I was a kid when I first heard the word ‘ubuntu’, it was in a song by the late Brenda Fassie. I didn’t understand anything in the song. I simply loved the melody and Brenda was one of the favourite stars of kids like me in the late 80s. Just few years ago, I heard the song again, this time it stirred my curiosity and I looked up the meaning of the song and below is a quick summary of the philosophy;
“The word ubuntu is just part of the Zulu phrase “Umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu”, which literally means that a person is a person through other people.” In other words, we become who we are because of the role other people play within the community. A time comes when we no longer merely discuss the problems with our community, in this case Port Harcourt, but we begin to ask questions like why are things the way they are? And what can we do differently?
Ubuntu my friends
Yes, we need to have an increasing sense of community. If you receive money from a client and fail to deliver, remember it will hurt the community at large. While we complain about a photographer being brought in from another city, we must also ask how well are our photographers serving clients? Your negative actions will shut doors for those coming behind you, your positive actions will open doors for others.
A client last year engaged my firm and a friend’s firm for a project, somehow we got talking about our contract documents and he sent me his. When I saw it, it fell short of anything close to a business contract. I had to give him mine as a template to use in re-drafting his. I had fears of him seeing my own contract terms and all, but hey! I also told myself that this was beyond me or him, I needed to save the face of the creative community in Port Harcourt! We can do better, we can be better paid, we can retain jobs and stop losing them to other cities, so you see, I had to fill the gap instead of deriding a brother or scoffing at him.
Don’t Hoard Advice, Share Stories
Sometimes instead of hoarding an idea or advice, we should learn to open it up for the benefit of the community. This is why I decided within myself to share stories, insights and experiences on this platform as much as I can. Hopefully, I will circulate these thoughts more widely within Port Harcourt. The ubuntu spirit is about holding hands together and going the journey together, so let’s commit more to helping each other succeed. Whenever you get the chance to help someone, see the larger community in the face of that person.
Wishing you a pleasant weekend.