A leader is term that has been defined many times in different ways , but since we need to continue demystifying the values of leadership which happen to be universal and its contribution towards making Africa a better place, where people are cognizant of others and their contribution I will define it again. A leader can paint a picture of the future that will cause men and women to leave their present in pursuance of the future. Then the question is had we not enough leaders five decades ago who had a better picture of Africa than what we are experiencing, the biggest gap between the rich and the poor, a myriad of social injustice and violation of human rights.
Dr. Wale Akinyemi has noted that a lot of African leaders cannot see beyond their present form and that is why they cling to power. If your vision of tomorrow is not stronger than your comfort of today, you will remain a prisoner of today. Life is in phases and seasons. If you cannot see the next season of your life you will become a prisoner of the present season, the stronger the vision for tomorrow the shorter your today will be. This explains better the predicament we are in as Africans. That we do not have leaders but office holders who are satisfied with what they have today, in fact they are prisoners’ of the present phase. The dangers of people drawing leadership from their position they hold is that they will never let anyone grow to their level because if they do they will overthrow them. The 3L model (LEADERS LEADING LEADERS) brings out a scenario where everybody is considered as a leader. This is kind of leadership Africa need.
A true leader is said to be a person who is ready to help their team members discover their terrain of strength and help move them from the unconscious competence to the conscious competence. Winston Churchill ascribed his successes to the fact that he surrounded himself with intelligent people that him. This means that as Africans we have not embraced the art of mentorship, helping others never to make the mistakes that we have committed. Either our vision is too blurred that we become comfortable of what we have today. Until we realize that the strength of a vision is determined by the quality of subscribers, until we realize that there is no joy in being the brightest among fools or being the most learned amongst the ignorant, we will still be entangled in the chains of poverty and we will keep on crying foul of every situation.
A time has come for true leaders to emerge and dream of a better Kenya, many need to rise up and defy the curse of Africa, yes we need to raise the standards of our leadership, we need to get people who acknowledge that they are not the sole owner of solutions to social problems, that somebody in the slum somebody from the base of the pyramid in social structure might be having a solution to a mega problem that the high ranked office holders will not fathom. It is time to start thinking of empowering all people without discrimination of how somebody appears, where they were born or where they live. The treasure of great imagination is lying in the voices that have been ignored for a long time.
It is true that in Africa lies the great resources of innovations think of the M-pesa services that have revolutionized the financial service industry, think of the pyramid of Egypt and its monumental attraction, think of the marvelous literary works of Chinua Achebe , Soyinka, Ngugi wa Thiong’o and many others who have put Africa in the world map. Think of the patriotic athletes who have several times raised the flag of Kenya and that of other African countries up. We need to be aware of the resources available and in our small way work to appreciate them and put some effort in nurturing them. That is why I too am an audacious and ardent believer in the African dream. That is why I believe in the uniqueness of every individual no matter the social status.
It is common knowledge that you will never chose where you are born but you have the ability to choose where you want to be.so long as we have faith in ourselves we will achieve what we desire. In fact many of the nobodies have become somebodies by faith, by faith cripples have won Olympic games by faith sons of paupers have rose to become billionaires by faith the descendants of herdsman have become presidents . By faith people have overcome greatest obstacles imaginable and have gone on to accomplish great feats. Always this happens because there is someone who believes in the abilities talents and gifts of these individual. We should strive to help other discover what they have, help them to believe and have faith in themselves.
We should not say this is not our responsibility because we are not leaders. It has been proved that the best and most of the great leaders are the ones whose efforts were not even rewarded because of their efforts (closet leaders), for instance, mother Teresa never received Nobel Prize but she lives in the hearts of the people. Martin Luther king junior dreamt of a better America, his dream of a black American president came to pass when president Obama was elected. Yes we should work it out in the unselfish way, with love and consideration. And this is what the 3L Leadership model will do to Africa.
Let us all take the initiative.