Nelson Mandela: The great man of freedom as the true definition of Ubuntu.

Saturday, 17 July 2021
Nelson Mandela International Day is observed annually on the 18th of July. Nelson Mandela International Day is observed annually on the 18th of July.

There is an African proverb that says: “I am a person through other people. My humanity is tied to yours”. This proverb gives a clear idea of the Zulu concept called Ubuntu. Nelson Mandela, the inspiring symbol of freedom, tolerance, and humanity, features the perfect embodiment of the spirit of Ubuntu.

Mandela and the concept of Ubuntu.

Ubuntu is a South African term that took its origin in the Nguni language – a group of Bantu languages spoken in Southern Africa. Ubuntu literally means “humanity”. It is sometimes translated as “I am because we are” or “humanity towards other”, or “Umuntu Ngumuntu Ngabantu” in Zulu. It may then take different names in different countries and languages and cover various aspects, but the concept remains the same. Ubuntu is simply a way of life. It underpins the concept of an open society that is bound in each other. This means that human beings are all connected and that one can only grow and progress through others’ growth and progression.

Throughout his life, Mandela had always tried to share the spirit of Ubuntu until he became himself the personification of Ubuntu. He understood the ties that bind human spirits, leading him to devote his entire life to serve humanity. In his endless pursuit of freedom and justice, Mandela was constantly up to apply this “I am because we are” concept. By adopting the spirit of Ubuntu, which highlights respect, helpfulness, sharing, community, caring, trust and unselfishness, Mandela could lead South Africa to a peaceful post-apartheid transition. It has also made him a great source of inspiration of many people not only across Africa but from all other the world.

As a human rights lawyer and peacemaker, Nelson Mandela figured out that humanity is all about oneness and that the success of humanity lies only on treating others the way we treat ourselves. He once said:

“A traveler through a country would stop at a village and he did not have not to ask for food and water. Once he stops, the people give him food and attend him. That is one aspect of Ubuntu, but it will have various aspects. Ubuntu does not mean that people should address themselves. The question, therefore, is, are you going to do so in order to enable the community around you to be able to improve? These are the important things in life, and if one can do that, you have done something very important which will be appreciated.”

Nelson Mandela International Day.

Mandela Day is celebrated on 18 July every year. In November 2009, the UN General Assembly (UNGA) declared this date as “Nelson Mandela International Day”, in recognition of Nelson Mandela’s contribution to the culture of peace and freedom. In addition to honoring his legacy, it is also a day dedicated to reminding about everyone’s ability and responsibility to change the world for the better. The perfect time to take action and inspire change!

Sources: United Nations / Global Citizen / Mandela Day

Read 114 times Last modified on Saturday, 17 July 2021 06:36
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