Ubuntu. Chances are many of you haven’t heard of this word until now. Pronounced “oo-boon-too”, this small African word represents big African philosophies. Derived from the Bantu languages of southern African (Swahili is one such language), ubuntu translates to "I am what I am because of who we all are."
This concept is especially foreign to us North Americans who find ourselves increasingly estranged from one another even though technology officially makes us more “connected” than ever before.
In an attempt to explain ubuntu, Archbishop Desmond Tutu once said:
Ubuntu speaks about our interconnectedness. You can't be human all by yourself, and when you have this quality - Ubuntu - you are known for your generosity.
We think of ourselves far too frequently as just individuals, separated from one another, whereas you are connected and what you do affects the whole world. When you do well, it spreads out; it is for the whole of humanity.
While visiting Nairobi, Kenya in 1995, Pope John Paul II praised the concept of ubuntu. He also said that love is the binding force of the Church and that none within the Church are so poor that they have nothing to give, and none are so rich that they have nothing to receive. "Love impels Christ’s followers to carry his light and his healing to the ends of the earth: and therefore to every corner of Africa," he said.
Join Pedro this week for Perspectives: Weekly as he is joined by Sister Hazel Campayne from Our Lady of Lourdes Black Catholic Community Ministry and Father Stan Chu Ilo, a Nigerian priest serving in the Peterborough diocese. They discuss the gifts of Africa to the Church and to the world.
That’s Perspectives on Friday March 18th and Sunday March 20th, at 7:00pm ET and 11:00pm ET/8:00pm PT.