Brotherhood (ubuzalwane)


“We are the obverse and reverse sides of one entity”

Ubuntu brotherhood is based on the expression umuntu ngubuntu ngabantu (a person is a person through other persons). If it were not for the comradeship (intense friendship) of others in the community, I would have had less enjoyment in life. Meaning of life is a reference to the social and physical inter-dependence of people. People rely on each other for survival and support. As individuals people are weak: if they stand together and rejoice collective co-existence, they are strong. In Ghana an analogy is made in the saying that “a tree cannot survive a storm on its own”. In Zulu the relevant word is simunye (unity, solidarity): it is easy to break a single piece of wood, but if it is a united bundle of wood, it becomes impossible to break the wood. A person should therefore involve others as brothers or team members for general life support. As teams the problems of life seem to be lighter since there are a variety of inputs and advice derived from relevant experiences. In Africa the members of the group work together as a collective, to solve problems of individuals – Dr Broodryk (2006).

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