I was in town yesterday, and something interesting happened. A “just married” couple is parading in a…Bentley or something, you know, those really nice, probably really expensive, really vintage cars, which was great. Their chauffeur is a Caucasian male, probably in his forties or fifties, which was also great. So they’re taking a drive around the city, then the car stops, It’s out of fuel or something(cars have a tendency to pull stunts like that at the worst of times.) The bride and groom are moved  to a different car and the chauffeur stays behind to fix his car-to get it running again.

And this is how people decided to be about it. Some watched, some made some really nasty remarks and this one guy starts recording the whole incident with his phone.  Not even one person showed any intention of helping. I would have but I don’t know the first thing about cars.Now I’m not sure if this was a race thing or a Marxist thing, but the bottom line is no one offered to help. See, if this had been anywhere in the world, it would have been normal, like “dude’s having car trouble…but that’s none of my business” (just like Kermitt does it). But this is Africa. The home of Ubuntu.

For those foreign to the idea, Ubuntu is an African philosophy. It’s basically a “my brother’s keeper” approach, which means everyone is fully responsible for the next person. The concept of Ubuntu is summarized in the saying “umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu”, it simply means “I am because we are”.  Under this philosophy, emphasis is placed on communitiness and singleness of purpose. It stresses that no one person should ever have to live or be alone, especially when they’re in crisis mode. So in short, when someone is having car trouble…you get off your back side and help them.

Because that’s what we have going on. The Americans made the internet, the Europeans introduced constitutional monarchy, and we have  Ubuntu. That is our brain child. That’s what makes us Africa. But if we can’t do something as simple as helping someone move their car, then I guess that’s just how far we’ve fallen