Ubuntu… Langa Township

11 Oct

Ubuntu… I am because we are.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu  explains the meaning of Ubuntu:

“One of the sayings in our country is Ubuntu – 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. You can’t be human all by yourself, and when you have this quality – Ubuntu – you are known for your generosity.

We think of ourselves far too frequently as just individuals, separated from one another, whereas you are connected and what you do affects the whole world. When you do well, it spreads out; it is for the whole of humanity.”

Welcome to Langa, a suburb of Cape Town, established in 1923.  Langa is the oldest township in Cape Town and one of the many areas in South Africa that was designated for Black Africans before the apartheid era, some call it a ‘dumping ground’ for those forced out of their District 6 homes to make way for ‘whites’.  It was the location of much resistance to apartheid.

Today, in a country where an estimated 12% are infected with HIV/AIDS and about 25% of the population is unemployed, living on a little more than a dollar a day, most families crowd into one room shacks made from scraps, and 1000’s share rows of communal toilets.

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What could I do today to put a SMILE on some faces?

A light bulb went off in my head as I learned from a local that the residents of Langa pay 20 Rand (about $2.90) for their monthly electricity bill.  I handed out a 20 Rand bill to 80 mothers that day.  Some thought that I was crazy, some smiled shyly, and some even hugged me.  Not only did I learn what the word ubuntu meant that day, I felt it.

80 people share this communal sink in a dormitory.

Please click on the CHARITY WATER box (on the right) to help bring clean water to those in need.

It is free and just takes a few moments of your time.


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