Learning about Ubuntu & Education from an African Woman

‘Sis’ Emelda as she’s affectionately known, is an easy-going person who calls everyone “S’hlobo”, meaning “friend.” Her presence is felt when she opens up every morning meeting at GWF with a song to help the staff start the day from a high energy point.

Ubuntu is an idea from the Southern African region which means literally “human-ness.” Emelda displays her Ubuntu to close friends, acquaintances and even strangers without even realising it at times, as to her, “it is the only and right thing to do,” she says.

“According to me, Ubuntu means that as a human being, I have the responsibility to treat all the people around me and beyond, with respect, love and tolerance, irrespective of their age, gender or race, merely because they too are human.”

Initially, Emelda’s duty was to assist students with Microsoft Word Processing and PowerPoint modules, but was later entrusted with facilitating all seven modules for her own class. Her students who graduated in October 2015, showed their appreciation for her hard-work and endless efforts as their facilitator through a surprise ‘thank you party’ on their last day of exams.

When asked about whether or not she thinks women are keepers of Ubuntu, she said, “S’hlobo that is undoubtedly true. Women are growing more and more powerful in leadership and virtue by the day. They continue to inspire and motivate young people to strive for higher and work towards creating a safe world for all who live in it. Who knew that a rural woman like me, who has had many difficulties and limitations growing up, would one day outgrow stage fright and stand in a digital space giving computer lesson? ”

Emelda also shared one important lesson she learned from her mother that in turn stemmed the basis of her Ubuntu towards people. “My mother taught me to believe in myself, love, laugh and surround myself with people who have a positive attitude.”

Who knew that a rural woman like me, who has had many difficulties and limitations growing up, would one day outgrow stage fright and stand in a digital space giving computer lesson, ” says Emelda who has awed everyone with the things she has achieved.

“Who knew that a rural woman like me, who has had many difficulties and limitations growing up, would one day outgrow stage fright and stand in a digital space giving computer lesson, ” says Emelda who has awed everyone with the things she has achieved.

When struggling students need help, Emelda sacrifices her lunch time to make sure that each student, walks out of her class confident about what they have learned.

When struggling students need help, Emelda sacrifices her lunch time to make sure that each student, walks out of her class confident about what they have learned.

Written by Mpho Lebyane.

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