The Public Servant//Review

Rising Tswana’s Kutlo Olerilwe, shares his experience at the Public Servant Book Launch by Lazarus Takawira, Enjoy!

If you do not know the name Lazarus Takawira, I suggest you get yourself acquainted with it; my very informed prediction is that very soon, it will be a household name.

I had the privilege of attending the book launch of ‘The Public Servant’ by Lazarus Takawira recently at the University of Botswana Library Auditorium. I haven’t attended a lot of book launches before; however, far was this book launch from being any ordinary launch, why you ask?

The event began with a dramatic countdown clock on the screen, the type that counts down at the cinema with dramatic music playing on the background; anyone who brings such suspense to a book launch about serving is full blown cool in my books and there is nothing ordinary about them.

‘The Public Servant’ is Lazarus’s second book, the first being ‘Imagine Africa’, both books reflects a deep love that Lazarus has for Africa and good leadership. In my opinion it was only right for Mr Takawira to write a book such as ‘The Public Servant’ after he had written a book where he expresses his vision for Africa.

It is no secret that one of the continent’s biggest problems is leadership, ‘The Public Servant’ therefore comes as a yardstick that points to the type of leadership that is needed to achieve the type of Africa Lazarus imagined in his first offering.

One of my biggest takeaways from the book launch is Lazarus’s concept of Leader-sheep, a concept inspire by John chapter 10 in the Bible were Jesus talks about being a good shepherd (check it out), the passage explains that a good shepherd is ready to give his life for his sheep whereas the opposite sees a wolf coming and flees. He uses this analogy to explain how a good leader, like a good shepherd is always willing and ready to sacrifice himself for the people they are leading, this is a very important attribute in a time where being a leader is used as a means to serve one’s own interests at the expense of the people.

From the first to the very last chapter, the book is packed with excellent examples of what or who a servant leader is, one chapter that caught my attention is a chapter titled ‘Dirty Hands’, when unpacking it Lazarus uses the example of Jesus, how in His leadership he was not afraid to get his hands dirty, how he wound literally wash the feet of his disciples (imagine smelly feet fam).

A good indication of a great leader is the willingness to get their hands dirty.

‘Leading by example is not a noble thing to do, it is the bare minimum expected’- Lazarus Takawira.

One of the highlights of the book launch was a panel discussion,the aim was to get different individuals who are already leaders in their respective fields to engage on their personal views of leadership and the challenges they face as leaders.

It was evident as the session went on that leaders approach leadership differently and their leadership styles vary, however, my conclusion was that, the attributes and traits of a good leader are the same despite very different approaches to leadership.

If ‘The Public Servant’ book launch is anything to go by, Lazarus Takawira is definitely someone to look out for, his views on a great deal of subjects is nothing short of revolutionary, leadership being at the forefront.

“Before I was inspired by Lazarus’s book, I was inspired by his exemplary life of leadership.”- Jeffrey Lim

With Love, KO.


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