Min­is­ter Dlodlo an in­spi­ra­tion for all

Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Min­is­ter Ayanda Dlodlo’s un­wa­ver­ing com­mit­ment to the peo­ple of SA has won her a de­served in­ter­na­tional lead­er­ship and hu­man­i­tar­ian award, writes

CityPress - - Voices & Careers -

The propen­sity to dream small, ex­pect less from our lead­ers and whine, whine and whine some more about our chal­lenges in South Africa is doc­u­mented daily in the mass me­dia and ex­pe­ri­enced in our ev­ery­day con­ver­sa­tions. South Africa is, af­ter all, one of the poster chil­dren for in­equal­ity and poverty and abuse against women and chil­dren. We are dis­tracted by the ur­gent crises of mur­der and rape, which lull us to sleep and ig­no­rance of that same in­equal­ity and poverty. We con­tinue, year af­ter year, to deal with the scourge of xeno­pho­bic vi­o­lence di­rected, pri­mar­ily and non­sen­si­cally, at for­eign na­tion­als of the melanin-in­fused kind. Even in the month ded­i­cated to the icon of our lib­er­a­tion, late pres­i­dent Nel­son Man­dela, the for­tu­nate among us of­ten con­tinue to show lit­tle care for those who are less for­tu­nate.

My heart warmed when I heard that my sis­ter and com­rade, Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Min­is­ter Ayanda Dlodlo, was in­vited to the 46th An­nual Rain­bow Push Coali­tion and Cit­i­zen­ship Ed­u­ca­tion Fund In­ter­na­tional Con­ven­tion. At the event, hosted by civil rights ac­tivist Rev­erend Jesse Jack­son, Dlodlo was awarded with the In­ter­na­tional Lead­er­ship and Hu­man­i­tar­ian Award recog­nis­ing her out­stand­ing pub­lic ser­vice in fight­ing poverty in South Africa.

I grabbed the op­por­tu­nity to bask in the glow of pos­i­tive news. Apartheid car­ried with it the idea that poverty was re­served for black peo­ple and that by def­i­ni­tion we were never to be taken out of it, just made to cope with it. Our very be­ings were sup­posed to ooze a “Yes Baas, Ja Madam” men­tal­ity in the face of white supremacy.

But of course, our strug­gle for a bet­ter life for all in South Africa con­tin­ues. While many of us are highly dis­ap­pointed with many as­pects of the Zuma-led gov­ern­ment of to­day, we can­not for­get that in­deed the ANC’s com­mit­ment to the peo­ple of this coun­try has been ev­i­dent from 1912 un­til the present. Since the be­gin­ning of our democ­racy the poor have been get­ting a hand-up in the form of the grant sys­tem. Mil­lions have re­ceived a roof over their heads, run­ning wa­ter and elec­tric­ity. We’ve pro­claimed a loud “No!” to poverty and make the Are you fa­mil­iar with the min­is­ter’s award­win­ning work? Does she de­serve this award? SMS us on 35697 us­ing the key­word DREAM and tell us what you think. Please in­clude your name and prov­ince. SMSes cost R1.50 most with what we have, when cor­rup­tion is not rear­ing its ugly head.

It is sad to see that the com­mit­ment of our shin­ing stars such as Min­is­ter Dlodlo is be­ing recog­nised more and more in­ter­na­tion­ally than it is lo­cally. The good news of de­liv­ery and ex­cel­lence by many of our gov­ern­ment in­sti­tu­tions greatly out­weighs the bad, in­clud­ing the stench of Zupta ma­nip­u­la­tion of our state re­sources. Our coun­try is con­tin­u­ally be­ing con­fronted with the bad be­cause of the few rot­ten ap­ples among us.

To­day I choose not to think too deeply about just how much this award forces us to recom­mit to the well­be­ing of our peo­ple as the ANC broadly. I choose to cel­e­brate the power of an amaz­ing black woman. I choose to see South Africa as a place that can eas­ily pro­duce many more lead­ers like her. I choose to hold in my heart the truth that we are still a coun­try alive with pos­si­bil­i­ties, united in di­ver­sity and able to at­tain any­thing we put our minds to. I choose to­day to hold my head up be­cause one of our own is be­ing recog­nised for em­body­ing the very best of what we all should have – a com­mit­ment to the peo­ple of this coun­try.

My hope to­day is not just in­spired by one per­son re­ceiv­ing an award, but by other South Africans too who are also do­ing their bit to bet­ter this coun­try: the young busi­ness­peo­ple who cre­ate jobs, the lead­ers of var­i­ous sec­tors who give hope, the or­di­nary peo­ple whistling Son­tonga’s Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika and Mam­bazo’s Home­less at the same time. We should never for­get the com­mit­ment of those get­ting ready this morn­ing to run a soup kitchen, those trekking to Kil­i­man­jaro’s peak to keep girls in school, those putting their bod­ies on the front line for our safety. You are all truly re­mark­able and I see the best ver­sions of our­selves in you.

We must all be chal­lenged to de­crease in­equal­ity and poverty, each in our own way. May this award and oth­ers in hon­our of those who are com­mit­ted to our fel­low ci­ti­zens spur us on to work to­wards this goal with even greater zeal. This is also the time to en­cour­age en­trepreneur­ship and in­no­va­tion in earnest. Our peo­ple can­not live on hand-outs – which sadly cre­ate en­ti­tle­ment – in­def­i­nitely.

May our love for each other grow as South Africans at a time when a con­certed ef­fort has been made by scoundrels who have cap­tured the gov­ern­ment to ra­cially di­vide us. The sad thing is that we fell for it and saw more bad than good in each other.

Min­is­ter Dlodlo has rekin­dled my re­solve to be hu­mane, to be African, ho ba le botho. Ka nnete mosadi o tshwara thipa ka bo­haleng! Sexwale is a com­mu­ni­ca­tions strate­gist

and po­lit­i­cal ad­viser

PHOTO: QINISILE DELWA

RECOG­NISED Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Min­is­ter Ayanda Dlodlo re­ceives her award from Rev­erend Jesse Jack­son

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