During these past few days we have all been extremely saddened by the passing of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela.
I had the good fortune to have spent some time with Madiba. He was an extraordinary human being to whom we – as a country, a company, and from a personal perspective – owe so much respect and appreciation. We are extremely fortunate to have lived during his life-time of influence and caring.
He expressed his view of South Africa so warmly when he said “I believe that South Africa is the most beautiful place on earth. Admittedly, I am biased, but when you combine the natural beauty of South Africa with the friendliness and cultural diversity of our people, and the fact that the region is a haven for Africa’s most splendid wildlife, then I think even the most scrupulous critic would agree that we have been blessed with a truly wonderful land”.
He has, and will continue to inspire us to provide momentum to our support for communities on the outskirts of the reserves throughout Africa. In his words – “Overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity; it is an act of justice. Like slavery and apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings” He also said “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
We are aligned and will continue to be inspired by his views of leadership. “A fundamental concern for others in our individual and community lives would go a long way in making the world the better place we so passionately dreamt of.” He also said “Everyone can rise above their circumstances and achieve success if they are dedicated to and passionate about what they do” and ”A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.”
We will honour Madiba and his memory by striving to live our lives guided by the principals of tolerance, integrity and generosity he demonstrated so adequately throughout his lifetime.
Luke Bailes is CEO of Singita.