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United Nations University Institute of Advanced Studies

canny ubuntu

RCE North East proposes ‘Canny Ubuntu.’ In our region we use the word ‘canny’ in a genuine spirit of friendliness and goodwill. It has a variety of meanings: cute, careful, plenty, many, pleasant, handsome, comely, and fair of face. The word ‘Ubuntu’ means common humanity: an allegiance to all people. This is explained in the maxim "umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu," which means "a person becomes a person through other people." Both words are used in a spirit of inclusivity, involving caring about and respecting other people. We, as individuals, contribute our part to the collective whole. We explore what we all have in common and what we can do for each other. [1], [2]

Archbishop Desmond Tutu has written about the meaning of the Xhosa word ‘ubuntu’:

Colleagues in RCE North East agree that, by and large, this description fits the character of the people of our region very well.

Nelson Mandela explains Ubuntu

Click here for IRES Ubuntu pages

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