by Sister Gertie Jocksch
I recently participated in Global Forum 2020, Moving from Ego to Eco hosted by the Presencing Institute. Aggie and Martin Kalungu-Banda’s story was so inspiring. Imagine Africa as one! This was their dream, the African continent working as one. It was a large and challenging aspiration which began when Martin participated in the Presencing Institute’s U.lab, “Leading from the Emerging Future,” which help people create innovations that generate wellbeing in society. Martin experienced this vision as a calling. When he shared his vision with Aggie she imagined Africa being part of a Global Community. She immediately recognized it as “Africa thriving, thriving in an Ubunto way.”
Although Aggie and Martin were conscious of Ubuntu as both were raised with Ubuntu philosophy, overtime they started neglecting the teaching. The philosophy of Ubuntu is a beautiful wisdom that is shared throughout Africa. “I am because you are, my wellbeing is connected to your well being. There is no way of even imagining a separation. It also speaks of an interconnectedness of all of nature, and interdependency with nature, living and inanimate and an intertwining of past, present and future. Ubuntu is a life force that has shaped African culture for centuries past.” Aggie and Martin felt that bringing this wisdom practice back into their lives and the lives of others would be a gift to Africa and to the world.
With the Ubuntu philosophy as the basis for learning/being as well as the technical expertise and personal support of the Presencing Institute their dream began to take shape. Martin and Aggie had connections with leaders and networks throughout Africa where they shared their dream for an Ubuntu Lab. A team developed quickly to help make Ubuntu Lab a reality.
At the Global Forum 2020 Ubuntu Lab celebrated the presence of 50 participants in the Global Forum. They spoke of the positive impact Ubuntu Lab was having on the lives people who were seeing their connectedness to one another. Marten spoke powerfully, “how it had taken 40 – 50 years to see that colonial boundaries do not define us. People are realizing that sitting in the Congo and talking to someone in South Africa is normal and it feels like home. This is who we are. How did it happen that these borders were drawn? It made us appear we were separate.” The celebration of their connectedness was palpable as Ubuntu Lab participants shared their enthusiasm and hope.