Before we Mourn Mandela

by on Dec.06, 2013, under Leadership

11230538153_52fed7ef7d_z5th December 2013 was a day of both sadness and happiness as mortality visited the man with an immortal legacy. A South African who belongs to each one of us, a man of no equal in the world, it is an understatement to say that with the passing on of Mandela the world is orphaned. With his message of dignity of all humanity, reconciliation, forgiveness and equality the heaven have not received such citizen in a long time. While here on earth, he reminded us that he was not an angel, but to the billions of people Mandela remains the physical representation of an angel here on earth. On the 5th of December 2013 he took back his sit among the angels, the earth is poorer with his death, but maybe from his seat he can smile back to us.

I remember Mandela for many things, one of them that speaks to me is the 2008 special tribute concert that was held in London in celebration of Mandela’s 90th birthday, he said, “our work is for freedom for all,” and most importantly he said, “it’s time for new hands to lift the burdens. It’s in your hands now.” This was and is personal to me, on that day I took the mantle and promised myself and God that I am an agent of change.

Upon receiving the news of his death and knowing all that he went through, my wife asked me innocently, where was the United Nations when Apartheid wolfed South Africa? I responded to her, it was in that same place it was when close to a million people were slaughtered in Rwanda, It is at that place again when Syrians are killing each other and it is at that place when the people of Central African Republic and DRC are killing each other. As we celebrate the death of Mandela, a man of peace and love, we should remember that is work is not finished. He showed us that peace, reconciliation and forgiveness is possible, it is our turn to “lift the burdens.”

It will be hypocritical for anyone of us and more so the world leaders to mourn Mandela and state how they remember him, yet their voting in the Security Council speaks against all the values that Mandela taught us. The only sad thing about Mandala’s death is that the leaders’ who countries do not subscribe to Mandela’s principles are the loudest about his death. Maybe they are right; they have lost a good example of selflessness. In this case it should be a moment of self-reflection.

I propose that every leader in the world should take a moment and ask, “If Mandela was as good as the whole world says, I am leading my country, organisation or institution as Mandela taught us?”

Let us reflect on our leadership effectiveness before we mourn Mandela.

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