Ubuntu: I am because of you
“We think of ourselves far too frequently as just individuals, separated from one another, whereas you are connected and what you do affects the whole World. When you do well, it spreads out; it is for the whole of humanity.”
-Archbishop Desmond Tutu
The concept of Ubuntu is one of Londolozi’s core values. We strive to live by it in interactions with our guests, in terms of how we treat our fellow staff members as well as how we interact with the communities around us. It is curious how a concept like Ubuntu needs to be taught to humans, yet it is so deeply ingrained in the animal kingdom. There is no animal that expresses the true meaning of Ubuntu more instinctively than the wild dog.
Adrenaline pulsates through my veins, my foot pressed fiercely on the accelerator and I am trying my absolute best to keep up with the pack of wild dog that are so effortlessly gliding through the bush. The energy of the dogs is tangible and for a moment I am sucked into the collective excitement and intensity of the pack.
It is a special kind of unit: a unified team so inextricably reliant on each other that they exist as one. From the relay race of hunting, to sharing every meal, to then regurgitating food for the pups, these incredible creatures know exactly what it means to support one another. I have spent time with a pack where one member was suffering from wounds inflicted by a hyena. The other pack members routinely took turns to lick the injured animal’s wounds in an attempt to prevent infection. During denning season, a dutiful babysitter is left with the pups while the rest of the pack move off to hunt. When the pack finally returns, the babysitter is fed along with the pups. This cooperative care is inspiring, and is the embodiment of Ubuntu.
It is something worth being mindful about. It is so easy for us to be caught up in our own worries and drama that we further isolate ourselves from what is important. Sometimes it takes a reminder from the wild to see that if one stops for a moment and shifts their attention to another, we start to see a shift in ourselves.
A Ted Talk by Boyd Varty that provides greater insight into the concept of Ubuntu:
Written by: Andrea Campbell
Photographed by: Trevor McCall-Peat, Mike Sutherland & Andrea Campbell