Editor’s Note :
“I first heard this phrase “Ubuntu Umuntu Ngabantu” in one of the late Princess of Africa- Brenda Fassie’s song, while growing up. This happens to be one of my best African quotes of all time. From the sound of it to the deeply rooted meaning it carries, I cannot help but swing it in my talks, or poetry scribbles.
Incase you’re wondering what it means, “A person is a person because of other people”, or simply put, “because of you, I am”. It’s a call for unity, togetherness, love, brotherliness. It is especially a reminder of the common bond we share with every human being that exist on planet earth, that by true kindness, this bond may be protected…”
According to wikipedia Ubuntu is a Nguni Bantu term roughly translating to “human kindness.” It is an idea from the Southern African region which means literally “human-ness,” and is often translated as “humanity toward others,” but is often used in a more philosophical sense to mean “the belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity”
In this post, Nelson Mandela Nailed an even deeper, insightful and analytical meaning of the phrase.
Nelson Mandela: A traveller through a country would stop at a village and he didn’t have to ask for food or for water. Once he stops, the people give him food, entertain him. That is one aspect of Ubuntu, but it will have various aspects.
Words describing UBUNTU
According to Ubuntu, there exists a common bond between us all and it is through this bond, through our interaction with our fellow human beings, that we discover our own human qualities.
Or as the Zulus would say, “Umuntu Ngumuntu Ngabantu”, which means that a person is a person through other persons.
We affirm our humanity when we acknowledge that of others. The South African Nobel Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu describes Ubuntu as:
‘It is the essence of being human. It speaks of the fact that my humanity is caught up and is inextricably bound up in yours. I am human because I belong.
It speaks about wholeness, it speaks about compassion. A person with Ubuntu is welcoming, hospitable, warm and generous, willing to share. Such people are open and available to others, willing to be vulnerable, affirming of others, do not feel threatened that others are able and good, for they have a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that they belong in a greater whole.
This is the spirit of UBUNTU
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