My Blog

I Vote For Leadership

May 8, 2014


We’ve heard a lot about voting in the last few months. There were promises made. There were rallies. There were (sudden) visits to the townships. There were billboards all over the country. There were T-shirts. There were berets. There were open letters and controversial TV ads. But where were the great leaders?

In my arrogant opinion, South Africa needs no politicians, it desperately needs true leaders who think of people and deal with all ignorance, corruption and all kinds of evil and wrong practices head-on. We need selfless political leaders who think about the development of this country, who desire for the country to be free of corruption, greed, division, racism and poverty. Leaders who are visionaries, leaders who are disciplined, leaders who are intelligent – leaders who understand their calling to serve.

We are not voting for you so you can boast about beating your opponent! It is humiliating that we even have to bring that to your attention. This is not about being number one, it’s a question of whether you can be man enough or woman enough to put the people of South Africa first? It’s a question of your integrity, your honesty, and your character; can you serve the people instead of expecting them to serve you? Are you governed by the same rules that govern fellow South Africans or do you expect to take shortcuts? Can you be held accountable for your actions like everyone else or are you the exception to the rule? Do you lead by example or are you preaching instructions you yourself don’t live by?
The call to lead a nation is not an easy one. If your character is found wanting, the most honorable thing to do is to gracefully resign because it is a curse for any nation to be led by anyone less than a leader, a servant, a patriot.
Realize that South Africans are not casting their votes so you can drive expensive cars to show off on social media while they battle to put petrol in their cars. They trust that you are familiar with the concept of leadership and you realize the (negative) impact of your failure to care for the people you claim to lead. We trust that the decline of the South African economy as well as the rapid decline of pass rates at schools bother you. We hope that you have considered the fact that even if there were enough jobs, many South Africans would be unable to fill them since educational standards are so low.
We hope, better yet, we pray that every part of you cringes at the thought that South Africa is doomed to go down as the rest of Africa goes up.

As a leader, your priority is not your competition; your priority is your people. They are waiting for you to rise up and be the leader you promised to be. The people aren’t dying because of lack of grants, they are dying because of lack of leadership. While you sit in your air-conditioned corner offices, while you build “fire pools” and shop for Louis Vuitton watches, the people who gave you the power wait for you to remember why you are there in the first place. When the voting season is over; do not suddenly suffer from amnesia- remember the tears of the many people who are affording you the luxury of sleeping in Egyptian sheets while they struggle to pay their bills.
They did not vote for you so you can enjoy the fruits of their labor while they envy your lavish lifestyle. They did not put you in power only for you to exalt yourself above them when you ought to be representing them. We did not vote for you to refurbish your home (that needs no home improvements to begin with), while we contemplate how to pay rent at the end of the month. We did not put a cross next to your name only to wake up to stories of your indesgressions and sexcapades. We did not put you there so you can abuse your power and steal from the very people you are supposed to be serving. You lose our respect when you carry yourself like a loose cannon, with no self-discipline, no morals, no boundaries, no respect for your people, even worse, no fear of God.

South Africa needs leaders. That’s who we really want to vote for. Leaders that we can look up to and emulate. We need leaders who stand for something greater than their own wealth. We need servants of this country, not superstars.
And when we vote for you, realize you have to play your part too.

Young, highly opinionated and proudly South African,
Nono Cele
Twitter: @Nono_Cele

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