What is leadership? On this continent when we meet a leader, chances are that we’ll see someone bossy (most likely male), who uses his authority to bully others and get his own way; who is ruthless, cunning and self-centered; who is out to benefit himself, his family, his cronies and his tribe (in that order). He is someone important, a mheshimiwa, who grants favors to those around him in return for their loyalty. He drives a big car and acquires much wealth & property because of his position. People around him basically exist to serve him.

The interesting thing is that it’s not only our political leaders who are this way. At all levels of our society, from the top to the bottom, people with positions of responsibility or authority use them to intimidate others and to enrich themselves. Like the proverbial chicken & the egg, it’s hard to know which came first: Did selfish leaders create a selfish society or did a selfish society create selfish leaders?


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