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Ubuntu 2024

Background Information


Background Information

Ubuntu is a concept that originates from Southern Africa, particularly among theBantu-speaking peoples. While the term has various interpretations and expressions across different cultures and contexts, one of the most well-known articulations comes from the Nguni Bantu languages, where Ubuntu is often translated as "I am because we are" or "humanity towards others."  "Ubuntu" as a political philosophy encourages mutual support and community equity. The name also differs by country, such as in:

  • Angola (gimuntu),
  • Botswana (muthu),
  • Burundi (ubuntu),
  • Cameroon (bato),
  • Congo (bantu),
  • Congo Democratic Republic (bomoto/bantu),
  • Kenya (utu/munto/mondo),
  • Malawi (umunthu),
  • Mozambique (vumuntu),
  • Namibia (omundu),
  • Rwanda (ubuntu),
  • South Africa (ubuntu/botho),
  • Tanzania (utu/obuntu/bumuntu),
  • Uganda (obuntu),
  • Zambia (umunthu/ubuntu) and
  • Zimbabwe (Ubuntu, unhu or hunhu)


Ubuntu is also found in other Bantu countries. There may  be different definitions in different regions, but they all point to one thing – “an authentic individual human being  is part of a larger and more significant relational, communal, societal, environmental and spiritual world.”



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