Embrace the legacy of Ubuntu this Heritage Day

September 23, 2022

Heritage Day and Heritage Month give us plenty of opportunities to reflect on and appreciate the rich cultural and societal legacies that people of past generations have left for us to enjoy. And we must because it enriches us. However, it also gives us the chance to consider the legacy that we’re creating in our different places in the world, at work and at home, as heritage for future generations.

Are we building a better world that is inspired by ‘Ubuntu’ – the knowledge that ‘I am because you are’ – in the hospitality environments where we spend our working hours, and in the communities where we live?

Will future generations be able to reflect back on today’s people of South Africa, young and old, and from every walk of life, and recognise that we invested our time and energy in creating a society that is outward looking and that consistently acts with humanity towards our fellow human beings?

For us in the hospitality sector, we know that we’re given endless opportunities to:

• Practice Ubuntu
• Appreciate the diversity within our industry
• Treasure the cultural wealth that other people bring into our lives
• Understand the value of others, and care for them as individuals and as groups

In a 2019 paper titled, ‘The experience of Ubuntu to a hospitality organisation: Scale development and validation’ by Thembisile Molose, she says most definitions of ubuntu have three common aspects that involve actions that are welcoming, accommodating, and sharing and sustaining human relations and behaviour.

The objective of her paper was to identify what hospitality frontline managers experience as Ubuntu, and then present an assessment scale to measure frontline managers’ experience of Ubuntu culture to a South African hospitality organisation.

Ultimately, the research suggested that “fostering Ubuntu’s compassion and collectiveness as ‘a gift that southern Africa can give to the world’ could enable organisations to attract employees who feel authenticity from managers that align with their individual values, which in turn generates positive attitudes and work behaviours in employees.

“Therefore South Africa’s hospitality sector needs to foster stronger team relationships through authentic support by supervisors and social activities. The study suggests that the culture of Ubuntu, if harnessed consciously, can play a pivotal role in managing diverse workforces.” To read the full paper, click here.

Pple Group embraces the spirit of Ubuntu throughout our organisation, with people at the heart of all that we do. We create opportunities for thousands of people across our sectors of hospitality, healthcare, industrial and hygiene, and we deliver the best staff to companies in need. Our people know where they belong, and our clients know who we are and how we can help them every step of the way.
Pple Hospitality wishes all our readers a wonderful Heritage Day. Share the amazing heritage of Ubuntu that has passed down to us from generations and generations of people before us, and enjoy time spent with your fellow human beings.

These words of Nelson Mandela are for all of us: “In Africa there is a concept known as 'Ubuntu' – the profound sense that we are human only through the humanity of others; that if we are to accomplish anything in this world it will in equal measure be due to the work and achievement of others.”