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July 10, 2009

Practising ubuntu in the Mother City – a Cape Town Tourism photo essay

The philosophy of ubuntu – humanness – explains a lot about African thinking and behaviour. It can be illustrated in the following way: if you have two cows, and the milk from the first cow is sufficient to feed you and your family, ubuntu requires you to give the milk from your second cow to those who need it. Ubuntu doesn’t require you to give away the cow – only what you can give, while still keeping enough for yourself.

The philosophy is about caring and sharing – your time, your skills, who you are and what you can do for your community.


These images were all taken in a soup kitchen in Parow, Cape Town. One morning a week, homeless people gather here from the streets and food is provided for them.


It is a simple, yet wholesome meal of hot vegetable soup and bread.


And for a few moments, these people can rest their bodies, fill the hole in their stomachs, and receive replenishment for their souls as they attend an informal church service.


For brief moments, while I was engaged in this photo shoot, I felt like I was part of the workings of ubuntu – I gave what I could, by means of photography.


In turn, I received the rewarding opportunity to capture these moments in this vibrant and diverse country.


To see more of Sharon’s beautiful photography, visit her website.

Do you have images of Cape Town you’d like to share with us? We’d love you to join the Cape Town. Live it. Love it. Flickr group!

Images © Sharon Kaplan aka Chaotic.Beauty 2009

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