Pursuing Authentic Leadership

Pursuing Authentic Leadership by Ms Diketso Mogwena


The death of this heroic man has really hit our nation so hard, how does one begin to describe what a loss our country has experienced? Where do we begin to thank him enough for the contribution he has given made? It is difficult to say goodbye but we choose to celebrate his life, we applaud him for giving up his life so voluntarily to serve the purpose of God in this era. He was no ordinary man but a man on an assignment that is beyond human understanding.


The departing of Tata Madiba has brought sadness to many nations but it is also a time for us as South Africans to fully celebrate the life of this giant, this great son of the soil. This is a time were we reflect on the many lessons that Tata has taught us by just being a walking example, by being a man who lived the many lessons he preached to the world. A man even though he has done so many great things refused to be titled superior but chose to be identified with his own people as a servant that served so faithfully with so much humility and so much wisdom. He has drawn a model of what true leadership is all about. He has touched so many lives; he has reconciled and restored the human dignity of all. He has taught us what it means to give not only to those we love but also to those that hate us and those we consider our enemies, he taught us that there is power in being humble and simple. This is the greatest virtue in leadership. Indeed he has displayed that true leadership goes beyond the materials that the world offers but it is a passion that grows in the heart.


The question that is now paused unto us as South Africans is what do we do now with all the lessons he left us with? Tata has ran his own race and finished his course but to us that are remaining behind what will we do to ensure that his legacy lives on and never dies? Yes they will never be another Tata Rolihlahla Mandela, he has left us with big shoes to fill but shoes that aren’t impossible to fill, he has left a  baton behind that will be passed from one generation to another, just as Moses left a Joshua to continue fighting the good fight, the same has been done by Tata but it will take a zealous, passionate, focused, driven and courageous nation to put the country of South Africa on another level, by just looking at Tata’s life we are able to pick up powerful tools to make South Africa a country that will continue to be a symbol of hope and reconciliation.


As South Africans we need to catch the wakeup call that the real work has just begun, we need to get ready to roll up our sleeves and work in order to make South Africa a much better country and a home to all. Time to bring change in our continent has come; South Africa has been pregnant for too long with the desire of selfless, authentic and passionate leaders of the same calibre of Tata Madiba. This kind of leaders are not going to come about through our complaining and moaning but it will take a generation of young men and woman that are driven and hungry for change in our churches, in our corporate worlds, in our government, in our economy and in our businesses. The kind of leaders that will not settle for less, leaders that are directed, guided and are full of the fear of God. The kind of leaders I am talking about are the kind that will look out to serve the nation, the kind that will serve this country selflessly, leaders who have self-awareness, the kind of leaders that understand who they’re and what they are assigned to do in this generation, those that are driven by the desire to bring change that will not only serve this present generation but the kind that will last till many generations to come.


The time has come in South Africa were young leaders are rising up to make a change in their communities, in the corporate world, in churches and in businesses, young leaders that will emulate the great leadership of the Lord Jesus Christ, Martin Luther King, Mr Walter Sisulu, Mr Bantu Steve Biko, Mama Winnie Mandela, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini, Madiba, Mother Teresa just to name a few great leaders that have graced our continent.


As young people of SA it is now our duty to introduce to the world a different leadership style that is full of genuineness, integrity and truth and dare others to fight the odds of being just ordinary, our generation is suffering from a syndrome of settling to be ordinary but in order to be great leaders we need to go out of our comfort zones, dream big and fly high like eagles, only then can we achieve that which is said to be impossible,  authentic leadership goes beyond oneself but it is about serving others and achieving a greater purpose that will not change us alone but the entire world.


Marianne Williamson says “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually who are you not to be? You’re the child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us, it is in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others”


 The life of Tata Mandela did just that, liberated many of us from the fear of feeling small because of where we come from or were we have been, or because the colour of our skin or what we have experienced in life. Tata Madiba is a true epitome of success and authentic leadership, an example that we as young aspiring leaders in all our designations can learn from, imitate and follow.


As you pursue your greatness and become a symbol of influence remember this, IT SEEMS IMPOSSIBLE TILL IT IS DONE – Tata Nelson R Mandela.




Leave a Reply