Ubuntu is a traditional African philosophy that offers us an understanding of ourselves in relation with the world. The word Ubuntu originates from one of the Bantu dialects of Africa. 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. Ubuntu is often translated as “I am because we are,” We affirm our humanity when we acknowledge the humanity 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. They know that they are diminished when others are humiliated, diminished when others are oppressed, diminished when others are treated as if they were less than who they are. The quality of Ubuntu gives people resilience, enabling them to survive and emerge still human despite all efforts to dehumanize them.”