Thursday, 20 January 2011


According to my Word Origin Calendar  'ubunta'  is a word 'common to several Bantu languages in southern and eastern Africa, conveying a concept that embraces the interconnectedness of all people and that encourages peace and good treatment of others.'

Such sentiments are subscribed to the world over but there seems to be something inside us or acting on us which goes against it. As soon as resources become scarce the noble principle of ubunta is likely to be eclipsed.

So the idea needs to be sanctified for it to stand the test of hard times. Various religions make it a sacred principle but there are few genuine followers of any religion because of worldly distractions and the presence of bad people in the institutions which purport to convey the source values of the religion. So the onus on today's spiritual leaders is to reform their teaching of the divine moral laws which unite the various classic faith systems at source and to lead people in putting them into practice.

My question to agnostics, humanists and atheists, who, I would argue, cannot deem anything sacred, is how do we internalise this idea so deeply that we don't forget it when our stomachs are empty? If we could do that it would help all sectors of humanity, religious or otherwise, to be governed by it.

At the very least our media and computer games industry should be propagating and inculcating the concept of ubunta. In many parts of the world  there are games which actually reward the player with points for doing evil, albeit imaginary evil. People playing them seem decent and they will assure you that they are well adjusted and just having 'fun' and do not want anyone interfering with their rights. Are they the same people who claim that adverts don't affect their buying behaviour? I hope not, because there is well documented evidence that the billions of dollars spent on  the advertising industry has not been wasted.

On the positive side ubunta could be  encouraged and strengthened through computer games in an entertaining way.

Comments welcome.

Author, 2077 AD