As a way of reproducing many more Nelson Mandela, the late South African anti-apartheid crusader, in Africa, students of universities have been urged to toe the line of the late African icon by emulating his virtues and ethos.
The Deputy-Political Consul-General, South-African Consulate in Lagos, Busisiwe Dlamini, gave this advice at an event organised recently by the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Akoka in conjunction with the Education Writers’ Association of Nigeria (EWAN); a group of journalists reporting education, in the country.
The event with the theme ‘Making more Mandelas,’ was held at UNILAG in commemoration of the ‘Nelson Mandela International Day,’ at the third edition of the UMOJA African Students Leadership Network Summit and with students in Nigeria and from South Africa, among others, in attendance.
Speaking further, Dlamini said the late Mandela lived a selfless life in and out of government, hence he died a global icon.
According to her, making more Mandela like-minded people in Africa would help develop the continent, not only politically but also economically, socially and culturally.
In her remark, UNILAG Vice Chancellor, Professor Folashade Ogunsola, represented by the Dean of Students’ Affairs of the school, Professor Musa Obalola, admonished African youths to build strong political and economic commitment that would turn Africa to a greater continent.
In his lecture, the research Associate Professor at the Institute of Africa and Diaspora Studies, UNILAG, Dr Kayode Eesuola, advised that Africans should find their way back to their roots.
He explained that they could do this by looking inward and tapping into available resources that could aid healthy competition with the western world and also collaborate where necessary on foreign ideas for improvement.
The chairman of EWAN, Mr Mojeed Alabi, on his part, observed that materialism, crave for power, wealth and fame have overridden the foundational meaning and purpose of leadership in Africa.
He said people in leadership positions and at all levels must be able to use their offices to impact lives and not for selfish gains.
He promised that EWAN would continue to encourage improvement through members’ reportage and social service with a view to moving the education sector forward.
The representatives of the young generation from Nigeria and South-Africa, who formed the bulk of the panellists, advised that there should be youth’s involvement in the forefront of policy formulation and implementation across Africa.
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