Councilor Jonathan Annipen of the Minority Front has been attending and participating in a series of DDP interventions. And he shares how the relationship with DDP has enabled his leadership as a politician and as a citizen.
The DDP interventions (programs, dialogues, workshops etc) has helped shape my thinking. It has enabled me to think outside the box. To use innovative ways to get the message across. The programs have taught me to come down to where the people are and feel. It has enabled me to better communicate with ordinary citizens as well as represent them better. It has taught me that the greatest leader is the one who serves.
I have discovered that people are tired of empty promises. They are disillusioned by political personalities that are all talk and no actions. I discovered too, that it is only possible to gain trust of the electorate by proving that you are different from the rest, to achieve this one must do something different. That means look at this citizen as a potential voter, woo them by meeting them at the point of their need. Maybe more importantly treat them like you really care about them and not just about their vote. I promise you they will never forget you. Infect you will become the topic of discussion (In a good way) everywhere they go.
One of the lessons he learnt from previous leaders include taking time to listen to these residents. They share more than just billing queries or grant enquiries. They share their personal challenges. Even if you are unable to resolve their problems you can lend a listening ear and that may make all the difference. Then, never disrespect another leader to gain points. People will never respect you. Discrediting others and character assassination boils down to cheap politicking. What we need is honest, hardworking leaders who will stay the long hall.
DDP's Dr. Paul, Kariuki, Sphamandla Mhlongo with delegates and partners (including Dr. Masuku, Dr. Hlongwane from the IEC, as well as Letlhogonolo Letshele from My Vote Counts) at the 4th Annual political summit.