The Ubuntu Ransom Letter!

So my twitter bio reads:

“They say Ubuntu got kidnapped, well I found the ransom letter, scribbled on a canvas. In binary code.”

This sparked a lot of conversation following my tweets about issues around the Ubuntu principle. I would then tweet about such topical issues as orphans, child labour, charity, girl child empowerment, diseases, youth and drug abuse, unemployment, etc. At first it was all tweets and Facebook posts until people started paying attention and some asked, “ko where is this ransom letter you always talking about?” This got me thinking. Of course I have it but I had never really shared it with people and honestly I don’t know why. Actually it belongs to the people cause they are the ones who need to come up with the ransom right? Anyway here is an extract from the Ubuntu ransom letter:


For as long we call them orphans;

As long as we call them street kids;

As long as we refer to them as destitute;

Then Ubuntu isn’t coming back to you anytime soon!


As long as you are not the person you want to meet;

As long as you aren’t the man you want your daughter to marry;

As long as you aren’t the woman you want your son to marry;

My sister, then Ubuntu is just a myth.


For I am because we are, Ubuntu!

Ubuntu buthi umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu,

Yikho woba ngumuntu wabantu ngobuntu!

Ndati hunhu hunoti munhu, munhu nokuda kwavanhu

Saka iva munhu wavanhu nohunhu!


For as long as we are not responsive to the calls of hunger, poverty, desperation, inequality, and disempowerment coming from the least of our people, then we are all nothing, for they are nothing.

For as long as your favourite tsumo is “nhamo yemumwe ayirambirwe sadza,”

As long as the dogs of the rich eat better than the children of the poor, then Ubuntu remains prisoner in kuvukiland, far from the reach of anybody’s heart.

Scribbled Ubuntu Ransom Letter


But there is hope! The fire is still burning, the fire of Ubuntu. Raise your candle let me light for you, carry it to the four corners of the earth. One soul at a time. Let it shine bright. Light other candles, for a candle loses nothing by lighting another. Only then will the fire of Ubuntu burn bright enough, then we can free Ubuntu. Peace can be more than a word on page 437 in the dictionary, it becomes second nature!

Start by signing here! Don’t end at signing here! Repeat these words on a daily. Live these words. Teach these words.

I am the change I want to see in the world.

I am the Hope the next person needs.

I am my brother’s and sister’s keeper.

I am the Ubuntu Torchbearer!


Well there you have it, this is the modus operandi of my being. This is my life manual. I hope you can make it yours too. I will try and extract the full letter one of these good days.



One thought on “The Ubuntu Ransom Letter!

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