is not about blind optimism, it is about identifying such leaders. Madiba dedicated his youthful life to service. He fought actively for what he thought should be and when he was given the privilege to prove the theory of love, he never forgot how he started; he maintained his theory that proved to be the greatest service delivery ever witnessed in a decade.
The hope is in every individual’s commitment in building a better country. The belief that through our own little efforts in community development, show of love and affection, respecting human dignity, appreciating the fact that all men are created equal, social responsibilities and entrepreneurial skills, our nations can and will develop.
A true leader in every capacity will not be selfish and sentimental. A leader must be accountable only to the led and not to himself and political colleagues. A leader is not expected to amass and spend tax payer’s money recklessly and on personal ambition. Those were the ideals of Madiba.
In his quest for peace as a leader, Mandela personally met with senior figures of the apartheid regime emphasizing personal forgiveness and reconciliation, he announced that “courageous people do not fear forgiving, for the sake of peace.”His actions drew respect and were widely seen as a major step in the reconciliation of white and black South Africans; Mandela’s efforts at reconciliation assuaged the fears of whites.
As a nation, we must learn that the journey to greatness will never be one of short-cuts. Nigeria and her leaders must be strong to face her daunting challenges with courage. We can’t move forward overnight. If having a national dialogue that will be encompassing is the best route to our peaceful co-existence, then we should be brave to have such forum. Personal advantages should not be taken out of a project that is expected to unite us with love.
Such a path may not be easy but it will be the best for us as a nation. The nation will continue to decay with continued display of elite arrogance of political might. It will suffer the more as far as the leaders prefer to ascribe unnecessary glories to themselves. It will continue to break apart the moment our leaders gather wealth for self satisfaction while the large population grapple with the brunt.
We remain an endowed nation with natural and human resources. We have scholars, vibrant and strong youth population but our work force are wasting daily due to lack of a productive sector that is expected to engage their services. With outstanding scholars and brilliant brains, our expertises have been lost to brain drain, we can’t boast of a sector that manufacture. We are known as a nation that depends on other nations for survival.
The story of Nelson should be a great lesson to our leaders that it is not the amount of wealth amassed nor the number of power gotten that makes a man great but the sincere will to be of service with the passion of love and the desire to make the human race a happy one.
Nelson Madiba Mandela himself said “It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur. You take the front line when there is danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership”.
Let us all remember that all things are possible in Nigeria. We can live together with love and unity without the unnecessary fears of Yoruba, Igbo, Hausa, Fulani, Christian, Muslim and Traditional worshippers hunting each other with hatred and suspicion of domination.
All that is needed is for us to imbibe from the lessons of Mandela’s untainted love because that’s the first step to our progress and in case you doubt, Madiba simple put it, “It always seems impossible until it’s done.”
Madiba! Walk on, enjoy the sweet sounds of heaven’s melody, tell earth’s tales to the angels and enjoy your sweet holy communion in peace.
I am @Actionkay on twitter
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