By George M Chellah
Any attempt to transform or influence communities must first start in the pioneers’ mind with a basic choice of recognizing the purpose of the undertaking as well as the moral propriety of the same. Without a doubt, much of Africa’s leadership fatalities are a result of lack of mentorship and preparation for the top job long before the person gets the reigns of power, and this is what makes the EFF a movement to watch insofar as future leadership on the continent is concerned. Below is why I advance this hypothesis.
It’s common knowledge that whilst an average African youth is growing “muscle” to aid the older generation of leaders and politicians in capturing and maintaining a stranglehold on state power through the perpetration of violence, brutality, maiming and in extreme cases killing, the EFF is growing “brains” to aid their passionate agenda of a progressive youth-driven leadership beyond the current. Yes, you may call them names and describe their political lobbying and advocacy strategies with the most unpleasant of words, but what is becoming clear is that these lads know what time it is, and they know that the complexities of tomorrow’s leadership will only be handled with exceptional “brains” and not “muscle” -violence and brutality. These lads realize that in a place like Africa where leadership mentorship programs are virtually nonexistent, the best strategy to achieve your goals and ambitions is to recruit and mentor yourselves into the roles you would wish to occupy in future.
Of course, all this is being planned and executed at the back of the realities of mortality facing the older generation of political leaders. Truth is, we all have only one life to exhaust and can only live up to a certain period assigned by the creator, and there’s nothing forbidden (taboo) about one preparing for the life beyond their mortality, a fact of life which of course many leaders across the continent have failed to accept and embrace.
Nonetheless, the harsh reality of it all is that so long as African youths fall for the older generation’s trap of equating an honest and decent assessment of their leadership flaws to custom and in this particular case, “disrespect”, they will remain political scavengers and attack dogs for hire, and will never be key policy formulators and drivers, and if by any misfortune leadership is handed down to them by default whilst they’re ill-prepared for the same, that will be a historic and leadership fatality of gigantic proportion, it will be disaster!
I believe that going forward, African youths ought to realize that respect for the older generation does not preclude any efforts at questioning why they have failed or calling out their misjudgments and leadership abnormalities. Time to prepare for the future is now and as Bembas say “ukupangila insofu kamo uli neefumo” loosely translated “You don’t start off for a hunting expedition without a weapon”. So get ready and be prepared for the future is yours.
On that basis, I find the EFF’s efforts very encouraging and commendable because these guys are not in a hurry. They know that it will take time to dislodge the ANC hence they have taken a deliberate plan of getting educated and experienced to prepare for the job. The ANC went through the same hence we see semblance of procedures, rules, order and organisational structures. Bravo EFF! Bravo Dr Mbuyiseni Ndlozi for receiving your PhD in Philosophy in Politics from the University of the Witwatersrand. This comes after seven years of juggling both politics and studies. Respect