The film, Invictus, portrays many necessary qualities that attribute to an effective leader. The three main qualities that the film has represented as attributes of an effective leader are being able to forgive and forget, having the courage to speak against the majority, and lastly, having resilience in the face of adversity.

The director, Clint Eastwood, attempts to educate the audience that to become an efficient and successful leader, they must be compassionate, fearless, and irrepressible.

Invictus portrays an effective leader as having the ability to forgive and forget. For example, when Jason Tshabalala, Nelson Mandela’s security chief, is complaining about having white bodyguards joining his security team, Mandela tells him that “Forgiveness liberates the soul. It removes fear. That is why it is such a powerful weapon.”

In this quote, Mandela informs Jason of how he defines compassion, and what it means if it is applied thoroughly and consistently. Mandela sets an example for his security chief by outlining his aspirations about unifying his citizens and even bestowing kindness and forgiveness onto his adversaries. Although Mandela was in prison with a 27-year sentence, he has an exceptional aptitude to forgive the people who have mistreated him.

Mandela states that although a person’s body may be freed, their soul would not be liberated if they did not forgive their oppressors, alternatively, they would be burdened by their hatred for their oppressors. Mandela has faith in the significance of compassion and that it is the pivotal core to uniting his fractured nation. However, Mandela’s thorough practice of amnesty was confronted with opposition by many in his circles, who viewed his endeavors as adverse to diplomatic criticism and accountability.

However, Mandela is confident that the most effective way to combat the oppressor is by forgiving them. In his eyes, mercy is ingratiating, unanticipated, and promotes growth. When he says this line, there is also an extreme close-up camera shot between Mandela and Jason. As the camera switches from Jason to Mandela, the audience can see that Jason is frustrated and reluctant about forgiving and allowing the white bodyguards to join his security team.

However, Nelson Mandela’s face is full of sincerity and seriousness and shows just how serious he is about forgiving all the white people that wronged the black people. When Apartheid was demolished in 1990, much of the population expected that South Africa would sink into a civil war. After the events and effects of Apartheid, South Africa was in dire need of compassion. Furthermore, Nelson Mandela gave the perfect lesson in how to do it.

Having been in prison for 27 years for attempting to use force to bring an end to the Afrikaner-minority rule, Mandela became an icon of peace by resolving matters with the people who had been the core causes of his oppression during his captivity. However, not many symbols could summarize the persecution the ANC and Mandela suffered, better than the nationally despised green Springbok jersey during the apartheid era.

During home matches, the areas where black South Africans required to stand were constantly packed with supporters cheering for the Springbok’s opponent. While the ANC celebrated the international boycotting of rugby obliged by in South Africa, Mandela did not. Thus, when Mandela donned a green Springbok jumper in 1995 at the World Cup final, he created a massive declaration.

Mandela bestowed the trophy to the South African captain Francois Pienaar, delivering a powerful message to his ANC colleagues that it was the time to put aside the hostility and become a unified country. Thus, the ability to forgive and forget is an essential quality of an effective leader because it creates loyalty and trust between the leader and subordinate.

The film, Invictus, portrays that an effective leader is someone who has the courage to speak against the majority. During the meeting of the South African National Sports Council, an important decision has just been nominated. The Council has unanimously elected to alter the name and the symbol of the Springbok rugby team to annihilate one of the last excruciating mementos of the apartheid era.

Flushed with a sense of their power, the Council is listening to a choir when Mandela interrupts their celebration with words they did not expect to hear. Mandela’s speech is as follows “Brothers, sisters, comrades, I am here because I believe you have made a decision with insufficient information and foresight. I am aware of your earlier vote. I am aware that it was unanimous. Nonetheless, I believe we should restore the Springboks. Restore their name, their emblem, and their colours immediately.

Let me tell you why……” throughout his long 27-year prison sentence on Robben Island, Mandela explains that he relentlessly studied his jailer’s language, way of life, and past. Mandela then states that the ANC had prevailed against the common enemy, by becoming the winning power in the election. Mandela then furthermore declares that “Our enemy is no longer the Afrikaner. They are our fellow South Africans, our partners in democracy. And they treasure Springbok rugby. If we take that away, we lose them.”

It was this caliber of courageous, seemingly counter-intuitive leadership that got all South Africans to respect Mandela as the hero he is. Mandela understands that their only chance of success is to create a united future, with equal prospects for all, and ultimately become one, cohesive nation.

While Mandela is stating his purpose for being there, the camera cuts to a medium close-up camera shot on his audience who all immediately mutter and complain in a dissatisfied manner. The camera shot reinforces the amount of courage it takes for Mandela to fulfill his purpose and finish his statement. Mandela knows that everyone in the audience is against him and that it was a unanimous vote. However, he still stands before them to successfully persuade them to change their verdict.

Throughout Nelson Mandela’s life, he has shown an enormous amount of moral courage. Despite all the arduous challenges he faced in his life, they all turned him into the marvelous man he became. Nelson Mandela managed to fight the Apartheid and attained the Nobel Peace Prize. This represents how Mandela took one of his obstacles and turned it into a positive. This demonstrates a massive amount of courage and presents how much Nelson Mandela fought for equality.

author avatar
William Anderson (Schoolworkhelper Editorial Team)
William completed his Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts in 2013. He current serves as a lecturer, tutor and freelance writer. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, walking his dog and parasailing. Article last reviewed: 2022 | St. Rosemary Institution © 2010-2024 | Creative Commons 4.0

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