Where did the leaders come from?
Every time I participate in discussions about leadership in Africa and specifically Malawi, the views from most participants generally say a lot about where our people will take nations.
When I read or hear some views from individuals of my Born-in-self-governance generation about the state of our nation today, I am always hopeful and optimistic that there are elements among us from whom leadership can be cultivated to spur a transformative and progressive agenda in all areas – civil society, political parties, legislature, state-owned enterprises, private sector and others.
The key question we should ask ourselves is “Do We Deserve Our Leadership?”
We must accept that for sure today we are where we are mostly because of decisions and actions that we have registered in the past as a People of a nation. We should accept that the leadership and the systems that we currently have are respectively what we have built, and the type of leadership is what we have allowed to thrive and mostly reflect our general mindset and attitudes as a people.
Unfortunately there is no pill that we can give for prevailing systems and the mindsets of our leadership and those of majority of our people to change overnight. You cannot fatten a pig on market day and expect it to be fattened enough for a good sell.
Therefore, much as others should dedicate their energies to try to fix the current situation, we should also endeavor to identify and deliberately build the leadership that we want; including the elements that we desire in them so that our decision today, should bear the fruits that we truly desire. Otherwise our debates on what we desire for our country will rumble on beyond our lifetime and undesirable histories will repeat.
So the painful answer is Yes, we deserve our leadership for we make them directly or indirectly due to either our actions or inaction. Besides the majority of the people in top leadership in almost all areas is our born-in-self-governance generation whom we would expect to know better.
However, we not despair people. Let us not let fatalism take root. Let us endeavor to identify and build the leadership that we desire either within ourselves and others.
The change that we the people desire will not happen in our lifetime unless we change the general mindset of the people; especially the born-in-self-governance generation. That is you and me; the people from where our leadership comes and shall come. A fruit does not fall too far from the tree that made it unless it is blown away by a really strong winds; Winds of Change.
If we want change, we have got to be ready to change for many people want change but they themselves do not desire to change. As we point at others, there are three fingers pointing back at us.
It will take a long time and a lot of effort to transform. Eventually we shall; as long as we deliberately identify and build from among us, the leadership that we know we want… and need for sure.