Welcome to Toastmasters Southern Africa
In loving memory of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, the Father of our Nation (1918 - 2013)
As the world pauses to mourn the passing of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, a phenomenal man, it gives us the opportunity to personally reflect on how he influenced our lives and to express our gratitude for the role he played in our nation, continent and the world. On a personal note, when I reflect on his life of service, Mandela personified dignity, humility and courage. The 'Madiba Magic' seems tangible as people continue to share the stories of encounters with him. As we mourn his loss and celebrate his life, let us think about how we can embody the qualities that he personified as a person and as a leader.
As Toastmasters we continually strive to better our leadership and communication skills and what a role model we have in Tata Madiba. I am reminded of how many of the values that Madiba espoused are closely aligned to the essence of Toastmasters and what we strive for as leaders. Tata Madiba said
"I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear."
His courage in the face of adversity embodies this and should give us the courage to face our fears and to overcome these - not least the fear of speaking in public, not giving up when the challenges seem insurmountable or simply upholding something that is true to you. As an organisation that grows leaders, as we celebrate his life, perhaps we can consider that we have the auspicious challenge of growing leaders like Nelson Mandela.
Tata Madiba - we are blessed to have shared some time together in this lifetime.
Frances Fraser DTM District Governor
(image source: Wikipedia)