Thank You Mandela For Personifying Ubuntu

Nelson Mandela, you are the greatest story that Africa told the world. Your legacy will live on for forever, generations after generations. You are the personification of Ubuntu.

As a geek when you hear Ubuntu, you might think of the world’s most popular free OS, Linux-based open source software, but the actual philosophy of  Ubuntu means: I am what I am because of who we all are. 

A person with ‘Ubuntu’ is open and available to others. He or she does not feel threatened that others are able and good, for s/he has the self-assurance that comes from knowing that s/he belongs to a gestalt, and is diminished when others are humiliated or diminished, or when others are tortured or oppressed, or treated as if they were less than who they are.

Desmond Tutu had said: “Ubuntu speaks of the very essence of being human. If you say  “Hey, so-and-so has ubuntu.” Then you are generous, you are hospitable, you are friendly and caring and compassionate. You share what you have. It is to say, “My humanity is caught up, is inextricably bound up, in yours.” We belong in a bundle of life. We say, “A person is a person through other persons.”

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For fellow entrepreneurs, let me share with you what Seth Godin said:

Goodbye Madiba, thanks for being personification of ubuntu in a real sense.

About the author

Everything startups, tech, entrepreneurship, and the intersection of India & Africa. You can reach him via emmanuel[at]

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