We asked Ubuntuworks board member, Raphael Chisuba Masesa, What brings you joy?
He responded, “To give—whether that is material, or time, or just being present—I derive satisfaction and joy from that. To give, to reach out, to be there is always a joy for me.”
Let us introduce you to Raphael, an educator with more than fifteen years of experience. Currently, he is a lecturer at the IIE Varsity College in Cape Town, South Africa, teaching Integrative law and Indigenous law through oral tradition, storytelling, traditional music, poetry, and praise on social matters.
As an Ubuntuworks Project board member, Raphael supports the Project’s efforts to share data, studies, and experiences that support the power of connectedness and empathic, compassionate ways of living, working, and teaching.
We spoke recently with Raphael about how he uses ubuntu in his teaching and in his life.
How does ubuntu show up in your life?
Raphael: Ubuntu is who I am. In my community, we are born into ubuntu. Therefore, the word itself, “ubuntu,” is something that is used across many Indigenous languages. And when we say ubuntu in my language, we are referring to a person as a human being.
What we do to each other we do to ourselves. To connect to each other, to speak to each other, to listen and resolve conflicts, to be happy together, to share happiness, to share sorrows and love—all of those things make up the concept of ubuntu.
Overall, we are human beings who experience all of these things in our lives. It’s about self, and how you develop that self becomes critical in the sense that you need to be a person who develops certain values and perspectives in relationship to the people around you, such as your parents, your siblings, your friends, and strangers.
And that is how you’re going to give. You can only give what you have.
What is the impact of the Ubuntuworks Project?
We reflect the kind of people that we are in our work, in whatever we do. Consequently, it is important to show the principles of ubuntu, such as compassion, active listening, and empathy, in our workplaces, especially when it comes to education and training—education is a key area.
That is why I see the Ubuntuworks Project as one for educators and teachers who have so much influence on young people. That’s where the Ubuntuworks Project can have a big impact.
What brings you joy?
Earlier today, I had a visitor at my home. Although they didn’t necessarily ask, I felt that I should give them something. To give—whether that is material, or time, or just being present—I derive satisfaction and joy from that. In conclusion, to give, to reach out, to be there is always a joy for me.
The Ubuntuworks Resource Hub provides organizations and individuals with data, stories, studies and support for a more connected and compassionate world.