1st Edition

Ubuntu Philosophy and Decolonising Social Work Fields of Practice in Africa

    368 Pages 10 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book addresses a recurrent gap in social work literature by examining Ubuntu as an Indigenous African philosophy that informs social work beyond the largely residual and individualistic conceptualisation of social work that currently prevails in many contexts. Owing to the lack of social work theories, models and generally, literature that is locally and contextually relevant, most social work lecturers based in African context, struggle to access learning materials and texts that centre local indigenous voices and worldviews.
    It is within this context that the ubuntu philosophy has gained traction. There is increasing consensus that Ubuntu as an African philosophy and way of life, has the potential to be used as a decolonising framework for social work education and practice. Theorising from Ubuntu can influence and be the foundation for African social work theory and knowledge, social work values and ethics, social work research and policy, and Ubuntu informing different fields of social work practice like social work with older people, children and young people, ubuntu and poverty alleviation, ubuntu and the environment, among others.
    Drawing together social workers engaged in education, research, policy, practice, to theorise Ubuntu and its tenets, philosophies, and values, this book shows how it can be a foundation for a decolonised, more relevant social work education and practice in African contexts.

    Part I: Theoretical Perspectives - Ubuntu and Decolonising Social Work

    Chapter One – Decolonising social work fields of practice: An introduction
    Janestic Mwende Twikirize, Rugare Mugumbate and Sharlotte Tusasiirwe

    Chapter Two – Ubuntu: an overview
    Rugare Mugumbate

    Chapter Three – Ubuntu in international social work
    Janestic Mwende Twikirize

    Part II: Ubuntu and Decolonising Social Work Ethics and Fieldwork

    Chapter Four – Ubuntu and decolonising Biestek’s (1957) seven principles of the casework relationship
    Samuel Lisenga

    Chapter Five – Ubuntu principles: unethically ethical? Decolonising social work values and ethics in Social Work practice and research
    Diana Nabbumba, Peninah Kansiime and Sharlotte Tusasiirwe

    Chapter Six – Decolonizing Social Work Fieldwork Education in Africa: Approaches, Challenges, and Prospects
    Venesio Bwambale Bhangyi and Godfrey Makoha

    Part III: Ubuntu and Social Work with Families

    Chapter Seven – Ubuntu Social Work with Individuals and Families: A Process Model
    Muzondo Edward and Zvomuya Wilson

    Chapter Eight – Collective Child Rearing in Igboland as a Panacea to Juvenile Delinquency: A Philosophical Analysis
    Chinwe R. Nwanna, Obiageli C. Okoye and Ugochi N. Oparaoha

    Chapter Nine – Ubuntu in Gerontological Social Work: A community-led care model
    Diana Nabbumba and Sharlotte Tusasiirwe

    Chapter Ten – Community solidarity and intergenerational relationships in the care of older people in Africa
    Tšepang Florence Manyeli, Sophia Thabane and Pumela M. Mahao

    Chapter Eleven – Philosophies guiding the model of care for older adults in the traditional Igbo society, southeast Nigeria: A guide for social work decolonization agenda
    Uzoma Odera Okoye and Nneka Fransisca Nwafor

    Part IV: Ubuntu and Environmental Social Work

    Chapter Twelve – The Efficacy of Ubuntu on Environmental Social Work in Africa
    Wilson Zvomuya and Mulwayini Mundau

    Chapter Thirteen – Leveraging Ubuntu philosophy as a vehicle for promoting environmental justice in Zimbabwe
    Cornelius Dudzai and Vincent Mabvurira

    Chapter Fourteen – Enhancing Environmental Conditions of Slum Settlement Dwellers in Africa: Putting Ubuntu and Community Social Work into Perspective
    Chipo Chitereka

    Chapter Fifteen – Ubuntu and social work in emergencies: Opportunities for community-based disaster risk management in Zimbabwe
    Farisai R. Komboni

    Part V: Ubuntu and Other Fields of Practice

    Chapter Sixteen – Ubuntu-informed approaches for addressing Conflict-Related Sexual Violence (CRSV): Scope, rationale, and implications for Social Work
    Amani Kasherwa, Murhula Kapalata and Janestic Twikirize

    Chapter Seventeen – Towards Decolonisation of Social Work Practice in Response to the Drug Abuse Problem in Africa
    Tawanda Masuka and Taurayi Nyandoro

    Chapter Eighteen – Ubuntu philosophy and sexual behaviours in Zimbabwe: Implications for social work
    Witness Chikoko

    Chapter Nineteen – "Agbajo Owo La Fin Soya Ajeji Owo Kan Ko Gbe Eru De Ori": A Social Work Perspective on the Collective Action of the End SARS Protest in Nigeria
    Christina Omone Bose Makinde, Itunu O. Ilesanmi, Abigail Agbon Azorondu, Toluwanimi Arogundade and Boluwatife Oyenuga

    Part VI: Looking Ahead

    Chapter Twenty – Ubuntu inspired tools and models to decolonise social work practice
    Rugare Mugumbate

    Chapter Twenty-one – Conclusions: Furthering decolonising social work in Africa
    Sharlotte Tusasiirwe and Janestic Mwende Twikirize


    Janestic Mwende Twikirize (PhD) is an Associate Professor of Social Work at Makerere University, Uganda. She holds a PhD in Social Work and Social Development. Dr Twikirize served as the Vice President of the Association of Schools of Social Work in Africa (ASSWA) and as a board member of the International Association of Schools of Social Work (IASSW) from 2012 to 2018. Her research with local communities and at the same time her international exposure to various philosophies and discourses in social development led her to pick interest in indigenisation and decoloniality of education and practice.

    Sharlotte Tusasiirwe (PhD) is an Indigenous African tracing her ancestry from the Basingo clan of Banyankore/Bakiiga/Bahororo tribe of Western Uganda, East of Africa. Sharlotte has been researching and publishing in the area of decolonising social work and she is passionate about seeing culturally appropriate and respectful social work around the world. She is currently a social work lecturer at Western Sydney University, and she is interested in areas of Community-led initiatives and development; African spirituality; Indigenous epistemologies; international social work, among others.

    Rugare Mugumbate (PhD) is a Zimbabwean social worker who trained at the School of Social Work, University of Zimbabwe and worked at the Epilepsy Support Foundation and the Bindura University of Science Education (BUSE) in Zimbabwe between 2003 and 2015. Among other study areas, his work centers on valuing and using African knowledge such as Ubuntu philosophy in teaching, learning, practice, and research. Presently, he is a lecturer in the School of Health and Society, University of Wollongong, Australia and a Senior Research Associate, Department of Social Work & Community Development, University of Johannesburg, South Africa.