The University of Venda (UNIVEN) Faculty of Health Sciences held an orientation programme for first entering students on Ubuntu philosophy. This training gave the first entering students the opportunity to revive their indigenous knowledge by learning more about the Ubuntu philosophy and devising means of how to live and practice the ubuntu philosophy by applying the values and principle in their daily lives, education, and work.
The Ubuntu Philosophy training themed “A different caliber of health professionals-UBUNTUFIED!” took place recently at UIVEN’s D Block. Ubuntu is a Nguni term meaning “humanness” and equivalent to the Venda and Tsonga “Vhuthu” and “Vumunhu” respectively. The values of Ubuntu include respect, trust, compassion, humility, solidarity, equity, mutual responsibility, social justice, communalism, and interdependence. Ubuntu promotes a spirit of community over individualism.
Prof Rachel Lebese, Faculty of Health Sciences Research Professor mentioned that “today was very important as it was about Ubuntu.” She said the term Ubuntu consists of values and principles; she urged the students that they must reflect the Ubuntu values in every day of their lives. “I am because you are” that is how she defined Ubuntu. She mentioned that students must have Ubuntu to be a caring person “a human being must have Ubuntu as a moral compass that will direct the individual decision-making and enable them to differentiate between what is wrong or right.
Prof Lebese outlined the values of Ubuntu as Respect, Trust, Honesty, Compassion, Kindness, warmth, sharing, patience and neighbourly. She further said all these aspects are the most essential elements that forms the individual’s moral compass that will teach them to choose between right and wrong.
She also mentioned Ubuntu Principles as norms that guide action. Prof Lebese advised the students to implement the principles by using collectivism and solidarity, collaboration, participatory decision-making, communication, sharing of responsibility and challenges. Interconnectedness, sense of belonging, and dialogue that emphasises communication and solving problems by reaching a consensus method.
Dr Grace Netshisaulu, Senior Lecturer Advanced Nursing Science, facilitated the activities where students were expected to analyse scenario one and two titled “From me to my patients/my colleagues – Interactive session.” She mentioned that the Ubuntu principles are part of our everyday lives. She further said no view is wrong and there are no judges where there is Ubuntu.
The main objective of the workshop was to create a foundation on which our students in the Faculty of Health Sciences should base their career paths and service to the communities.
Department of Marketing, Branding & Communication
University of Venda
Tel: (015) 962 8525 /8710
Date: 22 February 2023