There is no doubt that South Africa is producing a new generation of leaders. Our universities are full of them. One just has to look at their email signatures to know:
Founder of XYZ company
Best Student Entrepreneur in SA
Allan Gray Fellow
Brightest Young Minds Alumni
Inventor of ABC
If this is the calibre of graduate we are producing – a progressive, socially conscious citizen of the world, then why are we still backlogged and burdened with pseudo-leaders who are more like soap opera actors, providing cheap entertainment at the cost of many, and undoing the magic of Madiba?
Jonathan Jansen, Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the University of the Free State, says, “Even to the most disinterested observer of South African society, it is abundantly clear that our country has a crisis of leadership. This is not simply a crisis of political leadership, but also a crisis of parental leadership, of corporate leadership, of religious leadership, and of educational leadership… In a crisis, exemplary leadership matters… Simply put, there can be no social change without personal change. Our salvation will not lie with governmental leadership (which is increasingly a parasitic leadership) but with the profound leadership that each of us brings to our communities, our organisations and our country.”
Some talking points to consider:
- Is it possible to make politics a respectable and attractive profession for talented young graduates with a track record for creating positive change? Give examples of where this is working in other contexts.
- Where is the political opposition youth leadership and why are they so quiet?
- Give examples of international precedent that addresses successful youth leadership on a national scale? Can it be adapted within the South African context?
Inspiration: articles by Jonathan Jansen
Leadership comes from within article
My South Africa article
Image: Fortune, Time, CNN 2010 Global Forum on Africa, panel discussion between The Elders (Bishop Tutu, Mary Robinson (ex-prime minister Ireland), Graca Machel and The ‘Youngers’, (Spencer Horne: African Leadership Academy, Gertrude Kitongo, CIDA)