1st Edition

Unfolding Narratives of Ubuntu in Southern Africa

Edited By Julian Müller, John Eliastam, Sheila Trahar Copyright 2019
    144 Pages
    by Routledge

    144 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Ubuntu is the African idea of personhood: persons depend on other persons in order to be. This is summarised in the expression: umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu, that is, a person is a person through persons.

    This edited collection illustrates the power of fictionalised representation in reporting research conducted on Ubuntu in Southern Africa. The chapters insert the concept of Ubuntu within the broad intellectual debate of self and community, to demonstrate its intellectual and philosophical value and theoretical grounding in known practices emanating from the African continent, and indeed how it works to unsettle some of our received notions of the self.

    Endorsement from Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu

    List of Contributors


    Map of Ubuntuville

    Part I – Explanation

    Introduction: the unfolding story

    1.Fictionalisation and research.

    John Eliastam, Julian Müller, Marguerite Müller, Sheila Trahar

    Part II – The Story

    2. Ubuntuville, the view from the cemetery.

    Julian Müller

    3. Unseen.

    Herman Holtzhausen

    4. The quilting group: stitches from the soul.

    Retha Kruidenier

    5. Na bo nga bantu (they too are human)

    Trevor Ntlhola

    6. The outsider.

    John Eliastam

    7. A multicultural community.

    Wonke Buqa

    8. The art of survival: women and violence in Ubuntuville. 

    Molly Manyonganise

    9. Politics and conflict in Ubuntuville.

    Titus Makusi

    10. Discovering Ubuntu language.

    Lieze Meiring

    11. Lost

    Sheila Trahar


    Julian Müller, University of Pretoria, South Africa.

    John Eliastam, University of Pretoria, South Africa.

    Sheila Trahar, University of Bristol, UK.