title: Mogobe Ramose
subtitle: Philosopher

About the author

{: #author .intro }

Mgobe Ramose started his research career at Leuven University and he is now
Professor of Philosophy at the University of South Africa (UNISA). He has
published ground works about Ubuntu Philosophy, the Nguni concept in which
philosophy, ontology and ethics are thought together in a holistic approach to
human-ness. He derives his views on reparations to be paid for crimes committed
under colonialism from ubuntu conceptions of justice. In his view, the ubuntu
African understanding of justice as balance and harmony demands the restoration
of justice by reversing the dehumanizing consequences of colonial conquest and
by eliminating racism.


{: #sources .intro }

[1]: /library/Mogobe RAMOSE - To Whom does the Land Belong%3F (ITV with Derek HOOK, 2014).pdf

People were there before

{: #decolonisation }

“One of the points we discussed was the inspiration and the theory behind the
slogan Izwe Lethu, “Our land”. It became very clear to me that there is a view
of the history of this country, a certain perspective that many indigenous
peoples conquered in the unjust wars of colonisation have, that the territory
known as South Africa today, belongs to these peoples from time
immemorial. The perception and understanding of this point was quite clear and
explicit in the discussions we had with Sobukwe.”

“Because they must not feel isolated by us who appreciate and recognise their
contribution, we thought it is better to make that concrete by visiting them
so that they actually note, and know, that they are not alone, and that what
they have been doing is not in vain. To add to that the other reason was that
we were also not starting from a clean slate. There were other people before
us in the struggle and so they have had certain experiences, and we would like
to know their experiences, to even receive advice from them and that is why we
went to go see him.”

We are not alone

{: #common-time }

“You see this welcoming, this openness to people, to say you are welcome, it
actually confirmed us in our wish to say to him “you are not alone”. It was,
however, more towards the reverse: he was never alone, he was actually saying
to us, “you are not alone, I am with you”. He did not have to say the word:
his whole disposition declared that we are together in this. Certain words
need not have been said at all, his overall deportment was by itself a number
of messages at the same time.”


{: #pan-africanism }

What Pan Africanism aims to achieve is two things basically: One is the
ascension of the right to be African. You need to assert the right to be
African, and the right to be African in this context means the right to be
human, because it is the humanity of the African that is called into
question. The right to be African is thus also the right to be human. (…) It
is precisely this visibility as human beings that make us embrace everyone
else as another human being.

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