It is always easy to become the evil you once fought; in our quest to lead and add value to society we should not forget to deal with the potential evil that is within every one of us. This is why at times a change of government does not always necessarily promise improved living conditions for the masses. As long as those who seek leadership hold wrong notions of what it means to be in power, nothing will change.
We should not only hold values that promote the collective good but we must guard against those forces that seek to undermine them. Those who will move their nations forward should focus on overcoming self-seeking tendencies, as it is this very evil that manifests itself in different forms of injustice, racial or gender prejudice. Our society will continue to be in turmoil as long as we all sit on the sidelines and more so if those who have been given the opportunity to lead, perpetuate this evil that undermines human dignity.
Today although Africans are leading themselves, the same evil still exists where those in power are stuck in their selfish ways. Decisions are made based on vested interests at the expense of the well-being of the people. Perhaps the reason most liberators fail to take their nations forward, is partly because in the process, they forget their mandate. They bask far too long at the mountain top of success called liberation.
They forget the reason for their initial fight, which was to seek the common good for all. They develop a sense of entitlement which eventually blinds them from genuinely serving people. They forget that we are actually not free until everyone has equal opportunities in life. There is no legacy in becoming insulated from the pain and cry of the people.
Leaders should seek to mitigate and heal the pain that exists in those they lead; but how can this happen when leaders have become heartless, self-seeking and instead self-preservation has become their mandate? True liberation comes by seeking and applying the values that advance humanity. This should be the heartbeat of every leader. A leader’s joy and fulfilment is that through his/her tenure, the masses have been the beneficiaries. The next generation of African leaders should make compassion and genuine care the bedrock of their leadership aspirations.
By Kelvin Namwanza