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Zuma Does not Embody African Leadership

Describing Zuma's leadership as 'typically African' and then using that phrase to dismiss his inexcusable actions is a problem. Critiquing those who are not in favour of Zuma as being 'Westernized for wanting integrity' is a problem. Commending Zuma for showing South Africans our 'true African character' which is full of empty promises and a lack of integrity - is a problem.

It is a problem, because the very fact that you view African leaders as corrupt, selfish and lacking integrity means that you have been indoctrinated by the very same Western ideology that you critique those who hold Zuma accountable. It is a problem, because the abuse of money, the demise of the poor, the normalization of rape and the complete disregard for the people you were elected to serve is not African leadership. You are quick to excuse Zuma's behaviour as African Leadership while looking through the lense of colonisation; while reading the same books that taught you this nonsense you are spewing. Why are you quick to forget great African Leaders who paved the way for our home?

Like the leadership reflected in Sirleaf's commitment to end the civil war in Liberia. Or the efforts of Thomas Sankara to eliminate the corruption and control of the French colonial power in Burkina Faso. Or the African leadership in the community minded policies of Ujamaa by Nyerere. Or in Nkrumah's unwavering voice for Pan-Africanism. Or in Banda's unapologetic repel of laws against same-sex marriage in Malawi.

Zuma's leadership is his own leadership. African Leadership will not be characterized by demoralization, rape and broken promises. And if that is your view, then you need serious introspection.

These leaders are proof that the concept of African Leadership is not a phrase to be used to defend poor governance, but rather one which should challenge us to embody the strength, struggle and service-oriented principles of those who came before us.

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