Leaders dedicating themselves to  self-mastery will help build a better South Africa

By Lucky Nkhoma

Self-mastery, as defined by the Collins dictionary, is ‘the ability to take control of one’s life without being blown off course by feelings, urges, circumstances, etc. Self-mastery is that condition whereby your body is your servant and not your master.’

This article stems from a deep reflection on the upcoming general national elections scheduled to be held in South Africa on the 29th May 2024.

It marks the 30th anniversary of what we term as freedom, yet one may question if this still holds true in the “land of milk and honey”  or the rainbow nation envisioned by Madiba.

The country finds itself deeply divided along lines of colour, race, and creed, hindering harmonious co-existence. Was there ever harmony to begin with? Or have we merely simmered in a pressure cooker, suppressing the heat that could no longer be contained.

Despite the ‘kumbaya’ effect of CODESA 1 and 2? One must ponder the effectiveness of these meetings. With the death of every political activist, we get further and further away from the truth. All we hear of is threats of people insinuating that the truth is yet to come out on what really happened.

South Africa can indeed be great nation again, reminiscent of Barack Obama’s rhetoric, “yes we can”. This can only be partially true if each voter exercises discipline in making their voice heard through the ballot. We need to stand tall and be counted as a people. Together we can change the image and reputation of our country. Let us do away with selfish politics that only seek to advance the course of the elite few. Millions of children live in destitute , not know where the next meal will come from. Why must an NPO get millions to fund a few hundred, when those hundreds can be direct beneficiaries from the state?

Why is it called a voice when it seemingly falls silent within the confines of the ballot box? Yet, the outcomes  of every vote/election is instrumental in building a capable state. I encourage each South African to reflect on their current circumstances and envision the future they wish to experience in 2027, two years prior to the 2029 general national elections. We can learn an invaluable lesson with what has transpired in Senegal in the last month. Change can occur overnight and it can either be good change or bad change depending on the decisions we will make concerning who we pick to lead and govern come May 29th.

With voting cycles occurring every five years, we cannot afford to make grave mistakes in 2024 by electing a government that will further stall service delivery for another term. ‘Ku late ngoku,’ as the isiXhosa idiom goes, signifying that there is no longer time to waste, we must act now. We need to act NOW!

Let us unite as we strive towards building  a future we are all equally proud to be accountable for, one without corruption and all kinds of atrocities we find in our society

As a nation, we have been looking for a messiah for 30 years, but it is time to realise that we are our own liberators through the act of electing our government. Let us remember this responsibility as we cast our votes in local, provincial, and national elections. We have neglected our duties for far too long.

To the younger generation, I appeal: voting is not like or a TikTok video nor a timeline on threads; one act bears permanent ramifications. Elected representatives may attempt to speak for you without truly understanding your preferences. We had had this song on repeat now for 30 years and that’s all we have been hearing about since January 2024.

We have endured the absence of leadership and ignorance for too long; another purposeless five-year term could have lifelong repercussions for the future of our kids. We possess the power to alter the course of history and ensure that our government truly represents the will of the people.

This notion of ’30 years of democracy’ as a mere PR stunt must be discarded. We have failed to adequately educate our youth and adults, resulting in moral decay under the watch of our leaders. What good can come from an uneducated society incapable of forming opinions or representations? Let us rise with pride to reclaim the values we once stood for.

The era of being heroes and heroines on social media without true identities must come to an end. Signing millions of petitions yields little effect when we hold the power to incite change through voting. Think of the millions of budgets spent towards the reputations and brand enhancement of our beautiful country only only for a select few to “piss” all over it like a stray dog? 

Let us not be swayed by brand promises or persuasive rhetoric, but rather let fear inspire us to tread the path less travelled, forging a new direction for our nation.

There will not be another year like 2024, where power returns to the people. The more we normalise this in South Africa, the better equipped we will be to progress united against corruption and maladministration. We must refuse to be mere spectators as our country crumbles. Let us hoist our flags high, emulating the heroes and heroines of various spheres.

The moral high ground lies in each South African doing their utmost to inspire others.

Let us adopt the mindset of activists worldwide, standing for unity and goodness. South Africa knows better; let us remain resolute in our determination to never regress. We can learn a lot from the recent elections in Senegal , Wherein a leader emerged barely from two week’s of campaigning. We as people often know what is good for us but we prefer the under deliverer who always promises better but rarely comes to the party. 

*Nkhoma is a business leader with a track record in the fields of public relations, marketing, and communications.”