‘Thank You’ from Mandla
In December, Mandla Majola was the recipient of Acacia Global’s inaugural leadership award. See the story here. He sent us a letter to express his thoughts and thanks.
Dear Acacia Global
I am honoured and privilege to accept the 2014 Global leadership award. I am deeply touched and moved by the honour and the recognition. This award comes at the time of mourning of the passing of the former President Nelson Mandela. This is the first award of any kind in relation to my community work since I joined TAC in 1999 and it came as a huge and pleasant surprise.
We are facing many problems in my country including corruption, opulence, crime, serious violent assaults on those who are vulnerable especially women and children, substance abuse and still unacceptable high burden of HIV and TB and many more. We have a sea of socio-economic problems in my country but still we remain defiant, committed to better life for all and remain convinced that we shall overcome as we once did against Apartheid.
I do acknowledge that we have many good leaders who are doing excellent work in different communities but you decided to award me, and for that I will forever be grateful for the your confidence in my leadership. I always aspire to make a difference because I realized long time ago that it is easy to lose hope and faith when you are faced with so many problems and challenges while on the other hand you see your own Government goes on spending spree on trivial issues that do not improve the living conditions of the poorest of the poor. There are moments when I’m awake at night and I find myself thinking whether do I make a difference and what can I do to make TAC better in order to make meaningful contributions, I must say that the award is a significant measure of motivation for me to really soldier on and do what I can with what I have where I am.
I do not work to collect awards and it doesn’t deter me when leading Foundations or Institutions do not seem to acknowledge my work/contribution with awards but I want to really appreciate this award not only because it is my first but also it is an International award. It is very motivating to be awarded for your contributions and I see this as recognition of many ordinary TAC members, staff and volunteers whose hard work is sometimes not recognised or acknowledged.
We have grown accustomed to the culture or norm or tradition that awards are only given to those who are familiar face with the media or those in contact with donor community. And in many instances we have seen certain struggles associated with individuals and awards used to elevate the status of the individual, eventually the individuals start to believe that all is lost if he/she is not leading or at the forefront of the struggle. It is not always about the leader in most cases it is about the team and because we are a team therefore we are able to make a difference.
Once again I see this as recognition of many ordinary TAC members, staff and volunteers both alive and those who are no more, who contributed to TAC and to my growth and made me what I am today. And I will forever be thankful to the support and encouragement of my family especially my Mother and my leader, comrade, friend and dear wife Vuyiseka Dubula and my three beautiful children Terence, Nina and Azania. Lastly please accept my deepest apologies for taking too long to accept the award formally; I am not accustom to such decoration.