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Ubuntu philosophy

Ubuntu (Zulu pronunciation: [ùɓúntʼù])[1] is a Nguni Bantu term meaning "humanity." It is often translated as "I am because we are," or "humanity towards others," or in Xhosa, "umntu ngumntu ngabantu" but is often used in a more philosophical sense to mean "the belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity."[2]

In Southern Africa, it has come to be used as a contested[3] term for a kind of humanist philosophy, ethic, or ideology, also known as Ubuntuism propagated in the Africanisation (transition to majority rule) process of these countries during the 1980s and 1990s.

Since the transition to democracy in South Africa with the Nelson Mandela presidency in 1994, the term has become more widely known outside of Southern Africa, notably popularised to English-language readers through the ubuntu theology of Desmond Tutu.[4] Tutu was the chairman of the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), and many have argued that ubuntu was a formative influence on the TRC.

  1. ^ Tutu, Desmond (2013). "Who we are: Human uniqueness and the African spirit of Ubuntu". Retrieved 3 October 2019.
  2. ^ "About the Name". Official Ubuntu Documentation. Canonical. Archived from the original on 23 February 2013. Retrieved 2 February 2017.
  3. ^ Mboti, Nyasha (3 April 2015). "May the Real Ubuntu Please Stand Up?". Journal of Media Ethics. 30 (2): 125–147. doi:10.1080/23736992.2015.1020380. ISSN 2373-6992.
  4. ^ "Get the Definition of Ubuntu, a Nguni Word with Several Meanings". ThoughtCo. Retrieved 2017-08-28.

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