Whatever you do, emulate Magufuli

Monday March 29 2021
By Guest Writer

People will remember you for both what you did and how they felt about it.  While eulogising her husband last week, Tanzania’s former First Lady Janeth Magufuli, expressed her feelings on how she will dearly miss her husband’s love, especially their sweet morning experiences (for decency’s sake, I will save our children the details), mourners chuckled!

But while you might think Janeth erred to publicly express her nostalgia for her late husband’s love, etc, the wailing, weeping, collapsing and laying of own clothes and pouring of flower by citizens on the roads to express their deep love –and pain - for the loss of their President, Dr Pombe Magufuli, vindicates his wife and compounds the indisputable reality of what a thorough man he was in whatever he did!

King Solomon, the wisest man that ever lived, wrote in Ecclesiastes 9:10 (NIV) that: “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the grave, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom.”

As a leader, spouse, or parent; what would have those you led - your wife or husband and children - remember and dearly miss you for? Steven R. Covey, in his book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, challenges us specifically in Habit 2, thus: “Begin with End in Mind” thus, “In your mind’s eye, see yourself going to a funeral of a loved one. As you walk in the building, look in the faces of friends and family. You feel the shared sorrow of losing, the joy of having known, that radiates from the hearts.

As you walk down to the front of the room and look inside the casket, you suddenly come face-to-face with yourself. This is your funeral. All these people have come to honour you, to express feelings of love and appreciation of your life.
There are supposed to be four speakers. Now think deeply. What would you like each of these speakers to say about you and your life? What character, contributions, and achievements would you want them to remember you for? What difference would you like to have made in their lives?”

Indeed, judging from his phenomenal track record in the Transport ministry prior to becoming president and his uncommon achievements in only five years thereof, president Magufuli was, by every standard, a highly effective person. He ably balanced family and public office as well as his spiritual wellness – and more with a striking distinction.  


What about you and I? What will be fondly and profoundly said of us as our mark of excellence when we pass on, and be dearly missed? Magufuli was a leader par excellence – quality-focused, effective and efficient! Some have described him as a dictator.

If true, then he was a benevolent dictator, one who forcibly showed his citizens how well they ought to do things, especially those that concern the public.

He exuded and exemplified moral modesty, compassion for the lowly, and hated the corrupt and unscrupulous with visible passion.

Any national leader worth the title who does not see these –and all that are like them, as important is rendering his country a huge and unforgivable disservice! The same is true for all leaders in different spheres of life.

Was it not Abraham Lincoln, who said, “Whatever you are, be a good one?” Is it not really worthwhile? The story,  “MPs ask Uganda to emulate Magufuli’s anti-graft policy” in the Daily Monitor of Friday,  is encouraging!

Of course, Magufuli fought graft, and our MPs and other leaders know it; can we avenge his death by walking the talk, emulate his excellent example for he was an exceptionally honorable Pan-Africanist?

Patrick Katagata Jr