Can Ubuntu bring Africa to the forefront?

HARARE - We are sitting in one of Harare’s most fashionable cafes on the fringes of the city.

It’s Friday and the cafe is undoubtedly busy, with overworked waiters and loud conversations around us.

Opposite me is one of Harare’s critical thought leaders, Mutsa Samuel.

The conversation has been brewing for a few weeks now. I am very interested in picking this young man’s brain in relation to what the future has in store for Zimbabwe and for Africa as a whole. Mutsa continues from where we previously left.

“Africa is poised to spearhead a new way of thinking and doing business. It is good to see the tangible shift that is happening and more importantly; see the projected position this great continent will be in,” he begins.

Mutsa believes that it is important for us to reconnect with God, and how through this connection we can begin to bring our best selves forward.

Perhaps a conversation many of you have had, however, this one is different. It is also about recognising and highlighting a different dialogue between Africa and the rest of the world.

Mutsa is in the business of teaching individuals, companies and institutions on how to tap into their inner unlimited power and by this, he says he refers to the soul.

This may sound like some sort of philosophical intermediate lesson, but as I look back, I begin to recognise some similar ideologies in Mutsa’s thinking that resemble how our ancestors dealt with situations.

Indeed it is about acknowledging and connecting with the soul, our starting place has to be from a very pure place.

The conversation gets deeper as we both acknowledge that Africa as a whole would be better positioned to apply itself to the Global Village in a positive light.

Mutsa reckons that is the epitome of true empowerment that has no egos involved.

He explains how the collective growth and potential of the continent’s economy is to be taken seriously, adding that Africa, in a lot of ways represents the final frontier, especially in an unpredictable global market, which is very sensitive to even the slightest shifts in policies and people in power.

“We can have all the resources in the world but if our mind-set, and more importantly, our souls are not acknowledged, nurtured and truly reconnected with God, then we have gained nothing,” he says

I ask him if this also refers to Ubuntu, since we are referring to the African context.

It seems I have tapped into another “beehive’’! His eyes immediately light up as he explains that Ubuntuism is the acknowledgement of a deep connection to the other.

Generally people think that it is a philosophical ideology, but viewing it in this way reflects only levels in intellect and thus limiting its meaning.

Ubuntu is a state of being and cannot be identified with the head but the heart. Ubuntu is more of a feeling; where the spirit, mind and body are aligned with the Divine.

There is no ego and fear in Ubuntu. This concept or state of being is ingrained in all of us but more so in Africans. It is our contribution to the world of how to live in harmony with each other and nature.

“We now have an opportunity to show the rest of the world how to incorporate this state of being into our governments, businesses, relationships and personal lives.

“We, for once, are in the driving seat and have the privilege to shift perspective, mind-set and heart,” he adds.

It is a well-known fact that Africa’s most vital resource is its spiritual connection to nature to God and if we can all reconnect with the Divine, all else will fall into place.

This is not to say that we should not continue to strive for economic, political and social excellence, but we must do so with our hearts and Soul anchored in the right place.

Mutsa ends our very inspiring conversation by saying that Africa needs to know its purpose, which is to give the gift of Ubuntu to the world, and to contribute to the story of humankind in a positive way.

These words really resonated with me.

As we leave the cafe I look around at our thriving busy city and as two products of African soil, I realise that we were on a frontier of something truly special in Africa’s history.

*Tendai Gambe is a media specialist, Afrocentric Interior Designer and writer.


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