I had to write this during this year’s Mandela month
15 Sep 2015
MADIBA-My Leader My Mirror”
I turn a new page not to dramatize my hunger but to fondly write in the honour of pan-African unity, progress and prosperity, oneness, one voice-one people to embrace a black race and not disgrace my black face. At this very outset as i attempt to ponder on the ‘Leader-mirror paradigm’ though not in a ‘humour’ nerve but a ‘meditative’ one it’s my heart-fetched call-in bolded announcements to ‘Young-African aspiring leaders’ to introspect, to go back to the drawing boards and let the Mandela’s inspiration and legacy sink in their skulls. He may be gone and his vision might be blurred with passage of time but as a youth envoy i must not ignore so blantaly the basics he ably identified. To me Madiba, ‘The black pimpernel’ is a symbol of global peacemaking, the fearless civil rights activist and a selfish less leader of great wisdom. When we care to think from the today’s conscience, these qualities provide a keen insight over the old tired line ‘The people still love me’ resorted by African dictators and tyrants as a smokescreen to remain in leadership while painting a rossy picture to indicate support even where there is none. This school of thought that is currently at play in Africa negates the fundamental basic requirements of democratic ideals and the truth isn’t far-fetched that in extreme circumstances the constitution is sacrificed at the altar of greed. While opinion is varied, blinking to me is the humbling knowledge that Mandela intimately embraced to produce fine leaders who influence change across the continent and beyond. It’s with this knowledge as a democratic socialist he focused on dismantling the legacy of apartheid through tackling institutionalized racism, poverty, inequality and fostering racial reconciliation. To date, as we walk under the symbolic shadow of Nelson Mandela his undeniable greatness and eagle-mentality are re-awakened in us to take a leap of faith and fly to live a dream he fought for, a dream of creating “A new rainbow egalitarian society” with a clear moral equalism vision in social, political and economic arena that everyone excitful want by 2063.
However between these lines comrades I wish to gently remind you, in ‘A road towards 2063’ the world isn’t static. The American-Russian space race pave a room for ‘space tourism’ as the next big thing and with the American ambitious project to establish human colony on Mars these people might one day leave the earth and never come back. Our inaction is now costing us lives, biodiversity and endangering the lives of future generations , as ‘A climate reality leader’ i therefore feel an urgent priority to protect the earth and the only Africa we have for there is neither plan B nor planet B to live. I do this using inspiration reflected from Mandela as the merging wave of environmental activism and climate change movement need to be as radical as Nelson Mandela’s fight against apartheid, climate change itself is more complex than fighting a war. However, the Mandela’s optimism towards a justice society is the groundbreaking for a struggle towards climate justice. The paramount objective in his example is two-fold and it is the perfect avenue for young aspiring climate change negotiators not to feel daunted by the difficulties of the tasks ahead but as youth to have a debt to be mindful of-creating a pollution free Africa. As i close my fingers, herewith is the unique lesson of Mandela’s extra-human dimension seen in his ability to speak to his heart and understand others’ hearts.- “No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin or his background or his religion . People must learn to hate and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite”. His sense to forgive feels inferior no one and yet is humble to feel superior no one, this is the self-power that each of us must embrace and is the proof beyond any reasonable doubt that ‘A leader is a mirror’ as Mandela is.
Lastly, as i send greetings to the indomitable lions of Cameroon, the pharaohs of Egypt and my family in Ethiopia-the horn of Africa, i must emphasize on the debate on table by the words of Renee Descartes – ‘Cotigo ergo sum’ we are the Mandela of today if we live the footsteps of Mandela and ‘I think; therefore, we are’.
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