I am because we are: A celebration of Ubuntu


One need not stray far to see how deeply entrenched in our value core Ubuntu is. The national anthem, a prayer by all accounts, is a plea and a humble request for God to bless Africa.  Nothing is as reflective of Ubuntu as this collective prayer for the good of an entire continent. We are, because Africa is. The very fabric of our fragile existence is layered with our founding principle and ultimately the golden standard of a patriotic African: Ubuntu.

Now well into six years of existence, The Ubuntu Awards present an opportunity to recognise champions of industry, exceptional civil servants, organisations and ordinary citizens for their contribution to the success of our glorious nation.

The annual Ubuntu Awards are an important and strategic platform that allows South Africans to see and connect the dots between what our diplomats do all over the world and how that translates into improving the life of the man in the street and the lives of our people in any corner of our country.

Most importantly, however, they offer another opportunity for reflection for all South Africans on where we are, what we are doing about it, and whether or not it is working. Perhaps more questions than answers, it would seem, fill the gaps in this important conversation. Some might ask how relevant such initiatives are in a country seemingly plagued by many other compelling challenges.

Ubuntu is worth celebrating just as much as South Africa is worth celebrating. We are a beautiful nation that has grown in leaps and bounds to make up for all that was lost during our dark past. The feat of blending such a diverse group of cultures in a colourful arrangement alone places our nation on a pedestal that truly sets us apart us true custodians of Ubuntu. That we listen to and accommodate each other’s shortcomings is reflective of our stubborn resilience which strengthens our resolve to always consider Ubuntu first before all else.

Previous winners include Grammy Award winners Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Black Coffee, Dr Esther Mahlangu, Caster Semenya, and world 400m record holder Wayde van Niekerk, as well as flagship South African organisations, Old Mutual and Standard Bank, for their work which contributes towards economic diplomacy.

This year, as we honour and celebrate the kind and selfless acts taken by others to make our country shine, let us take a moment and internalise the call of patriotism that is associated with such recognition. Let us huddle up or saddle up to prepare for a journey that will see an entire nation fully engaged in making our country a better place.. Let us never forget to be a blessing to each other.