One World – One Humanity!
One Human Race.
As a 12 year old white boy, I stood on the side of a Bancroft road in Zambia, and waved my Zambian flag at the first President of our newly independent Zambia. He smilingly waved his white handkerchief at the crowds as he sailed past. As kids we were not perturbed with the change from colonial rule to African rule. It was just another day off school.
As the leader of a country with incredible diversity in its peoples – about 71 languages or dialects are spoken there – Dr Kaunda took a stand. One of his most important principles has changed the political landscape, and the hearts and souls of Zambian people, forever.
KK, as he is known, boldly stated “One Zambia – One Nation! This was the clarion call to unity that has founded a nation of people who honour, welcome and respect each other. As a young boy, I had no idea why he would say such a thing. I simply did not understand.
10 years ago – as a team building, diversity and conflict resolution specialist – I travelled to Zambia with my partner to facilitate a team building for the Bank of Zambia. There we were welcomed as human beings.
In my quest for diversity knowledge – I turned to a member of the BoZ team and asked, “What tribe do you come from?” He looked at me in surprise, and softly said, “I am Zambian. We are all Zambians. One Zambia – One Nation!” 40 years had gone by. KK was no longer President. Yet his foundational call, to unity, still echoes in the hearts, souls and actions of his people.
I look now more than 50 years on – from Zambian Independence – at South Africa. Sadly, this is still a divided South Africa – for all of the work of Tata Nelson Mandela. Here in our nation, there is pain, prejudice and separation. There is selfishness, jealousy and unnecessary conflict. Ubuntu barely survives as a spoken principle.
Our people often live by apart hate – and vote by race, history and colour.
I remember doing so myself as an 18 year old, living in South Africa. I was told to vote for the English party – otherwise the “Afrikaners” would win again. I had no idea that the system was unfairly flawed – and I did not think about my vote – because I was “English.”
So sad. I voted, as told. But I did not vote, or choose not to vote, based upon what was right, or wrong. Or vote for the person who would do the most for our country. I just voted against people, and political parties, because of my “identity.”
We have not changed. We have forgotten that our true identity is “Human being.”
Yes, we are where we are because we vote based on our perception of our “identity”, history and prejudice. We are where we are, because we do not seek out Values-based leaders – irrespective of their political party.
We are where we are because we chose our political masters. And because our leaders also see themselves as a colour, race, gender, political party before they see themselves as people.
And sadly they have affected us with that separateness. Apartheid lives on. This will change when we become human beings, again.
When we first see ourselves as human beings – we will seek out principled leaders. We will find leaders who are there for all of the people, ward, city, province, country and for Africa! Not for themselves.
When we first see ourselves as human beings – political parties will choose their candidates – based on their values – not their connections. They will continue to build values-based leadership principles – in their parties.
When we first see ourselves as human beings we will vote for principled leaders who see us all as South Africans. By choice, or by birth.
Nothing quite speaks to our common humanity, like:–
One South Africa – One Nation.
One Africa – One People.
One World – One Humanity.
One Human race.
Thank you Doctor Kaunda. You are a foundational leader of diversity and inclusion. You have changed a country – by making all people welcome there – may your words go on to change a continent!
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