My name is Gustav Mhlanga and I am a young leader in my community. My form of leadership is to stay humble and focused as I have been influenced by one of the community groups of young people who came to me and requested my assistance as a director in their performing arts piece. This gave me strength, a sense of humanity, and a realization of how important my skill and dedication are to my community.
I started an arts organization in 2009, however, I gave up along the way due to lack of funding, resources and, sponsorship. I went looking for a job, which meant leaving the arts to support my daughter and take care of all my responsibilities. The journey back to the arts began when some of the young people in my community came to me and asked me to lead their performing arts pieces. I refused several times, thinking that it might affect my work.
They kept coming to my workplace looking for assistance until I got inspired by their persistence, I resigned and went back to rebuilding my legacy. I took a step forward and dedicated my time and skills to developing the young generation in the arts. We have been able to host an Extravaganza community Arts and Culture Festival, which aimed to combine all art groups in the community under one roof to share different knowledge and skills. This journey has taught me that I can be inspirational when the going gets tough, people need to feel that everything is going to be alright. They inevitably look to their leaders for motivation and encouragement. Leaders need to project hope and positivity, while keeping the organization focused by combating weakness, negativity, and mediocrity. As leaders in our communities, we need to embrace change, it is our job to drive change and not avoid it. Technological innovation can turn multi-billion industries upside down overnight, and if we are too set in our ways, we will not see it coming and rise above the challenges