In addition to publishing an Afrocentric magazine, I also double as a public commentator and analyst, constantly peeping into the lives of African leaders and unfortunately, going by their painfully abysmal performances in public office, it seems that most of them have not come to the realization that it is a rare privilege to lead. Although, they might not be as much as those that are doing badly, thankfully, there some great African leaders that have done very well and are still doing very well — great men and women that have positively impacted the world with their exemplary conduct.
One of these great African leaders, whose life has significantly influenced me, and to whom I will be eternally grateful because he made me to realize that things always seem impossible until it is done, is South Africa’s first black president, Nelson Mandela, who clearly lived a very positive, impactful life. Since his demise five years ago, the world has continued to join South Africa to mark Mandela’s birthday posthumously on the 18th of July every year. However, 2018 celebration is groundbreaking as South Africa has been celebrating the centenary anniversary of his birthday with various activities taking place simultaneously across the globe, with the theme, “Be the Legacy”. The events were flagged off since the beginning of the year and will run till the end of the year.
The fact that life is very transient cannot be overemphasized; those we all saw and regarded as power brokers of yesterday are no longer the power brokers of today. It is also established facts that no matter how long we live and no matter how well or badly we fared in life, we will someday die and leave this world. More so, the reports of our stewardship on earth no matter how well we tried to keep it under wraps will eventually become public knowledge. My take on this, is; the wise thing to do is to become more conscious and courteous the way we live our lives and in the way we deal will other people.
At the 90th birthday celebration of his friend, Walter Sisulu, on the 18th of May 2002, Mandela said:
What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived, it is what difference we have made to lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.” Ruminating on this quote and probing the theme that was chosen for Mandela’s centenary celebration,Be The Legacy”, which I have decided to use as the title for the Publisher’s Desk in this edition, I discovered that legacy could mean gift or souvenir so I asked myself what would I rather be; a gift or misfortune to others? Holding on to my commitment to dwell on sustainability on my page all through this year, the other question on mind is, can being the legacy aid sustainability?
On the cover page of this edition, we are celebrating Mr. Kofi Annan, a renowned international civil servant, diplomat, Nobel peace prize recipient and first African to become Secretary-General of the United Nations as well as the first Secretary General to emerge from the ranks of UN staff and I can’t help but to wonder if one of the reasons why eulogies, accolades and commendations trailed his recent demise is because he became
the legacy’’. Alongside Mandela’s centenary celebration this year, is also the centenary celebration of Madam Albertina Sisulu and like it is done for Mandela, several activities had been held in her honour across the world all through this year for her immerse contributions toward the liberation struggle of South Africa.As the evil that men do lives after them’’, borrowing a quote from Marcus’s speech while addressing the crowd of Romans after Julius Caesar’s murder (Act 3, scene 2, “The Forum”) in William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, I believe that the good that men do also lives after them. Therefore, I ask you, what would like to be remembered for? Would you want to be remembered for being the legacy or for being the misfortune to others?
As we gear up to celebrate the 10th anniversary of IWA, we have resolved to refocus with a greater fillip to start to, in addition to publishing IWA, host lectures, seminars, conferences and trade shows as well as other events toward attaining a resounding progress in the next decade so that we can be “the legacy’’. This edition is loaded with lots of very informative and exciting stories as usual; the least I can wish you is a pleasurable reading experience!