Important Lessons I learnt from Nelson Mandela

Important Lessons I learnt from Nelson Mandela

Tanzanian refugee camps were indeed a daunting place to live; however, it was a great place to learn values of things that we would not have learned otherwise. We learned that even without having access to basic amusements and facilities, we can still manage to live without despair.  

It might seem like an interesting claim if I say that we did  have access to television and radio but our elders were still aware of what was happening in the world. They believed that the revolution is inevitable. In essence, their belief in positivity made them think that things are changing and will continue to change. And they were right. An anti-apartheid revolution did come and it was none other than the great Nelson Mandela himself. Today, we all know Nelson Mandela as the first President of South Africa who changed the history for those who suffered because of racial segregation. At the time, he became the President, all I knew about him was that he was the President of South Africa.

The first time I saw him in front of me was when he visited Tanzania and to meet us who were suffered from the hardship of the brutal and prolonged Burundian War. I don’t recall the exact date but it was the year 2001 for sure. As I was among those unfortunate souls who faced the troubles of war, I joined the mob that gathered to meet him at the football pitch. He made us aware of the negotiations between the predominantly political parties. Unfortunately, despite trying I could not win the opportunity to have a word with him, not to mention that I did not know one bit about how to speak in English.  Long story short, all I remember is that he waved his hand to us and we waved back and went home with joy uttering the words repetitively, “ I have seen Nelson Mandela!”. I still remember that place because it was named after him. 

The life of Mandela is full of lessons. I learnt few most important lessons from this great leader that I have got the chance to see with my own eyes and wave at.

“By the way, this was adapted just a few years ago during my research based on his leadership and growth”  I am not a politician but I am always curious about how other people can do better and others don’t.

  1. Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” 

This lesson inspires to get the education to learn the art of consciousness. That is to say, education leads to the ability to differentiate between right and wrong. 

For people like us who grew up in the hardship of war and refugee camps, acquiring education was not by any means a walk in the park. However, a lot of did manage to get the education and were honored and respected. My parents aren’t formally educated as they had to face a lot more in their youth than what we faced in ours. But what is worth appreciating is their passion to transform their children into educated members of society. Here I would like to add something that I felt at the early stages of my education. My parents never expected me to get the education so that I could become a doctor, engineer or lawyer but because me to become a man of conscience and knowledge. Also, I discovered the importance of being knowledgeable as it gave an edge over a person with no significant knowledge. Not long ago,Allan Keshimana and I while having a chat based on innovations and our future endeavours; He showed me bible verse  says:     

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, … “Lack of knowledge”: “of God” (Hosea 4:1), 

For anyone reading my blog, I would suggest to never to quit on knowledge. Keep learning and keep discovering what you do not know regardless of the route you select to acquire knowledge. For it is the best way to lead to a life of some success that would matter to yourself and to those around you.  

  1. If you can’t win them join them 

Have you ever given a thought to question why people disagree? Let’s all be honest if we scroll the pages of history, most of the revolutionaries did not disagree with higher authorities to gain any power? Then why did they protest if it was not for the power gain? Well, they did not care about becoming powerful or a national hero either. All they did was that they took a stand against the wicked and made unprecedented efforts to eradicate the wrong from society for the generations to come.    

The iconic saying “If you can’t win them, join them” can be a game-changer to your life. However, it totally depends upon how you perceive it and how well you adapt and apply it to your life.  

If you seek my point of view,  I perceive it as an opportunity to grow. I often stick to the policy of not-competing with any other business. My primary focus is only winning the confidence of my clients and customers through exceptional and premium quality services. I would never allow myself or people I work with to waste time on planning for taking over other businesses; I would go in reverse. That is to say, I would consume my time on planning how can I improve my services for the next client. However, if any opportunity of joining a feasible business venture emerges, I would definitely embrace it with an open heart. 

Now, let us fall back to Mandela’s perspective. It is a bitter truth that when Mandela commenced his anti-apartheid campaign, he did not have any significant support to build walls behind his back. Among the millions, only a few a hundred actually supported him. As a matter of fact, even his own follower did not lend support to his ideas. But, nothing could stop Mandela. The intensity of words never fainted and he never backed out from sacrificing his own self for the sake of the noble cause of which he was the torchbearer. It was his sheer resilience that made people join him and fight for the right. It was nothing but his resistance and contumacy against the wrong that earned him a name among the elite group of heroes of history. 

To conclude, I strongly recommend you watch Simon Sinek online where he shares much about Nelson Mandela and his character which will indeed inspire you to become a great leader in your own field by acquiring the leadership skills of one of the great leaders.You will learn why the leaders eat last,I basically wanted to say  In other way my 3rd favourite lesson from  Nelson Mandela is to listen to everyone’s say before sharing your opinion loudly.

Jamal Giraneza

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