“If you still consider yourself a leader then please act and take responsibility like one.”
Naomi Campbell, the endless activist whose beauty lies well beyond her modelling career, has written a powerful open letter to former President Jacob Zuma.
Before anyone climbs in and says ‘what does a non-South African model know about South Africa or humanitarian affairs?’ here is a dash of context.
Naomi Campbell has had a close connection to South Africa through humanitarian efforts for decades. She was named Nelson Mandela’s ‘Honorary Granddaughter’ after all, in light of her ‘endless’ activism toward the rainbow nation. As a humanitarian, her Fashion for Relief charity was inspired by Madiba. As the founder, she, her team and partners have spent years alleviating worldwide suffering that ranges from providing crisis relief of the greatest magnitude constituting earthquakes and epidemics, to food security. She has certianly had South Africa at the forefront of her humanitarian campaigns too. Since working with Madiba from the early years of his leadership, she has long been well-versed in the socio-political dynamics of our country, focused on upliftment.
Challenging systems are also intertwined with Naomi’s power. She’s broken moulds and critiqued them. Whether this meant being the first black model to grace the cover of the holy trinity of vogues (American, British and French), or her open critique of what is perceived to be socially acceptable, Naomi has held her head high and been a brave champion of change. Now her societal critique is challenging Zuma.
These are Naomi’s words as posted on her Instagram.
“This isn’t the South Africa I remember and that millions of South African’s fought for. The South Africa that overcame Apartheid , showed the world that change was possible. Led the battle in the fight against HIV/AIDS and has weathered countless efforts to undermine the new South Africa.
I have watched how over the last few years you have protested your innocence at the allegations tabled against you of corruption and allowing mass State Capture.
I have seen you got out of your way to avoid having to deal with these matters in court and avoid a Commission setup to investigate State Capture.
You have talked of the rule of law and the South African constitution being something that should apply to everyone. Yet you defied the courts and were sentenced 15 months in prison.
Now upon your incarceration a group of protests under the #Freezuma banner broke out igniting the worst violence and criminality South Africa has seen since the end of apartheid.
These actions not only saw hundreds lose their lives and property be destroyed. But it affects will now be felt by many millions more.
This affects the millions of hard working and peaceful South Africans many whom have suffered over the last year because of Covid.
Each day you defy the courts and stoke division you take a step backwards from Madiba’s vision for South Africa to prosper and for their not only be equitable political justice but also economic justice.
If you still consider yourself a leader then please act and take responsibility like one.
Agree to finish your appearance in front of the State Capture commission and equally you will have your days in court to contest the corruption charges alleged against you. . . Put the Nation first PEACE IN SOUTHAFRICA ❤️🇿🇦🙏🏾#NAOMIAFRICA.”
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Picture: posted by @naomi/ credited to @RiccardoTisci17