South Africa





southafrica01Ubuntu from the Bantu language of southern Africa - means a sense of humanity, of concern for others, and the allegiances and relationships between people. Of the twelve sub-Saharan African countries covered on this website, ten of them relate to Ubuntu.

'A person with Ubuntu is open and available to others, affirming of others, does not feel threatened that others are able and good, for he or she has a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that he or she belongs in a greater whole and is diminished when others are humiliated or diminished, when others are tortured or oppressed…' South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu (1999)

'Ubuntu is a spiritual ethic which advocates mutual support for bringing each into existence. To practice Ubuntu is to help your brother/sister remember their true identity, recognise their true value… Ubuntu teaches that your purpose is to be a true friend to one another'. Robert Holden, Success Intelligence (2005).

Sikhona - 'I am here to be seen', (Zulu greeting)

Sawubona - 'I see you'. (Zulu reply)

umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu ('a person is a person through other persons') Zulu saying.

South Africa - 'rainbow nation'

South Africa's eleven official languages: Afrikaans, English, Ndebele, Xhosa, Zulu, Sepedi, Sosotho, Setswana, Swati, Venda and Tsonga.

"A traveller through the 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… Ubuntu is also a personal responsibility to enable the community around you to improve." Nelson Mandela.