Dismantling Meles Zenaw’s Apartheid Regime

Mamphela Ramphele

Challenging Apartheid in South Africa


Maybe this question sounds overwhelming. However, people who become leaders have all had to ask themselves this question at some point. They started finding answers by choosing how they would lead their lives every day and by creating their own opportunities to make a difference in the world. The anthropologist Margaret Mead said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed it’s the only thing that ever has.” So let’s look at some of the qualities possessed by people who are determined to change the world.

First, it takes vision. The great stateswoman and humanitarian Eleanor Roosevelt said, “You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” People who change the world have the ability to see what is wrong in their society. They also have the ability to imagine something new and better. They do not accept the way things are-the “status quo”-as the only way things must be or can be. It is this vision of an improved world that inspires others to join leaders in their efforts to make change. Leaders are not afraid to be different, and the fear of failure does not prevent them from trying to create a better world.

Second, it takes courage. Mary Frances Berry, former head of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, said, “The time when you need to do something is when no one else is willing to do it, when people are saying it can’t be done.” People who change the world know that courage means more than just saying what needs to be changed. It means deciding to be active in the effort to bring about change-no matter what it takes. They know they face numerous challenges: they may be criticized, made fun of, ignored, alienated from their friends and family, imprisoned, or even killed. But even though they may sometimes feel scared, they continue to pursue their vision of a better world.

Third, it takes dedication and patience. The Nobel Prize-winning scientist Marie Curie said, “One never notices what has been done; one can only see what remains to be done.” People who change the world understand that change does not happen overnight. Changing the world is an ongoing process. They also know that while what they do is important, change depends on what others do as well. Their original vision may transform and evolve over time as it interacts with the visions of others and as circumstances change. And they know that the job is never finished. Each success brings a new challenge and each failure yet another obstacle to overcome.

Finally, it takes inspiration. People who change the world find strength in the experiences and accomplishments of others who came before them. Sometimes these role models are family members or personal friends. Sometimes they are great women and men who have spoken out and written about their own struggles to change the world for the better. Reading books about these people – learning about their lives and reading their own words-can be a source of inspiration for future world-changers.

Taken from foreword written by Charlotte Bunch, Founder and Executive Director Center for Women’s Global Leadership, Rutgers University. The title of the book is: Women Changing the World, by Judith Harlan.

Dr. Mamphela Ramphele is a physician, an educator and South African activist. A good book for Oromo women activists and others who have the above qualities and characters to challenge the Apartheid policies of the TPLF regime. We know we are engaged in an uphill battle. However, we are sure that we are going to defeat this brutal regime since we have a just cause.


Contributed by Kallacha W. Kune