– by Noluthando Makhaza
Mandela Day is not only celebrated in South Africa, but throughout the world, where citizens convey kindness towards those in need by donating or partaking in various community service initiatives commemorating Nelson Mandela. As this year marks the centenary of the birth of Tata Mandela, where people around the world reflect on his life and times while promoting his legacy – UKZN Extended Learning invited Mandela’s former photographer, Matthew Willman, to address the Management Development Programme (MDP) class on their first module during Mandela week. Matthew worked very closely with the late Nelson Mandela, 10 years before he passed on, and shared his experiences whilst working with the peace icon.
Matthew’s drive from a young age, was to meet Mandela and become his photographer. Eventually his dream came true and not only did he become Mandela’s photographer but was able to share many personal experiences with Madiba. He told the class stories through the captured moments of Mandela in different organisations, scenes and environments. As he was sharing with our delegates, a book with all his Mandela artwork to date was circulated in the classroom. The delegates were in complete admiration and ecstatic as they each received a copy of the book and were able to get Matthew to autograph it.
The first module of the MDP was centred on the subjects Aligning Organisation Strategy and Performance, Effective Management and Leadership, and Managing Change. It is crucial that we learn from our leaders and always remember that “in the end, it is kindness and accommodation that are all the catalysts for real change”- Nelson Mandela.