Tuesday, January 8, 2008

*What Kind of Leaders Will Our Generation Offer?

State of Mind When Written: Simply reflecting. Now that we are being called to the table of leadership, what do we bring to that table?

by dDaiga -1/8/08
A friend & I were bonding over some good coffee at Starbucks when we delved into some serious discussion. We talked about everything and nothing. We could have gone on and on but there were other activities to catch up with. It was a great morning as far as I was concerned. Anything that engages my mind always catches my attention.

The topic that stayed with me was that of leadership. I always questioned the type of leadership that my generation and those behind me will establish. I speak particularly to those of us from African descent, who've only had a handful of genuine leaders to emulate. During that conversation, my friend alluded to the fact that our parents had been fortunate when they were growing up because their nations, after having gained their independence were calling on them as young graduates with some decent level of education to assume key positions very early on in their carriers. Many of them made history and built a name for themselves in their thirties. While this was good for them, they suddenly felt too attached and jealously possessive of the children they nursed as a nation. Because of this, most of them have consistently been reluctant or have outrightly refused to pass on the baton of power and leadership to the generation they were “supposedly” grooming for replacement. Perhaps I’ve been too na├»ve?

Now due to this so called “love” and greed, they are self-destroying everything that they fought for and worked so hard to attain. They have even destroyed the good names they earned along the way. You see, our parents had the opportunity to shape our nations in any which way they wanted to. They were responsible for creating a legacy that we would inherit. Some of them probably didn’t even realize how big of a crown they were carrying. The question that begs is what did they do with their chance at leadership? Sadly most of them are leaving us with an Africa that is unbearable, almost inheritable, corrupted, indebted, decayed, porous and polluted. It wasn’t supposed to be so. You would have thought that after decades of colonization, they would have wanted more for themselves and their children’s children.

So what are we going to do differently now that our inheritance has been marred and tainted? Are we just going to continue in their footsteps or are we going to stick out our necks for change and progress? Are we going to aim at reversing these damages if at all possible? There must be a way out, and it has to begin from somewhere. Thankfully, we have positive and forward thinking groups and individuals emerging and vying for change. If everyone remains consistent in their respective areas, it would be a simple matter of time. One thing is certain, change will come. For it to be for the better, we must be involved in the process now.

Today, our generation is being called to partake in decision making for our countries and continent. Our continent is relying on all the education and experience we have acquired and the new vision we have. Yet, most of us are still thinking we are too young or simply scared to fill those shoes because it means forcing our parents to handover when they should have done so willingly. But don’t get me wrong, we will always need their wisdom to advance. There must be effective continuity, not an abrupt disconnection. I therefore plead with my generation - let’s not wake up and realize we missed our chance to make that difference. Let’s challenge ourselves and answer the call to leadership. Our opinion matters. But remember that we must go to the table with a plan and good strategy. We must have a big goal:
One that will be focused on rebuilding and restoring our nations.
One that will be aimed at reconnecting all of Africa’s sons and daughters.
One that will teach us to co-exist amicably and learn from one another.
One that would allow easy access and flow of resources; human, natural and artificial from the North to the South and from the East to the West.
One that will seek to maximize its resources first before looking elsewhere.
One that will ensure that our intra-continental communications surpasses our inter-continentals counterparts.
One that will see to it that travel, cross learning, investment and employment is facilitated to make living and intra-continental migration position.
I could go and on. All I say is, remember we just need to have a goal that is bigger than us. A goal that thinks way ahead of the game. A goal that is not frozen in time but is timeless.

What kind of leaders are we going to be? We are already becoming those leaders. So what are going to leave behind as legacy? Hopefully not the same thing we inherited. But I blame them not, those who erred before for they didn’t know any better. To those who err today, I can still find room to give them a chance to right their wrongs. For those who actively plan to err tomorrow, I urge you to change your course of direction and do the right thing for the people you are obligated to.

Remember, Only a few will have the honor to lead on our behalves. May they have the wisdom and foresight to know right from wrong and do right by us!


Anonymous said...

Maybe you want to send it to the english newspapers back home for publication.

Nshek said...

I hope your cry will be heard in the deepest part of our continent.
We should learn to voice our opinions.
I know, most of us will inherited messed up countries
Nevertheless, someone has to clean up the mess.
Even if it means getting down on our knees
and scrubbing the dirt off our countries,
then we must do it.
Hard work and determination are the key.
Our generation is speaking, but we are not talking loud enough;
Our generation is working, but we are not working hard enough;
Our generation is fighting, but we are not fighting hard enough.
As I say, nobody will build Africa, if not us.
If we care for our children as much as we care for ourselves,
then we will make sure we leave them better nations.
If we don’t learn from our parents’ mistakes,
then we will be more to be blamed.
Let their failure not be ours;
Let their shortcomings not be ours;
Let our success be their pride.


Anonymous said...

Hi Diane,
Happy New Year. I love your writing. This particular article got me. If you permit me I ask the editors of The Immigrant Magazine to use it for Black History Month. Thanks for taking the time and initiative to put your thoughts in writing for then is when the process of change begins.

dDaiga said...

To Anonymous:- I will certainly contact them. I'm glad u see it as such and I appreciate the encouragement. Updates will be shared on the blog.

To Ed - what can I say? Just continue the fight and do not relent. We need more people like yourself.

To Charles: Thanks! You sure have my ok. I will be honored to have "The Immigrant Magazine" publish the article. And if this piece triggers a change in just one person, then we have victory on our side. I love the work being done by "The Immigrant" for our continent.
Best wishes for the year Charlo...

Anonymous said...

Ma Diane,
I see you posted an extended version here. Nice nice!! You pose a timely and thought provoking question for our generation. For me, a good pointer of what kind of leaders we might have in future is an examination of the quality of leadership our generation offers today. Take a look at the leadership of whatever associations or community organizations you belong to. If we cannot offer astute and visionary leadership today, we would not develop those qualities over night. If we cannot be accountable and accept scrutiny from those whom we lead today, then ours will be a generation of leaders no different from those we are criticizing today.

Keep writing. I got your blog bookmarked

dDaiga said...

Ma Nyem,
I like your reflection on this when you say we need to examine what is already happening in our localities. When I do that, tears well up in my eyes because what I see today tells me we have miles to go. But I rest assured that even the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step forward. Change is here and it is will happen.
Thanks for the positive words. Coming from a prolific writer like yourself, it's greatly appreciated. Keep coming back girl!