The month of July is quite special on the South African calendar. Not only is it a month that celebrates service leaders in society, but it also marks the birth month of a global icon and leader, the late Nelson Mandela who would have turned 103 years old. To honour his legacy, Brand South Africa recently hosted an empowering conversation tapping into Nelson Mandela’s leadership principles and how they can be applied in the current times of crisis.
Almost everyone, young and old, has a story about Nelson Mandela – whether they know him personally or not. Their stories are not exactly about what he did but more about how his leadership style and humanity made them feel. There is no doubt that the essence of this charismatic and people-centred leader embodies itself in the hearts of the nation who can still find encouragement and optimism from the way he lived his life, led the people and fought for the country.
As the country embarks on its journey of recovery in the midst of the pandemic, it has become even more critical to collectively advocate for stability, sustainable development and equality for all. This can be attained if as a country, we remember and apply the example set by Nelson Mandela. The best homage that can be given to him is found in our everyday actions – all of us can take action and act for permanent change.
Director General of the GCIS, Phumla Willliams put emphasis on the importance of living the legacy of Nelson Mandela, to drive solutions that address inequalities in our society so that the next generation doesn’t have to suffer from the consequences of our negative actions. “We need to work together to build our economy so as to narrow the gap of inequalities, poverty and unemployment in our society” she stated.
Deputy Director-General in The Presidency of South Africa, Busani Ngcaweni stated that every South African must become part of the solution but as public servants, inspiration must be drawn from how Nelson Mandela operated: Public servants must be innovative, prudent and ethical in providing solutions to the country’s problems.
The one lesson we can all learn from the life of Mandela is that change is always probable, and that a positive growth trajectory for the country can be a reality, even in the face of overwhelming probabilities, because when the brave stand together only good can happen.
Champion people, build champion people. Nelson Mandela embodied championship leadership as he made what seemed impossible, possible. Every leader in the country in business, schools, political structures and in any capacity, needs to pick up the baton and continue where Madiba left off to build a champion nation.