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A servant, leader and child of god

hundred percent-owned by god: Gugu Dlamini PHOTO: SUPPLIED
hundred percent-owned by god: Gugu Dlamini PHOTO: SUPPLIED

BUSINESS executive Gugu Dlamini believes that South Africans, particularly Christians, can become effective in their family and working lives by practising the characteristics of servant leadership.

Using herself as an example, the former Umgeni Water and Drake and Skull chief executive officer, told patrons at a Bible Society of South Africa fundraising banquet in Pimville, Soweto at the weekend that these characteristics applied to someone who has courage and perseverance.

Dlamini, who is married to Cosatu president Sdumo Dlamini spoke about her resoluteness in the face of prejudice, contempt and criticism when she led the transformation of Umgeni Water from making losses of about R200-million to attaining profits of about R55-million within three years.

"I am 100%-owned by God," she declared, revealing that prayer is an integral part of her corporate arsenal.

She challenged her audience: "Why do we not pray for faltering businesses? We are afraid to proclaim who we are.

"Our cause is bigger than ourselves. It is to pull up others. It has to do with Christ Jesus and our service to God's kingdom."

Dlamini, who, leads community-oriented family and youth business development and empowerment organisation Eleazar Foundation, and is the chief executive officer of Iman Africa, said she had felt empty without Jesus Christ in her life.

This was despite winning a prestigious business person of the year award and a seat on the Bible Society of South Africa's board in 2005.

Dlamini described having character as "having the ability to survive scathing criticism and being brave enough to unashamedly align one's life with God's purpose".

On courage, Dlamini said an element of trust in one's subordinates, and vice versa, was absolutely necessary.

She recalled facing the Umgeni Water board and demanding R10-million for the employees with whom she had achieved the parastatal's phenomenal turn-around.

On perspective, which she linked with subjecting oneself to the will and power of God, Dlamini recalled speaking at a church event in KwaZulu-Natal, when afterwards a young girl implored her: "Pray for me!"

She said she regarded that plea as a serious challenge because at that stage she was still "a churchgoer" and not yet "a child of God".

On perseverance, Dlamini cited the ambitions of the Eleazar Foundation.

She said the foundation would persevere until they acquired their own bank, adding: "If you are not crazy for God, you will not realise the impossible with God", Dlamini said, to applause.



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