Young leader empowers villagers.

Malphia Honwane.

Multiple award-winning international conference speaker, life coach and author Onyi Anyadu once said: “Serving my generation with excellence will, in turn, mean my generation can lead with excellence.”

His words came knocking on my brain as I marvelled at a story of a young local leader called Oupa Mnisi. He is based in Tlhavekisa village in Bushbuckridge, Mpumalanga.

Mnisi is 32 years old and was inaugurated as the headman of the village in December last year, a position that was previously occupied by his late father. In six months, Mnisi has proved that being a local leader is not all about chairing the tribal court, as he is more into community development and socio-economic upliftment of the public.

In February, he reached out to a private donor, requesting a borehole and water tank for the community to alleviate water shortages. The donor agreed and the project was successfully delivered, with locals also getting short-term jobs during construction.

Shortly thereafter, he approached one of the companies responsible for the distribution of Sassa grants and asked it to donate wheelchairs and blankets. The company delivered, leaving senior citizens beaming with joy.

He is now on a mission to raise funds to buy school jerseys and shoes for needy children around his village. Mnisi is unemployed and does not receive a salary for being the headman of the community, but his willingness to change and touch lives make him an incredible and outstanding leader. May other young leaders aspire to bring change to their communities.

Malphia Honwane, Gottenburg, eManyeleti

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