n Acta Academica - A Report on Ubuntu, Leonhard Praeg : book review

Volume 46, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0587-2405


Leonhard Praeg's book, A report on Ubuntu treats the question of "What is Ubuntu?" in a unique and illuminating fashion. The book begins with an approach that repositions Ubuntu by drawing a crucial distinction between what we mean when we ask the question "What is Ubuntu?", and what we are doing when we ask this question; Praeg shifts his focus to the latter. This crucial distinction escapes the gaze of many scholars of Ubuntu, and this book makes this gaze the basis of the entire discussion. This gaze (as an approach or method of doing Ubuntu) emphasises the political nature of asking this question over the primacy of meanings and argumentation for various understandings of Ubuntu, without in any way shying away from engaging the latter. It is not that the meaning of Ubuntu is unimportant, but the significance of this concept must be understood with reference to the political context. In other words, as a pre-condition for any meaningful conversation about Ubuntu, the political context must be brought to the fore and investigated. This book presents, in a fresh and fruitful way, this political nature (the blind spot of Ubuntu discourse) and reality that eludes many a discourse on Ubuntu.

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