Alma Mater
ISSN 1026-955X
Vestnik Vysshey Shkoly (Higher School Herald)
The best way to learn all about Higher Education


South African philosophy of life Ubuntu and its significance for understanding non-violence as universal human value

V.A. Sitarov, V.G. Maralov
80,00 Р

UDC  17+37.02


V.A. Sitarov is Dr.Sci. (Pedagogy), Prof. at Institute of Pedagogy and Psychology of Education at Moscow City University e-mail: ; and V.G. Maralov is Dr.Sci. (Psychology), Prof. at Department of Psychology at Cherepovets State University e-mail:


Presented is characteristic of South African philosophical ethic conception Ubuntu, defined is its significance for understanding non-violence as universal human value. Elaborated are three principal components of Ubuntu, i.e. “human being is human being because other people”, “I am, because we are”, “We are single unity”. Analyzed is contribution that is being introduced by Ubuntu in comprehension of non-violence. Shown is that in Ubuntu priorities are affirmation of value of human life and its unity, humanistic relations, solution of conflicts by using dialog and non-violence methods. Conclusion is made that Ubuntu might significantly enrich modern visions on non-violence as universal human value.

Key words: Ubuntu, non-violence, universal human values.



1. Maralov, V.G., Sitarov, V.A. Pedagogy and psychology of non-violence in education. Moscow: Yurite, 2019.

2. Mindell, A. Lieder as master of single combat (introduction into psychology of democracy). Part 1. Moscow: Institute of psychology RAS, 1993.

3. Mikhalina, O.A. African philosophy of education in search of meaning. Vestnik RUDN. Serie: Philosophy. 2010. No. 3. P. 39–46.

4. Timkuk, D.A. Dialog aspect of African communitarizm in philosophy of Ubuntu. Socio-dynamic. 2017. No. 9. P. 113–122.

URL: DOI: 10.25136/2409-7144.2017.9.21348

5. Tolstoy, L.N. Assyrian tsar Asarkhalon. In: L.N. Tolstoy. Works in 22 vols. Moscow: Art literature, 1983. Vol. 14. P. 17–21.

6. Schweitzer, A. Reverence before life. Moscow: Progress, 1992.

7. Broodryk, J. Ubuntu: Life lessons from Africa. Pretoria: Ubuntu School of Philosophy, 2002.

8. Gade, C. Historical Development of the Written Discourses on Ubuntu. South African Journal of Philosophy. 2011. Vol. 30 (3). P. 303–329. DOI: 10.4314/sajpem.v30i3. 69578

9. Gandhi, M.K. My Non-violence. Compiled By: Sailesh Kumar Bandopadhyaya. Printed & Published by: Jitendra T Desai Navajivan Publishing House. Ahmedabad, 1960.

10. Haenen, H. Ubuntu en Nelson Mandela. Afrikaanse filosofie van versoening. Budel: Damon, 2016.

11. Le Grange L. Ubuntu, ukama, environment and moral education. Journal of Moral Education. 2012. Vol. 41(3). P. 329–340. DOI: 10.1080/03057240.2012.691631

12. Le Roux, J. The Concept of Ubuntu: Africa’s most important contribution to multicultural education? Multicultural Teaching. 2000. No. 18. P. 43–46.

13. Letseka, M. In Defence of Ubuntu. Studies in Philosophy and Education. 2012. Vol. 31. P. 47–60. URL:

14. Letseka, M. Ubuntu and Justice as Fairness. Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences. 2014. Vol. 5 (9). P. 544. ISSN 2039-2117. URL:

15. Matolino, B. and Kwindingwi, W. The end of Ubuntu. South African Journal of Philosophy. 2013. Vol. 32(2). P. 197–205. DOI: 10.1080/02580136.2013.817637

16. Mayton, D. M. Gandhi as peacebuilder: The social psychology of Satyagraha. In: D.J. Christie, R.V. Wagner, & D.D.N. Winter (Eds.). Peace, conflict, and violence: Peace psychology for the 21st century. Prentice Hall/Pearson Education, 2001. P. 307–313.

17. Mayton, D. Non-violence and Peace Psychology. New York: Springer, 2009. URL:

18. Mbiti, J.S. African Religion and Philosophy. London: Heinemann, 1969.

19. Metz, T. Towards an African moral theory. The Journal of Political Philosophy. 2007. Vol. 5 (3). P. 321–341. URL:

20. Metz, T. Ubuntu as a moral theory and human rights in South Africa. African Human Rights Law Journal. 2011. Vol. 11 (2). P. 532–559. URL:

21. Mokgoro, J.Y. Ubuntu and the law in South Africa. Potchefstroom Electronic Law Journal. 1998. Vol. 1. No. 1. DOI: 10.4314/pelj.v1i1.43567

22. Mojalefa, L.J. Koenane & Cyril-Mary Pius Olatunji. Is it the end or just the beginning of ubuntu? Response to Matolino and Kwindingwi in view of Metz’s rebuttal. South African Journal of Philosophy. 2017. Vol. 36 (2). P. 263–277. DOI: 10.1080/02580136.2016.1225188

23. Murithi, T. An African Perspective on Peace Education: Ubuntu lessons in reconciliation. International Review of Education. 2009. No. 55. P. 221–233. URL: http://10.1007/s11159-009-9129-0

24. Nagler, M.N. The search for a nonviolent future: a promise of peace for ourselves, our families, and our world. Makawao: HI Inner Ocean, 2004. URL:

25. Nelson, L. Peaceful Personality: Psychological Dynamics and Core Factors. In: Sims G., Nelson L., Puopolo M. (eds). Personal Peacefulness. Springer, Peace Psychology Book Series. Vol. 20. New York, 2014. URL:

26. Nussbaum, B. African culture and Ubuntu: Reflections of a South African in America. World Business Academy. 2003. No. 17. P. 1–12.

27. Oviawe, J. How to rediscover the Ubuntu paradigm in education. International Review of Education. 2016. Vol. 62 (1). P. 1–10. DOI: 10.1007/s11159-016-9545-x

28. Shastri, S.Y., Shastri, Y.S Ahimsa and the Unity of All Things. In: Subverting Hatred, edited by D.L.  Smith-Christopher. New York: Orbis Books, 2008. P. 57–75.

29. Takyi-Amoako, E.J.A., Assie-Lumumba, N.T. Re-visioning education in Africa: Ubuntu-inspired education for humanity. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018.

30. Tutu, D. No future without forgiveness: A personal overview of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. New York, 1999.

31. Woermann, M., Engelbrecht, S. The Ubuntu Challenge to Business: From Stakeholders to Relationholders. Journal of Business Ethics. 2019. Vol. 157 (1). P. 27–44. URL: