Friday, August 04, 2006

Kruger Baboon's sombre pose

Kruger Baboon's sombre pose
Originally uploaded by make_change.
Did I tell you I have a Zulu name? Nqobile. Apparently it means “the conquered”.

I never understood why I was given a Zulu name; it’s not like when I meet a person who speaks a language other than English, I would immediately associate them with the name, “Bob” or “Sally”.

But as I read on for my research paper on the concept of ‘ubuntu’, a theory for the Zulu name is to make sure I feel included within the culture and be part of the community. 'Ubuntu' is about the characteristics that make us human like kindness, compassion, respect and charity and the idea that we exist because of our contributions back to the community. The best definition is through isiXhosa proverb, “umuntu ngummuntu ngabantu” or, “I am because we are” (Marx, 2002: 52; Venter, 2004: 152; Mbigi, 1995: 15). Under traditional context, such a proverb would deliver the importance of performing one’s duties for the good of the community especially when those duties are carried out for his or her small traditional villages where one lives for survival.

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