Friday, May 8, 2009

From Herdboy To President

Tomorrow, Saturday, 9 May 2009, on the lawns of the Union Building in Pretoria, Mr JACOB GEDLEYIHLEKISA ZUMA, popularly called Msholozi, will be inaugurated as the 4th post-apartheid President of the Republic of South Africa.
Whatever your personal opinions are of him, there is one thing you cannot take away from Jacob Zuma. He is a formidable survivor. A fighter of unimaginable stamina. The story of the man is simply unbelievable. Phenomenal.
Here is a man who begun life as a herd boy( a Shepherd- for those of you without southern African experience) in his ancestral homestead in Nkandla in rural northern KwaZulu- Natal.
His schooling was disrupted very early as a result of the apartheid regime and eventually he decided to leave school altogether to join the struggle against the regime after standard three/grade five.
Once he joined the ANC, he never looked back but concentrated all his efforts on learning as much as he could from the leaders in the movement. What he lacked in formal education, he learnt through association, political activism and a sheer determination.
For example whilst former president Thabo Mbeki is considered an aloof and elitist intellectual with poor inter personal skills, Jacob Zuma on the other hand is a charismatic leader with great people skills. He has a formidable personal touch with people. No wonder he is called the peoples president. `
His endearing nature has served him well over the years. Jacob Zuma rose through the ranks of the ANC to become the head of intelligence of the Umkhonto We Sizwe ( the military arm of the ANC).
After 1994, he became a member of the National Council of provinces(NCOP), the second House of the South African Parliament, representing KwaZulu-Natal and also a minister in the KZN provincial government responsible for economic affairs and tourism. It was through his negotiating skills that the violence between the ANC and the IFP was brought to an end in KZN.
In 1997 at the 50th Conference of the ANC at Mafikeng he was elected as the deputy president of the ANC. And in 1999 he become the deputy president of South Africa.
Tomorrow he takes the final step towards the highest office in the land having already been elected as the President of South Africa by the Parliament on 6th may 2009.
May the Good Lord be with him to provide the leadership required by South Africa in the next five years.


Nana Yaw Asiedu said...

I always had only a vague idea of his story. Thanks for giving it to us in a nutshell. This has been one intriguing journey. I hope he succeeds. But I have little faith in him.

Adaeze said...

You are right, he is a formidable survivor. What did you think of his inaugurational speech? I think that's what it's called. I watched it live on BBC.

posekyere said...

I hear you NY.
The 36 cabinet Ministers and the way the ministries/portfolios have been re-organised give a sense of hope.
The establishment of a planning commission as well as an implementation and monitoring ministry within the presidency gives me an idea that JZ recognises his limitations and has decided to bring on board smart men and women to do the job for him.
I hope his plans succeed for the good of South Africa.

posekyere said...

Hi Adaeze!
Yes. JZ's inaugural speech, in my opinion, was pretty decent. He was straight to the point.Simple to understand. However there was not the inspiration and forcefulness I expected.
Overall I will give him a B-.

novisi said...

i can only hope for the best for a people!

interesting story there! the man even washed down the HIV virus with soap and water and how many can beat that? lol.

i just pray he serves the people well so that it would be proven once again without number that personal interests and limitations don't matter where leadership is required!

i'm eager and waiting!

posekyere said...

Like you, I pray and hope that the loaded confidence placed in him will bear fruit.
The success or failure of Zuma's administration will, in my opinion, determine the future of generations yet to be born.
If he manages to keep the nation inspired for greater things, the future will be rosy. On the other hands, if wrong and reckless decisions are taken the consequence could be catastrophic.
I wish his government God's grace and wisdom.