Leaders must be exemplary
Monday, 23 April, 2012People in positions of leadership are expected to be exemplary in their conduct and attitudes, whether personal or social arena and must reflect integrity, credibility, wisdom and discipline, among other key qualities expected of leaders. A leader should be someone we wish to emulate; who inspires positive change and motivates a sense of success and improvement in our lives.
Human personal development is just as important as providing education, jobs, basic needs and other social amenities. Civilization requires an apt level of self investment and grooming; Go ikaga. Adults are role models for younger people as they (youth) formulate ideas and perceptions about the world they exist in, and develop an identity with adults as their point of reference. Unfortunately, there is a shortage of positive role models in many African communities. Some of our leaders don’t seem to realize the importance of human development. It’s bad enough that some Batswana are docile, with that irritating “Re tla reng” attitude.
I don’t understand people who want to lead others but get caught in cases of corruption, financial mismanagement, philandering or ‘breeding’ children everywhere. How do you take seriously a leader who gets dragged before the courts on a case of maintenance or is in the papers for sleeping with another man’s wife? In other parts of the world, leaders who are ‘out of order’ are forced to step down. Here in Africa, they are just allowed to do as they wish. There is a general lack of accountability, respect and discipline.
Manhood is about responsibility, integrity, protection, respect and honour; not chasing women, sleeping with and impregnating them or abusing them or squandering funds like a corrupt lunatic. Should we take seriously some of the leaders who are known to sleep around with all sorts of women, some of them young enough to be their daughters? What does this man say about the challenge of HIV/AIDS? How does such a leader reprimand anyone when he himself demonstrates a lack of self-respect?
Some Batswana women have proved to be cheap: throw a few gifts or some money her way, put her in a nice car and wham, her panties drop. Surely you know such types of women? Motho o tla fitlhela a nna fela a gagametse mo dikoloing tsa banna. Some women indirectly teach men to disrespect them because they behave like its fine to be disrespected, abused, cheated on etc by allowing such behaviour.
Some parents, especially mothers, are also to blame because of the way they raise their sons. From a young age a boy is treated like a ‘King’ even when he is plainly stupid. This child turns into an adult with a spoilt nature because they were never reprimanded and showed the correct manner of civilization or how to treat other people, especially women. This is why some men around here are spoilt and ill mannered. There is no culture of accountability to the point that someone cannot stop and think, “What I am doing is unfair or wrong.”
Some of these men behave in a rude, self-righteous or primitive manner, ready to use force. They have that unsophisticated “Ke monna” attitude. The “irony” is that these men use Culture, Religion and the Law to assert their sick behaviour.
I recently read a report that stated that there is an increase in abuse in Botswana: rape, sexual molestation and harassment, defilement, domestic abuse etc. This was also reported in most media. Surprisingly, no political leader commented on this disturbing trend. Why? Because some of them perpetuate these unsavory practices or they just don’t care? We must discourage a close-ended mentality where someone puts their selfishness and unrefined ideas forth; using simplistic excuses like “We are all human, everybody makes mistakes” or “We aren’t perfect”. Does that mean people should behave in and be tolerant of uncivilized behaviour?
In other parts of the world, men affirm their manhood through caring for and providing for their families, building legacies, developing and managing successful companies, creating admirable architectural buildings, operating industrial sites etc. Here we have men who affirm their manhood by drinking like their lives depends on it, chasing every woman they see, philandering and breeding babies everywhere like they didn’t believe their reproductive organs could work. A lot of these men seem to get a ego boost from hurting, bullying, raping and abusing women; satisfying their need to feel powerful. Alice Walker reflected this sad state of the Black man in her controversial book titled ‘The third life of Alexander Grange.” The legacy of slavery, Colonialism, apartheid, white supremacy and black inferiority has turned some of our people into a rot. Instead of holding on to that, people should change and reform themselves and challenge stereotypes.
Ikgalemeleng! Leaders must pioneer this social change.