"It takes a village to raise a child" - African Proverb
In life and leadership we all need mentors, teachers, allies, confidantes and friends. Throughout my journey, climbing mountains in different spaces and places, in different geographies, are symbolic of my life’s journey – and always with more to climb. It is personal time, at one with the beauty of nature and majestic creation, a time of exertion, a test of resilience and ‘strength’. A ‘moment in time’ for uninterrupted introspection, reflection, redirection, and often change – inwards, onwards, and upwards. Many realizations reaffirm I humbly stand on the shoulders of intellectual and moral giants who equipped, mentored, and inspired me. Our gratitude, a practiced habit, creates immeasurable daily joy. It can be expressed in times of vulnerability or tough, grave adversity. In fact, it fuels our hope, it becomes our restoration and salvation.
“Our gratitude, a practiced habit, creates immeasurable daily joy.
It can be expressed in times of vulnerability or tough, grave adversity.
In fact, it fuels our hope, it becomes our restoration and salvation.” - Anne Pratt
I have a deep and loving gratitude for my South African heritage and life experience, the worldly gift of Nelson Mandela, my teacher, my mentor and icon, coupled with the generous teachings and mentorship of my Harvard Professors, and my international travels at the ‘University of Life.’ I salute my loving family, many friends around the world (the family we chose for ourselves), and the people who enable and embolden my purpose, life work, and passion. My oncology medical teams who serve with dedication. My faith communities who have nourished my beleaguered heart and my searching soul. My personal mentors, teachers, leaders, icons. I am indebted to our formidable team of legal and business warriors who believe in our fight for truth, transparency, and justice in South Africa. I am grateful for my powerful opponents in South Africa’s banking system, who taught me much about leadership in times of great adversity, crisis and chaos, and how to lead and ‘stay alive’.
Our African proverb and spirit of ubuntu affirms the gift: ‘umuntu, ngamuntu, ngabantu – I am because you are.’ For those who Rest in Power, and Rest in Peace, you are forever in my heart.
In Africa, we say, ‘it takes a village to raise a child.’ As I enter what Jane Fonda calls ‘the third Act’ of my life, I reflect upon the impact of my early childhood, what shaped and defined me, my crucibles, my personal and professional leadership journey. The words below capture my God-given gift of the many purposeful, intelligent, courageous, and moral giants from my ubuntu African and global village :
“You raised me up so I can stand on mountains
You raise me up to walk on stormy seas
I am strong when I am on your shoulders
You raised me up to more than I can be”
– Performed by Westlife and Josh Groban