African values will bring unity

2015-06-10 06:02
Benedict Leteane Social Observer

Benedict Leteane Social Observer

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

AFRICAN RENAISSANCE is a remedy for Afrophobia. There is no doubt that African history has been dominated by colonial occupation.

Colonialism in Africa provided the framework for the organised subjugation of the continent’s political, cultural, scientific and economic life.

It is vividly unambiguous that within this period African indigenous knowledge was disregarded or precluded and impacted on people’s way of seeing and acting. As a result, African identity became an inverted mirror of Western Eurocentricity.

This gave rise to attempts to reassert a distinctively African identity intellectually, and ways of relating to the world. It is within this initiative Africa expresses a call for an African Renaissance.

Albeit the call for an African Renaissance can be traced three to four decades ago, it is problematic to ascertain the feasibility of an anti-European and American influence in Africa. The process of decolonisation gave Africa an opportunity to have the right to delineate itself within its own African context in the attainment of independence. However, Africa continues to experience hegemony of the West and America through what is now known to us as globalisation.

It is with that in mind that the practicality of the phenomenon African Renaissance in response to address transformation in Africa is a topic of discussion.

To frame this notion I shall adopt two idiosyncratically African values: communalism and ubuntu. These values are pervasive to the African socio-ethical sense in that they transcend the cultural, linguistic and ethnic diversity of Africans.

Communalism endorses an essence of sharing and looking after one another. It promotes collectivism and an effort directed at the goodness of the community. This collective effort, in turn, can be characterised by a spirit of ubuntu which is about human need, safety and dignity as a fundamental significance and concern. These values foster humane people endowed with moral norms and virtues such as benevolence, compassion, courtesy, generosity, kindness and respect.

For all intents and purposes, these African values are concerned with the well-being of a person and the community in which that person resides.

The recent prevalence of Afrophobia in the South African townships indicates how society is no longer practising African values. There is an absence of sharing and caring on the continent due to the desire for capital.

Insinuations such as “they are taking our jobs, our wives and houses” are a challenge facing Africans. The lack of resources or the realisation of such an insufficiency has contributed significantly to Afrophobia. Communalism and ubuntu as African values can contribute significantly to African Renaissance as they can change Africa back to its origin. Retaining these values will bring peace and unity within the continent, resulting in prosperity. What could be challenging is to locate African values within the global sphere.

) To comment or express your views about the issue highlighted in the column, go to Express Goldfields andamp; NFS welcomes anyone interested in contributing to the weekly column as public observers or citizen journalists. There is no payment for writers. Send your opinion piece in English or Sotho (not exceeding 500 words) to

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.