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Leading from the heart and being mindful of other people’s struggles is what has characterised Kaluke Mawila’s leadership as the principal of the George campus at Nelson Mandela University. 

Mawila arrived at the university just days after the level five Covid lockdown started in March last year. She was in a new town and did not know anyone but she says it is the support from people on campus and how they opened their hearts to receive her that has been at the centre of how she manages the campus. 

“I mean, they went all out without knowing me. They checked in: ‘Campus principal are you fine? Do you have this, do you have that? What can we do?’ that to me shows that there is a lot of heart.

“If I closed my mind to that and pretended that I did not see that, I did not experience that warmth then I would have missed out on an opportunity to travel the journey with everyone else on the George campus. 

“I think that it is the important part — travel the journey with the people — come with an open mind and connect with their hearts because that is what is going to make the difference,” says Mawila. 

The George campus, one of the NMU’s seven campuses, is at the foot of the Outeniqua Mountains on the Garden Route

Read the full article in the Mail & Guardian, written by Bongekile Macupe:

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