Ubuntu is not just the name of my artwork, it’s a philosophy- the philosophy in which I live my life and by which I raise my children.
Several years ago, I stumbled across an article relating a story told by an anthropologist who studied a Zulu tribe in Africa. The anthropologist had been studying the habits and customs of this tribe. When he finished his work, he had to wait for transportation that would take him to the airport to return home. He'd always been surrounded by the children of the tribe, so to help pass the time before he left, he proposed a game for the children to play.
He had some candy that he bought in the city, and he placed it under a tree. He then drew a line on the ground and explained to the children that when he said "Go!" they should race over to the basket. The first to arrive there would win all the candies.
When he said "Go!" they all unexpectedly held each other's hands and ran off towards the tree as a group. Once there, they simply shared the candy with each other and happily ate it.
The anthropologist was shocked. He asked them why they had all gone together, especially if the first one to arrive at the tree could have won everything in the basket.
A young girl simply replied: "Ubuntu! I am because we are".
The concept of Ubuntu is a way of life for our family. I was so touched by this story that I became committed to teaching my children to live by this concept. If you were to ask my children what kind of house they live in, they will tell you it’s an Ubuntu house because our home has been built on the foundation of love and community. I call my artwork Ubuntu Art by Dana because it brings me such joy to create it, and the response that it receives only fuels that joy. In essence, I am joyful because we are joyful. Ubuntu!