Home VOL. 3 (2017) Examining the Philosophy of Ubuntu and the Regime of Xenophobic Upsurge on...

Examining the Philosophy of Ubuntu and the Regime of Xenophobic Upsurge on African Immigrants within the Socio-Legal Space in South Africa



The specifics of trying to analyse the concept of ubuntu are formidable.  A person with ubuntu is someone who is welcoming, hospitable, warm and generous, and willing to share. Such persons are open, affirming and available to others. They are willing to be vulnerable, do not feel threatened that others are able and good for they have a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that they belong to a greater whole.  Each individual’s humanity is ideally expressed through his or her relationship with others and theirs in turn through recognition of the individual’s humanity. Ubuntu means that people are people through other people. This African philosophy which is well preached in South Africa is antithetical to the racist and xenophobic upsurge and experiences of immigrants within the urban space of South Africa in the face of the rule of law. South Africa has witnessed a surge in migration from the sub-continent in search of opportunities which the new democracy has to offer. From a doctrinal research method  it is observed that despite the existence of international instruments and conventions on the protection of immigrants and South Africa’s  obligation to protect its citizens and  foreigners this philosophy is a mere adornment, not reflective of the true reality of the relationship between the indigenes and the foreigners in South Africa. This article recommend that severe international sanctions should be imposed on South Africa for breach of this international human rights laws, for incessant xenophobic attack on foreigners despite its philosophy of brotherliness and communal living.

Authors: Ngozi Oluchukwu Odiaka, Chuks Oriogu