African leaders and policy experts have jointly called for Africa to harp into Nelson Mandela’s leadership principles in this time of crisis. This call was made during the Nelson Mandela and Leadership Webinar hosted by Brand South Africa in collaboration with African Leadership Magazine on July 27, 2021.
The webinar with the theme: Tapping into Nelson Mandela Leadership Principles in a time of crisis had in attendance business leaders, political leaders, policy and media experts, including Phumla Williams, Director-general of the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS); Pumela Salela, UK Country Head Brand South Africa; Kingsley Okeke, Managing Editor of African Leadership Magazine; Wofai Samuel, Director of Communication & External Affairs, UK-Liberia Chamber of Commerce; Ashraf Garda, Founder Champion of Champion South Africa; Busani Ngcaweni, Principal: The National School of Government; Janine Hills, Founder and CEO of Janine Hills Authentic Leadership.
In her opening remarks, Pumela Salela, UK Country Head Brand South Africa, noted that they are lessons to learn from Nelson Mandela’s leadership principles for every individual.
While drawing from Mandela’s famous quote: “A real leader uses every issue, no matter how serious and sensitive, to ensure that at the end of the debate we should emerge stronger and more united than ever before.” Pumela called on leaders to play their part in building better nations for all.
The Managing Editor African Leadership Magazine, Mr. Kingsley Okeke, in his remarks noted that at a time like this, where we are faced with challenges occasioned by the Covid-19 Pandemic and economic induced hardship; it is vital to engender conversations that look at the issues and challenges that leadership is facing in the continent. Thus, we need to ask ourselves, what could Nelson Mandela have done in a time like this?
He called on Africa to look inward and see how we can promote trade, job creation and infrastructure development as Covid-19 has put further constraints on infrastructures especially, health, and how we can build better.
“We are a market that is hungry for product, let that be the reflection, let look inward and see how we can promote trade, how we can promote conversations around job creation and infrastructure,” He said.
Noting some of the challenges facing the continent, Kingsley stressed that leadership should be reflective of our challenges, and we should begin addressing these issues through authentic and servant leadership.
Also speaking at the event, The DG GCIS, Phula Williams, stated that as we celebrate the life and legacy of Madiba, we all need to recommit ourselves to what he stood for and fought for.
“Madiba did his part as a leader as we celebrate his life and legacy; we all need to recommit ourselves to what he stood for and what she fought. As a public servant entrusted with creating a better society for all, I should execute my responsibilities with integrity and honesty to contribute towards a better South Africa.
“As members of society, we need to commit to building the society as we envisaged in our constitution.
“To emulate the legacy of Nelson Mandela, we need to work together to build our economy as to narrow the gap of inequalities, poverty and unemployment.”
On his part, Ashraf Garda, Founder Champion of Champion South Africa stressed the need to build South Africa into a build champions nation. In his words, “Champion people, build champion people. Nelson Mandela embodied championship leadership as he made what seemed impossible, possible. We need to pick up the baton and continue where Madiba left off and build a champion nation.”
Also speaking at the webinar, Busani Ngcaweni, who spoke on savant leadership stated that South Africa must become part of the solution in solving our problems.
“South Africa must become part of the solution. As public servants, we must be innovative, prudent and ethical in addressing and solving our problems,” he noted.
Speaking further, Mr, Busani noted that in recalling the memories of Madiba, public servants must remember that no problem can be solved by someone else other than themselves.
In his words, “In recalling the memories of Madiba, public servants must remember that there’s no problem that can be solved by someone else other than themselves; because that is why the society puts us in the position we are in. To solve their problem, and we must do so by being innovative, we must be prudent, we must be professional and we must be ethical otherwise, this aircraft will flying called project democracy will crash land and put the lives of millions of people at risk.” He said.
Speaking on authentic leadership, Janine Hills noted that a lot of trusts has been lost on leaders, thus to move forward leaders need to build trust, listen and communicating with people. Leaders need to be humble, consistent, lead with integrity and importantly, deliver during crises.
The Nelson Mandela and Leadership webinar is held in commemoration of the birth and legacy of Nelson Mandela.