IDEAS FROM EXCEPTIONAL LEADERS
By: Samukelisiwe Mkhwebane
The Mandela Rhodes Community held its 3rd Annual Conversation for Change at Howard College theatre, on Thursday evening.
Despite the violent strikes at the University of KwaZulu Natal earlier this year, the event focused on social transformation in moulding exceptional future leaders through education.
The Conversation for Change is an initiative of a group of young leaders who are inspirational in making Africa an ideal place to live in. They hold a series of public debates in cities across Southern Africa.
Guest speaker Kanyisa Booi of the Mocha Panda (Youth Forward Movement) mentioned that social transformation is about understanding exactly where you are and if you do not understand, you ought to ask yourself all sorts of questions until you understand.
“That is the power of a true leader,” she added.
Author of A Bad Black’s Manifesto and Managing Director of Youth Lab, Zamandlovu Ndlovu, said that this country is still waiting for that one thing that someone will put on the table, that we all will agree to, which will break this ordeal we are in.
“Before you have a leader, you have a follower. And we really need to nurture followers in our communities”, Nelson Mandela did not start the ANC he followed and that is what made him a great leader,” said Ndlovu.
Questions were asked by the youth in attendance, making the conversation desirable and many people wishing it continued for the whole night. Some of the questions that were asked included the following:
“Has this country lost the vision that Nelson Mandela had for us?”
“Why is that cultural barriers still exist in a country that talks about social transformation, how do we break that?”
Ntokozo Qwabe, a Law graduate at UKZN who has also benefited from the Nelson Mandela-Rhodes Foundation asked, “How do we as future leaders use education as a tool for social transformation, when education has a price tag.”
Qwabe will be going to Oxford University soon.
Amongst the guest speakers was Dr Sandile Kubheka, South Africa’s youngest doctor at the age of 20 and Dr Rama Naidu who is the founder and executive director of the Democracy Development Programme (DDP).