Otta Helene Zille Born 09 March 1951 in Hillbrow, Johannesburg South Africa. The Leader of the Democratic Alliance, Official Opposition to the governing ANC.
I take pride as a young black man living in a Free Democratic South Africa today born 12 March 1994. There are so many world leaders that I look up to and continue to draw inspiration from on a daily basis and one leader that comes to mind is the ever so eloquently assertive, Helen Zille, a woman of substance!.
The former journalist and anti-apartheid activist who exposed the truth behind the death of Black Consciousness leader, Steve Biko was born a leader and it continues to show looking at and following her leadership skills right through...
I feel excited when I think of how her leadership abilities have inspired young people like myself to want to grow as leaders and contribute to the society of world leaders and most importantly to contribute in bringing about change in our society. Having being involved in so many leadership programs myself such as the People to People Ambassador Programs from a young age I aspire to become a world recognized leader one day, and having people like Ms Zille to look up to definitely keeps the dream alive. The courage she showed whilst working on discovering the truth about Steve Biko, having to track down various doctors who were involved, wanting to discover and tell the truth about Biko's death proves just how much she was willing to risk anything as long as it was for a positive cause that brought about change. Even when she received death threats and was forced into temporary hiding with her two year old son, she never gave up on standing and fighting for the cause that she believed in, a True leader.
Ms Zille who offered her home for hiding to political activists during the 1986 state of emergency, the woman who worked with the Black Sash and other pro-democracy groups during the apartheid times in this country, a woman who fearlessly chaired the End Conscription Campaign, who had to always look over her shoulder as she continuously received death threats from the likes of Kruger, a woman for her bravery who was found guilty of tendentious reporting should never go a day without being praised and thanked for her continued struggle to build a better society for all people.
Her leadership abilities never ended there, Ms Zille continued to live a selfless life, committing and dedicating her life to serving the people of South Africa who believe in her leadership stance and her dream. She worked hard to become firstly Western Cape's MEC for education to serving as a MP, then the Mayor of Cape Town to being and still is the Premier of the Western Cape province, Named World Mayor of the year in 2008 and asked to address the U.N, offering her experiences and lessons. There are few leaders of her stance in the entire world and as I continue to look up to her, I can only dream of achieving much as she has through out her life.
The fierce, strong leader who can and has always demonstrated her bravery by standing up to enormous bullying through out her life should be an inspiration to each and every young person living in South Africa. Her utmost controversial of all time condemnation to President Zuma's (leader of SA) irresponsible sexual behavior as a leader, abuse of cultural practices that continue to put women's lives at risk, one that saw a certain news paper citing a controversial on it's own headline : "Zuma an Aids Risk" which brought the whole country to a standstill and take note and react, one that saw Ms Zille being attacked and faced character assassination and image being dented when the ANCYL (African National Congress Youth League) suggested she appointed MP's for sexual favors in return and the ANC Umkhonto Wesizwe Military Veterans re-stating the very same thing and giving threats to make the Western Cape an ungovernable province..showed just how strong and vocally expressive Ms Zille is and stands for what she believes in. She once again showed and put on a demonstration of what a great leader is when she handled the issue accordingly by reminding the whole country that she was and still at the time continued to condemn unruly risked gender based behavior especially by leaders.
She said and I quote " Denial and Political correctness are far easier than challenging deep-rooted cultural norms of sexual dominance that are the root of gender oppression"
Her bravery saw her publicly criticizing Zimbabwe President Mugabe's administration as illegal and calling on former president Thabo Mbeki (another great leader) to abandon his quiet diplomacy policy and take a tougher stance towards Mugabe...
"Make no mistake, Zille is a strong leader. She is strong enough to listen to criticism and accept or reject it based on her own assessment of the evidence before her. She is strong enough to risk personal failure If she believes it's for a good cause". Gavin Davis of the DA
True traits of a born leader!
Just as the likes of honorable Nelson Mandela, honorable Helen Suzman who quotes " I stand for simple justice, equal opportunity and human rights. The indispensable elements in a democratic society- and well worth fighting for", Helen Zille is an icon and continues to inspire and change lives. She has become my hero, my role model, my leader and I thank her for all her sacrifices and dedication to this land. I salute her!