An image is said to be worth a thousand words, however the eloquently 5-worded cartoon from Zapiro is worth thousands more… it carries with it the voice of millions of South African men and women.
Zapiro has captured not only the despair and anger many of us felt for almost two decades, but the regret and disillusion with the blatant lack of leadership and utter disregard for the people of this country. For me, as a South African man, it does however say a lot more about the insoluble dilemma that we as men in South Africa are facing.
Its easy to lay blame on the shoulders of just one man, Jacob Zuma and in keeping with his past behavior, he can certainly take the lion’s share. It is, however, poignant to note that Joseph de Maistre (a Savoyard lawyer, diplomat, write and philosopher) is often quoted as saying, “Every nation gets the government it deserves”.
Many South Africans feel justified today by the events that lead to his resignation as the “head of our SA household” because our calls for accountable leadership was drowned out by his acolytes. Yet some of us would prefer to climb into a little boat on de-nile and slap on a political or cultural sticker to cover this picture but the harsh truth is that we, the people have given Jacob Zuma, and men like him, absolute power.
Government is said to be of the people, by the people and for the people - so how complicit are we, in creating the government we have endured for 9 years? What are the lessons we should be taking from his tenure in office? How have we contributed to his legacy and how do we make sure this is really the end of an error?!
We have raised our voices and we have been heard. Whilst we can enjoy this victory, let’s not forget that we have a country to build, and there is so much more work that needs doing. We can no longer accept corruption at any level, we can no longer tolerate weak leaders. We demand visionary leadership, a government that values every citizen for the effort they bring forward to building our communities and our country.
We, at The Character Company are steadfast in our commitment to raising our country’s future captains of industry, leaders, fathers, brothers and South African men with a solid foundation built on 5 core values. Our MENtorship programme offers values-based leadership training to all our boys, knowing that they will bring these values into their lives, their homes and their communities.
The possibility for a great South Africa is still available for us – a country unified by vision and values. Its possible, we simply have to start somewhere – and we must be prepared to work at it – all of us! We owe it to our children.
Image: © Zapiro