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Our High School students were asked to write a short essay on Inspiring Role Models in 2019 for our website competition and from the Boys High, Rameez Akoojee wrote a wonderful essay clearly expressing why New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Arden, deserved that title. He won a gift card to the value of R500! Read his winning essay below:

In a day and age where the world is facing a lack of unity, where millions per year die to starvation whilst others eat 24 karat gold steak, where mass bombings and murders are seen as just another day in the office for some, where there is a school shooting once every 8 days in America, it is extremely important for those with morals and an ambition to change the world, to stand up for what they believe is right.

On the 15th of March 2019, New Zealand was ruptured by rapid firing guns carried by a terrorist attacking Muslims, where 50 innocent people were cold heartedly murdered. It is often at times like these that true leaders emerge, and it is at this moment where New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Arden took her stand.

Jacinda Ardern immediately and without hesitation spoke to the people of New Zealand and indeed the world, condemning both the attack and those who perpetuated the crime. She refused to even mention the perpetrators name as she did not want to give him any sort of acknowledgement.

Her ability to cross the cultural divide and unite New Zealander’s stood out as a shining example of a true leader in the face of adversity. She adorned a scarf to show empathy with those families affected, but this symbolic gesture did much more than that. It gave recognition to the Muslim minority in New Zealand as well as demonstrating that people hurt the same irrespective of color or religion. Even the motorcycle gang the “Hells Angels” vowed to protect mosques on Friday prayers.

A true leader who stood in front of the world’s cameras and condemned the lax gun laws in New Zealand. Whilst in America the debate still rages on about gun control despite numerous school shootings, Jacinda immediately acted to prevent people from acquiring semi-automatic weapons in New Zealand. She refused to allow racism to flourish, she implored the nation to stand together to ensure that New Zealand allows people of all faiths to feel safe to practice their religion and to distance themselves from racism and hatred.

Jacinda Ardern was also scrutinised, demonized and criticised on the basis of her gender, which some people believe is a problem as women are ‘too emotional’ by nature. However I believe that she has perfectly proven that she, a young strong woman, can make the change no man has done in today’s society.

In a world where most leaders would have taken a back seat she stood up and united a nation and Muslims across the world. An awful act of hatred was greeted with empathy and the culture of inclusion rather than the politics of ‘hate and fear’. A refreshing approach where she emphatically stated that this is “Not New Zealand” was greeted so well worldwide as she was acting with moral authority and integrity.

In times where the superpowers of the world, are using a variation of methodologies to divide Muslim nations and further cause turmoil  in these countries, Jacinda Ardern has shown the superpowers that she will not stand for their destruction of Muslim nations using ‘divide and conquer’ as their ploy. She uses her authority to stand up and create unity amongst New Zealanders.

A true leader is defined by how he/she acts in times of adversity, a true leader is someone who has integrity, someone who has honesty as their basis of success, someone who has discipline yet sympathy for their people, a true leader is someone who embodies some of the qualities as our beloved Prophet (SAW). Jacinda not only embodies the qualities of a true leader but stands as a reminder of what we can achieve if we have compassion as the basis of our morality.

Jacinda Ardern is a perfect role model and I implore all of us to attempt to stand up against injustice and make the change necessary.

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