Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The universality of the ubuntu principle

Talk about the concept of Ubuntu principle to anyone who is not an African in a true sense of the word then you're bound to be met with some snorting through the nose, especially in our race obsessed South Africa. To cynics it is like you are Thabo Mbeki misquoted as saying HIV does not cause Aids. Well, what do you expect? We are the nation that perfected apartheid and racism and called it "separate development". The cheek! Bigots in our midst when you utter such a word they be going like "what do these Africans think they are? I am here to tell you that Ubuntu-botho (Humanness) is a universal principle shared by all of us. Yeah, I mean that! This principle became clearly shown in aftermath of the recent runaway fires that ravaged the greater part of Kynasna in Cape Town. The way people of all hues rallied together to help the victims of those fires is a case in point. It was heartening to see people donating clothes and foodstuffs to help the unfortunate victims. Watching the evening news these passed few days my belief in this principle had been reinvigorated. Strangers were willing to help those in need, be it through clothes or blankets, especially when one thinks of the biting Cape Town winter in this time of the year. I am here to tell you that the United Nations was founded on this principle. Right?! Ohh Kay! Even the evil systems of apartheid and colonialism was predicated on this notion no matter how perverted they were. It must be pointed out that though these systems were divisive and hated at most, they serve the basic need of some sort. Protecting and making sure one of our kind is well taken care of. Whatever way you wanna look at it this systems were basically designed to protect "those who like us". A broerderbond (brotherhood) of some sort if you like. This is my layman's take on these systems anyway. This principle is pervasive right through the entire human population. Talk European Union, NATO, African Union and the like. All these institutions are undergirded by this basic principle in their conception. Looking out for "one of my kind" is the motto. Even the lucrative Development Aid programmes that offer hefty renumeration packages to aid workers are primarily guided by this notion. At least that is the understanding, regardless whether evidence on the ground seem to point at something different. The overriding aim is to seek to help another human being, right? Anyway, this is not pretending to be an academic piece but just rumblings of my restless mind...

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