Nelson Mandela’s autobiography is the best book I ever read. I just finished reading it a couple of hours ago and words cannot describe the feelings it has stirred in me.
All I can say is that it has been a real education.
It has shed more light for me on the courage, character, humanity and leadership of the man I consider to be the greatest African ever. I think the 625 pages of ‘Long Walk to Freedom’ should be required reading for every African politician and anyone who aspires to lead on this continent. It’s absorbing, insightful and humorous.
Madiba has some very useful lessons in that book about nation building; lessons which cannot be taught in any university but can only be imparted by someone who’s been there and done it all.
The book is replete with wise words and very useful lessons, the most important of which, for me, has to do with what we call skirt-and-blouse voting. I believe we need to have at some point – in fact, for very long periods – a parliament which is not dominated by any one party.
Madiba says he was more than satisfied that the African National Congress didn’t win an outright majority after South Africa’s first general election in 1994.
“Some in the ANC were disappointed that we did not cross the two-thirds threshold, but I was not one of them,” he writes.
“In fact I was relieved; had we won two-thirds of the vote and been able to write a constitution unfettered by input from others, people would argue that we had created an ANC constitution, not a South African constitution. I wanted a true government of national unity.”
Ghana needs a government like that.
The shambolic governance of NDC-this and NPP-that creates too much heat and not light. It is leading us nowhere. It is only strengthening the hands of a new bunch of oppressors – selfish politicians, poverty and squalor.
I hope one day, we get a true government of national unity with a leader who will constantly urge all of us to put our shoulders to the wheel; not a leader who will just set out to purge every institution of elements he considers to be on the ‘other side’. From Madiba’s book, I know we are all on one side and if we allow this ship to take in water, we will sink together – NDC and NPP and all the little ones in between.