St Peter's Boys Prep Celebrates Mandela Day with a Powerful Message

  • July 18, 2019 | Nicole Richardson

St Peter’s Boys Prep celebrated Mandela Day with a Senior Prep and a Junior Prep service on the Chapel lawn next to the “Madiba Tree”.

Darien Naidoo (Grade 7) shared his thoughts on how Nelson Mandela was the embodiment of servant leadership.

“Servant leadership is a term developed by Robert Greenleaf in the early 1970’s. The main principle of servant leadership is that leaders are attentive to the concerns of their followers and empathise with them, including those with little power in systems.

The concept of leaders serving their followers goes back many years in the Gospel. Jesus says the following: “But he that is greatest amongst you, shall be your servant.”

How was Nelson Mandela a servant leader? 

  • Despite his personal cost, he stayed true to his conviction that South Africa should be a democracy with equality for all its citizens.
  • He worked closely with those who kept him captive in Robben Island to bring about a peaceful transition of power.
  • He sought opportunities to bring South Africans together, for example embracing the rugby team.

I want to emphasise what Mr K (Assistant Chaplain Kamohelo Kotsi) said yesterday morning in chapel:

In Nelson Mandela’s first speech as a free man, he chose the path of peacefulness and democracy. If he put his emotions before his people, he could have started a civil war and South Africa would have been a place of bloodshed and death.

Despite the harm and discrimination that he was subjected to, he put the country and its people first and his own emotions aside, setting an example to all of us on what servant leadership means.

Darien then went on to explain how we can be servant leaders:

  • Well for a start, we can start listening more, rather than talking. Listen to your peers and help them become better, rather and focusing only on your well-being.
  • Make sure your loved ones and friends know that you care.
  • Have empathy. Put yourself in other people’s shoes, even if you have never experienced it yourself. A good leader has empathy and is able to see the struggle pain and suffering of others.
  • Lastly be self-aware. This is the ability to look at yourself , think deeply about your emotions and behaviour, and consider how they affect the people around you and if they align with your values.

Darien ended with a quote from Nelson Mandela that has always resonated with him:

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

Happy Mandela Day and what are you doing for your 67 minutes?