Consider Tambo’s values in thought leadership

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The University of Fort Hare hosted a heart-warming memorial lecture of the great leader comrade Oliver Tambo, the renowned hero of South Africa. The university together with Mr Pallo Jordan salutes the sharp and intellectual comrade Tambo for being one of the brave men who fought for the liberation of South Africa.

The lecture was held on the 5th of October at the University of Fort Hare Miriam Makeba Auditorium in East London. Oliver Reginald Tambo’s values of leadership are to be considered, followed and implemented in the leadership of the country were the core sentiments uttered at the O.R Tambo memorial lecture by Pallo Jordan.

Described as a brilliant strategic leader way before his time, Tambo was a quality front-runner who completely involved himself in everything that he was part of even though at times those demands played a negative role in his health were some of the sentiments shared by Jordan in his lecture of Tambo. “Tambo was a tough headmaster who placed orderly demands on himself first before giving command to others” said Jordan.

Having the groundwork of politics Jordan recounted the time when Tambo refused the ANC title because he felt that he was not ready for it until 1976 when he recognised that it was the right time to take up the designation. He led the party for 24 years after.


Jordan said that he hoped that the leadership of the country shared the same sentiments as Tambo, to evaluate themselves before taking the responsibility of leading the people. “Tambo’s most impressive achievement is the reconstruction of the ANC at a time when it was deemed to be on the brink of collapse” emphasised Jordan.

In comparison to the leadership of the greatest statesman like that of Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki, Tambo’s calibre of governance was one of a kind whose values are needed currently. “Under the best of circumstance Tambo would be a tough act to follow and in comparison to Thabo (Mbeki), who is deemed as an intellect and a strategist, he (Mbeki) would come second best” so said Jordan.

Jordan’s frankness could not be avoided nor ignored when he stated that people can no longer overlook the fact that there is a shortage of skills in thought leadership currently as there seems to be a domineering acts of irrationality in so many aspects of governance thus the instability and imbalance in views and decision from those in authority to take the country to greater heights. “Tambo believed in collective leadership, which currently has been badly battered and bruised. People need to recognise that as a collective the country could be taken to greater heights” concluded Jordan.



 By Thina Sam and Akhona Mshiywa.