Fe­male lead­ers take lessons from women icons

Pretoria News Weekend - - NEWS - RUDZANI MATSHILI

rudzani.matshili@inl.co.za THE spirit of Char­lotte Man­nyaMax­eke was rein­car­nated as women lead­ers took part in a di­a­logue in her mem­ory at Free­dom Park yes­ter­day.

The di­a­logue, led by Dr Bri­galia Bam, was hosted by the Char­lotte Man­nya-Max­eke In­sti­tute in part­ner­ship with Free­dom Park and the Na­tional Her­itage Coun­cil.

ANC Women’s League leader Batha­bile Dlamini was among those in at­ten­dance.

The di­a­logue fea­tured prom­i­nent women and men in con­ver­sa­tion on the lessons im­parted by women icons and how they could turn those teach­ings into prac­ti­cal so­lu­tions.

Or­gan­is­ers said the ini­tia­tive was hugely in­flu­enced by and echoed Man­nya-Max­eke’s words. They re­ferred to her quote: “This work is not for your­selves; kill that spirit of self, and do not live above your peo­ple, but live with them and if you can rise, bring some­one with you.”

The mes­sage to those in at­ten­dance was that to be a good fe­male leader, one needed hu­man­ity and re­spect.

Bam told at­ten­dees it was fas­ci­nat­ing be­ing a woman leader, which came with a lot of chal­lenges.

“As a fe­male leader, you have to af­firm your­self first be­cause when­ever you are in au­thor­ity or lead­ing, you are not try­ing to be a man. Be your­self and don’t be fake.

“The lead­ers we talk about to­day had fear for God. The lead­ers I know and the ones I’ve fol­lowed had hu­man­ity and you also need to have re­spect. I want to tell you some­thing; mama Al­bertina Sisulu had re­spect for peo­ple, which is what some­one who is a leader needs.”

Man­nya-Max­eke was the first black woman to grad­u­ate and have a BSc de­gree in South­ern Africa in 1901.

PIC­TURE: THOBILE MATHONSI/ AFRICAN NEWS AGENCY (ANA)

Dr Bri­galia Bam leads a di­a­logue in mem­ory of Char­lotte Man­nya-Max­eke in Free­dom Park in the city yes­ter­day.

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