I was the 27th prisoner of the year 1979 on Robben Island. My prison number was 2779 and I was 24 when I was sentenced to 26 years behind bars, for treason, by SA’s apartheid government. It was a time of daily atrocities against black people, many of whom lost their lives in the fight for freedom. When I arrived on the island, I found fellow comrades who had been incarcerated for a long time. Among them were Walter Sisulu, Govan Mbeki, Ahmed Kathrada and many others who were all part of the struggle and were jailed for standing up for freedom. All of them were inspirational leaders of their time because they displayed the kind of leadership and qualities that are rarely seen or heard of today. They were not only motivated and decisive, but they understood the ins and outs of their plan and its execution. The conditions and dynamics that shaped such people were different back then. Times have changed. How we identify, nurture and promote leadership in Africa today is of deep concern ...

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