Woman's journey in search of ubuntu

By admin
05 March 2010

Call Sonja Kruse’s cellphone number and you’ll hear: ‘‘Hi, this is Sonja, the Ubuntu Girl. Unfortunately I can’t take the call. I’m probably doing something interesting with someone interesting somewhere interesting in our beautiful country.’’

The 32-year-old redhead is wandering around South Africa on a mission to find the real meaning of ubuntu, the African concept of showing humanity.

YOU found her at the side of a road in the Koue Bokkeveld, hoping to cadge a lift to Wuppertal. So far her search has been fruitful. Since setting out from East London people have opened their hearts and homes to her along the Wild Coast, through the Western Cape and to the border of the Northern Cape.

‘‘I haven’t been turned away at a single place where I knocked on a door,’’ Sonja says. She has slept in shacks, student digs, fishermen’s cottages, RDP houses and millionaire’s homes, and used slop buckets, pit toilets and sometimes a plastic basin to rinse off the dust of the road.

Sonja keeps a daily journal and blogs every week. The entries will probably become a book. ‘‘I’ll keep walking until I stop running into ubuntu,’’ she says.

A dream four years ago sowed the seed for her adventure. ‘‘It was more a vision: I saw a backpack, camera and R100. At the end of the dream there was a book on the shelf that grew wings and flew across the world.’’

She has no fixed route and is led by people’s suggestions. ‘‘Am I afraid? Of what? After four months on the road I still don’t know what I’m supposed to be scared of. We’re overwhelmed by fear in South Africa. But there’s a life out here, away from all the bad news.’’

Read Sonja’s weekly blog, Ubuntu in Abundance, at www.letterdash.com/skruse.

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