Many things said, but less on Ubuntu done

2017-10-26 06:01
OPinionThembile Ndabeni

OPinionThembile Ndabeni

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Hypocrisy is rife in South Africa these days.

In theory and in front of the cameras, South Africans are the best nation in the world. Yet, in action and off camera they are totally different.

Ubuntu is more a concept for posing in front of the cameras than the standard practice.

It is upsetting to hear a hypocrites making noises about Ubuntu.

Some of the things that render us devoid of Ubuntu are:

When you get into a public transport, you find a driver not greeting passengers and vice versa. It is worse when a passenger does not want to give space for an elderly passenger to sit on.

Others go to the extent of being possessing of the seats, especially on a bus.

One morning on my way to work I sat next to a female teacher on the bus. She was also not a frequent user of the route.

So that when a regular passenger saw us sitting in “her seat”, she grumbled and complained bitterly about the “occupiers of my seat”.

She was ignored, of course.

I recently took a taxi to Gugulethu. A larger-than-life woman occupied the seat next to mine, and went on to put her belongings in the other seat, reducing the space further!

I had to bear the inconvenience of being tightly squeezed in my seat for the rest of the journey.

At work you even have people who don’t greet others unless they are greeted first.

Sometimes even if they are greeted, they do not return the favour.

Ubuntu must not be a lip service but something that comes from the heart and should be standard practice.

A person’s action is an expression of what is inside them.

Ubuntu is beyond what you are obliged to do and by extension, the moral compass and values we place on each other.

Ubuntu is a God-given gift to Africans, a natural concept that others can learn.

In fact it is part of love and God is Love.

But my concern is that Africans are drifting away from Ubuntu, which is a challenge to other national groups.

Today’s people always think about gains or benefits.

They expect for something in return whenever they do their bit.

Today, people cannot be trusted, even the elderly.

I remember a former colleague shared with me and my wife how her husband was held at gunpoint during a robbery at their house.

This was after he had offered a lift to “stranded” people, who included a senior citizen.

Our house has also been broken into on numerous occasions in the area we stay.

We could tell the culprit's character and status by the manner which they applied to gain access and the goods they pilfered from our homestead.

They were so poverty-stricken that even the area’s most senior cop agreed that the thugs were driven by impoverishment.

If you can’t show sympathy, let alone empathy and support to your own, how possible is it for you to do same to others.

Africans, as the sole custodians of Ubuntu, must go back to the basics and be what God created them to be, for Ubuntu is an act of Godliness.

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