Ubuntu — English

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The belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity.
Source: Ubuntu Documentation Team, retrieved 2017.

Ubuntu has several connected meanings, all related to human connectedness:

  • Connectedness with humanity that leads to humanity towards others.
  • Connectedness that leads a person to become a full person through other persons.
  • Connectedness that leads to foregiveness and reconcilation.
  • Connectedness that leads to acting in selfless ways that benefit the community.

Sources: Ubuntu documentation website, Thoughtco.com, Panafricanisme website, Wikipedia, ...


Ubuntu (is) the essence of being human. Ubuntu speaks particularly about the fact that you can't exist as a human being in isolation. It speaks about our interconnectedness."

Archbishop Desmond Tutu, 2008, as quoted by the Women Institute, Jan. 2015

(Ubuntu means) my humanity is caught up, is inextricably bound up, in what is yours"

Archbishop Desmond Tutu,  No Future Without Forgiveness: A Personal Overview of South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission, 1999.

A person with ubuntu is open and available to others, affirming of others, does not feel threatened that others are able and good, for he or she has a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that he or she belongs in a greater whole and is diminished when others are humiliated or diminished, when others are tortured or oppressed."

Archbishop Desmond Tutu, ibid, 1999.

Ubuntu (is the) recognition that we are all bound together in ways that are invisible to the eye; that there is a oneness to humanity; that we achieve ourselves by sharing ourselves with others, and caring for those around us.

Former US President, Barack Obama, at Nelson Mandela's memorial, 10th Dec. 2013.