Ours is an age which is proud of machines that think, but suspicious of men who try to think”. – Arthur Schopenhauer
This piece was to be entitled the ‘Burden of Leadership’, taking a cue from the proceedings of a group discourse, which was thrown up in the London newsroom of Society Celebration. The free-flow dialectic discussion was provoked by the demise and persona of Nelson Mandela, a common hero of the South Africa struggles; who has become a model-emblem of unparalleled ‘heroism and true leadership’ –And a litmus test for anyone who endures to go thru the woods to champion the cause of the masses and the luckless poor, in a global scale.
Without overstretching the virtues of Mandela, let’s sum it up that the iconic figure in the apartheid south Africa struggle and a global citizen per excellence, ‘stole’ the Roses and the glowing tributes from the world over, while alive and during his recent burial. It is an unusual and indelible epitaph on his grave that there had been no world leader that was and is so revered as our precious Mandiba, in the last century. This is more so that the burial, which took place in South Africa, is a World Guinness Book rare item, for recording over 100 sitting world presidents and more of global leaders! The core issue of the London’s discuss was ‘leadership and good examples’, and he or she who merits to be called a leader. The discussants all agreed that idealistic living is ‘’sacred and central to man’s true happiness and peace, which should be his earthly pursuit, as the right step to attaining heaven’’. Whilst the discussants drew up contrasts with the Mandela’s leadership traits as against the others, the leadership examples of the Lord Jesus Christ, Prophet Mohammed, Zoroaster, Gautama Buddha and others were, nonetheless, recognized as more sacred and not of the same calling with that of Mandela. Agreeing that leadership varies and considering the yardsticks for being called a true leader, one would, therefore, pliably mention in the similitude that some other persons would deserve to be called leaders Amongst men.
And Prophet Temitope Balogun Joshua (TB Joshua for short) readily comes to mind, in the foregoing piece. Born from a poor percentage and having had a difficult upbringing, he followed the divine call of God and toiled to establish the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN), a ministry which has taken Christianity and love across the entire globe, as (perhaps) never been done by any church and preacher on African soil. The commitments and individual conduct of TB Joshua is renowned. Indeed, he tries to live up to the Bible’s examples and precepts, through unconditional showing of love and forgiveness, with a generous and care-giving to the poor and the needy, who throng to his Lagos SCOAN headquarters for prayers and deliverances, from the world over.
In the Nigerian political hemisphere, Africa’s largest democracy, Chief Tony Akhakon Anenih, the returnee Board of Trustees (BOT) chairman of the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) could be called a natural leader. Of course, Chief Anenih already has ‘the Leader’ as nickname. In a ripe age of 80, Nigeria can’t help losing his expertise and statesmanship, as he is still ‘strong’ in the country’s political engine room.
By simple reading, God Almighty is the foremost leader who set the first good example by assigning the leadership role to man; that man should go and take over the earth. Added that he (with woman) mustn’t equate himself with God, and His abilities! And that man should maintain the divine purpose of relating with God, and be just in the affairs of his fellowmen and women.
What if men (and women) were God Almighty, as some individuals readily think they are? Imagine if they had the powers of life and death! What would the world be without the omnipotent God Almighty and the thoughts of Him as the beginning and the end? What would the world be if the Supreme Being didn’t breathe life into it? What would be the fate of men and women and all the twisted and crooked notions of human inequalities?
It is definite that without his creation, there would’ve been ‘Adam, nor Eve’. No Nations and suppression of Nations by Nations! There wouldn’t be America nor Britain; Afghanistan nor Sudan, or the thoughts of them all together. There wouldn’t be Masters and Servants; The Rich and the Poor; Sickness and Wellness; Life and Death; There would have been no this or that. And there would have been no thoughts where there are no humans. After all, of all the living things created by God, is it not only man who is capable of thinking; but displaying pure thinking?
From the accumulated views of the discussants, ‘’Nelson Mandela, the hero of the downtrodden and non-violence struggles, even in death has achieved the uncommon feat of a man who truly took success to the grave in happiness’’. When a man has done so much for his society, he is not said to have died but marches on with the Lord Almighty God. Man’s earthly mission and ‘his narrow path to freedom’’ (drawing inspiration from a title of Mandela’s famous book) poses as interesting discussion.
Without a hint of blaspheme, Tony Davenport in his exact words asserted to the discussants that; ‘‘Nelson Mandela had the face of God. If I am asked to draw a picture of God, I would paint the exact picture of him, because I have never seen God in the physical’’. M/s Suzan Hilton, in the same vein, was effusive that Mandela’s was one of the world greatest hero, declaring further what he called a universal viewpoint of the true meaning of a leader “he who goes first and leads by good example, so that others are motivated to follow him’’.
To be a leader, one must have followers. To have followers, one must have their trust’’. More preponderant thought-lines by the discussants arose as thus; Are you a leader? If you are; who are your leader(s), taking it that leaders are those who believe in other people and could follow them as well? Who are your followers? How do you win their trust? Why would others trust you? Most importantly, are you worthy of their trust? You don’t need to waste time pondering for answers! A true leader wouldn’t need to pause before giving the answers, if he has to. He dreams it. Leading is his entire lifestyle!