Ubuntu-kid"Ubuntu" is an African word that means so much. It is more than just a philosophy. Ubuntu is a way of life and it encompasses the goodness of humanity and the beauty of nature. The word "Ubuntu" simply translates "I am because we are". In other words, a person is a person through other people.

Although the word "Ubuntu" comes from southern Africa, the concept of Ubuntu is transcontinental with different names and slight variations.

Ubuntu in the Xhosa culture simply means "I am because we are". In the Botswana Tswana language, the same concept exists and it is called "botho". The phrase that "a person is a person through other people" then becomes "motho ke motho ka batho".

The Ashantis, the Bonos and other Akan groups of Ghana, Ivory Coast and other parts of West Africa have a similar concept called "Biako ye" or "unity is great". "Biako ye" focuses on our shared humanity and the need to come together. In Malawi, the same concept exists and it is called "uMunthu".

In Kinyarwanda and Kirundi, the national languages of Rwanda and Burundi in East Africa, ubuntu means, among other things, human generosity as well as humanity. In Kitara, a dialect cluster spoken by the Nyankore, Nyoro, Tooro, and Kiga of western Uganda, and also the Haya, Nyambo and others of northern Tanzania, "Obuntu" refers to the human characteristics of generosity, consideration and humaneness towards others in the community.

In Kiswahili, a major language in East Africa (especially in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Burundi and Rwanda. Also, parts of Congo DRC, Malawi and Mozambique), the word may refer to "utu", which means humanness. It is a concept that condemns acts and deeds that seem unfair even in the slightest. The Bantu speakers of East Africa are believed to have originated from the Congo basin and in precolonial times, "utu" was the main philosophy governing them.

Ubuntu is a very simple yet powerful concept and it embodies all things good. For the sake of those who know nothing about Ubuntu, let's break it down further. Ubuntu simply means we are all one family and we are all in this together. In other words, "I am who I am because of who we all are".

As a human being, I cannot live in isolation. I need other human beings in order for me to be human. I wouldn't be able to walk, talk, act and learn like a human. In short, I would not be able to live were it not for others. I learned to walk, I learned to talk, I learned to eat, I learned to dance and so on. The truth however is that, I learned all these from other human beings. We are all interconnected and our being depends on others. Our humanity depends on others and we cannot be truly happy unless others are happy too. That is the basic meaning of Ubuntu.

Ubuntu includes, sharing, fairness, hospitality, caring, truthfulness, and anything good you can think of. Do unto others as you would want them to do unto you. Ubuntu does not mean you cannot be rich. You can be rich but only through positive means. You don't need to cheat others to be rich and you don't need to oppress other people in order to be rich and powerful. You can be rich but your being rich must have positive impact on others and the society you live in so that others can benefit from your humanity the same way you benefit from them.

Someone may ask, is Ubuntu only for Africans? The answer is no. Ubuntu isn't for just Africans. Ubuntu includes the entire of humanity. Ubuntu transcends color and racial barriers. Ubuntu transcends geographical barriers, political barriers, religious barriers, gender barriers, etc. Ubuntu is a way of life.

Someone may ask, has Ubuntu disappeared from Africa? The answer is Yes and No. "Yes" because, we see more of the opposite of Ubuntu in Africa today. Africa is poor today and people continue to die from poverty, hunger, diseases, etc., Why? Because, we have thrown away our age long tradition and concept of life and have adopted the opposite which breeds nothing but hatred, jealousy, war, famine, etc. With Ubuntu, this world of ours would be a better place for us all. It is only through Ubuntu this world can know peace.

Ubuntu is a basic principle of life that every human being needs to learn. There would be no wars and there would no hatred. There would be no poverty and there would be no hunger. Just imagine a world where the concept of ubuntu reigns supreme. What a wonderful world that would be.

On the other hand, the answer is "No". Why? Because, ubuntu cannot disappear from the human heart. Although we choose to do evil, deep down inside us, there is ubuntu. There is goodness in all of us. Why? Because, we came from something good and we are part of something bigger and better than ourselves. In other words, we are good because our maker is good. We just have to open up our hearts and let ubuntu reign supreme.

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