John D Kennedy in his famous 1961 inauguration said “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”
Over the years since the speech was made, it has become a means to awake nationalism and patriotism among citizens of a country.
Across the continent of Africa, there are a few whose sense of nationalism has put Africa in the limelight like Nelson Mandela. He is renowned first for his fight against the apartheid regime which saw him spending almost 3 decades behind bars.
As a child, the radio would regularly blast songs like”Free Mandela”, “Black President” and Sarafina musicals. Even though I’m from Nigeria, the apartheid struggle was equally a Nigerian struggle.
Today, the world continues to celebrate a world icon of peace. Mandela’s life is filled with a lot of lessons.
We learn that leadership requires sacrifice even when that would mean sacrificing your life.
Leadership is service. This is something leaders in Nigeria and Africa have failed to realize.
Mandela was a leader before he became a political leader and President.
It tells us that we don’t need titles to lead. You can lead in your community or by carrying out acts of service. The spirit of Mandela is a spirit that inspires us to do more than just live for ourselves.
We encourage you to look around your community or neighbourhood and discover ways you can begin to build a lasting legacy.
Here are a few activities you can do;
1.Volunteer to teach in a public school.
- Help paint a classroom or hospital block.
- Pay someone’s hospital bill
- Volunteer for 2 hours weekly in an orphanage near you. Etc.
Happy Mandela Day 2021!
Written by Chiezugolum Odilinye-Nwokoye Co-founder, Speak Out Africa Organization