Giving is Ubuntu – World Poetry Day

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Nontobeko Jaavhu tending to her garden (Keiskammahoek, East London, South Africa)
March 20, 2023

Thousand Currents wanted to take this opportunity on World Poetry Day to share a poem from our movement partner, Health of Mother Earth Foundation

Giving is Ubuntu.


Giving is Ubuntu.
I am, because we are.

Agenda-less solidarity.
That lights up the interconnected
Thread of Life.

But the treachery of philanthropy
Often is confused with the giving
Of Ubuntu.
In a world where crass accumulation
abounds and Mother Earth bleeds from
wounds of the avarice of men.
Is the poisoned chalice
Of retrograde class of affluence
Seeking redemption.

The winding meander of genocide
Bred by colonial slave-masters
Carrying Scriptures and guns
Birthing the sweat shops dungeons
Of the crony capitalism.

Blood money
Cleansing its stench
Through its layered slaves.
In a tsunami of deceit and lies.
Bought off politicians
Mascoted media talking heads.

A dumbed down humanity.
Stultifying our resistance.

False prophets abound
Purveyors of mass psychosis
The iron heel of fear, coercion and

Gifts of appeasement.
Shattering dreams.
Giving has become taking.
A sleight of hand
A grubby cauldron
Of vested interests
That sear the consciousness
Constructing the choking chains of
Modern day slavery.

Giving is the gentle flow of compassion of
the heart. Not the wandering arrogance of
toxic Men.

By Jay Naidoo

*Originally appeared in issue #38 of eco-Instigator magazine from Health of Mother Earth Foundation. Artwork by Ethel Tawe for Thousand Currents project, 13 African Farmers.