When we first see ourselves as human beings 12


One World – One Humanity!
One Human Race.

As a 12 year old white boy, I stood on the side of a Bancroft road in Zambia, and waved my Zambian flag at the first President of our newly independent Zambia. He smilingly waved his white handkerchief at the crowds as he sailed past. As kids we were not perturbed with the change from colonial rule to African rule. It was just another day off school.

As the leader of a country with incredible diversity in its peoples – about 71 languages or dialects are spoken there – Dr Kaunda took a stand. One of his most important principles has changed the political landscape, and the hearts and souls of Zambian people, forever.

KK, as he is known, boldly stated “One Zambia – One Nation! This was the clarion call to unity that has founded a nation of people who honour, welcome and respect each other. As a young boy, I had no idea why he would say such a thing. I simply did not understand.

10 years ago – as a team building, diversity and conflict resolution specialist – I travelled to Zambia with my partner to facilitate a team building for the Bank of Zambia. There we were welcomed as human beings. 

In my quest for diversity knowledge – I turned to a member of the BoZ team and asked, “What tribe do you come from?” He looked at me in surprise, and softly said, “I am Zambian. We are all Zambians. One Zambia – One Nation!” 40 years had gone by. KK was no longer President. Yet his foundational call, to unity, still echoes in the hearts, souls and actions of his people.

I look now more than 50 years on – from Zambian Independence – at South Africa. Sadly, this is still a divided South Africa – for all of the work of Tata Nelson Mandela. Here in our nation, there is pain, prejudice and separation. There is selfishness, jealousy and unnecessary conflict. Ubuntu barely survives as a spoken principle.

Our people often live by apart hate – and vote by race, history and colour.

I remember doing so myself as an 18 year old, living in South Africa. I was told to vote for the English party – otherwise the “Afrikaners” would win again. I had no idea that the system was unfairly flawed – and I did not think about my vote – because I was “English.”

So sad. I voted, as told. But I did not vote, or choose not to vote, based upon what was right, or wrong. Or vote for the person who would do the most for our country. I just voted against people, and political parties, because of my “identity.”

We have not changed. We have forgotten that our true identity is “Human being.”

Yes, we are where we are because we vote based on our perception of our “identity”, history and prejudice. We are where we are, because we do not seek out Values-based leaders – irrespective of their political party.

We are where we are because we chose our political masters. And because our leaders also see themselves as a colour, race, gender, political party before they see themselves as people.

And sadly they have affected us with that separateness. Apartheid lives on. This will change when we become human beings, again.

When we first see ourselves as human beings – we will seek out principled leaders.  We will find leaders who are there for all of the people, ward, city, province, country and for Africa! Not for themselves.

When we first see ourselves as human beings – political parties will choose their candidates – based on their values – not their connections. They will continue to build values-based leadership principles – in their parties.

When we first see ourselves as human beings we will vote for principled leaders who see us all as South Africans. By choice, or by birth.

Nothing quite speaks to our common humanity, like:– 

One South Africa – One Nation. 
One Africa – One People. 
One World – One Humanity.
One Human race.

Thank you Doctor Kaunda. You are a foundational leader of diversity and inclusion. You have changed a country – by making all people welcome there – may your words go on to change a continent!

Brian Moore

brian@diversitytrainers.co.za 079 643 4457

Share on Social Media

Leave a comment

12 thoughts on “When we first see ourselves as human beings

  • Brian V Moore Post author

    The main challenge is that apart hate is being perpetuated by our leaders, and in little ways, by the average South African. We the people must lead the leaders – through setting aside prejudice. Our children deserve freedom from the past.

    Every spoken judgement that we make hits home in the minds of children. In as much as KK changed his country positively – we must take care not to poison ours. There is only one race and that is the human race.

  • Brian V Moore Post author

    Thank you all for your kind words.

    I made a shorter version of this speech – on Sunday – in the presence of Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi. He was so moved that he stood up and changed his official speech to be founded on One Zambiia – One Nation and One South Africa – One Nation.

    I was really proud of him. He was visibly moved by the message and the fact that KK was a friend of his.

    I have sent the article to the newspapers. I hope that some see value in it.

    Please feel free to share it wherever you can FB, Twitter, LinkedIn – anywhere. We really need to get our country and humanity back.

  • Thabisile Zikalala

    Of all the postulating I have come across this is the first time I have come across a true reflection of what SA is. Decisions are not made based on right or wrong but rather on the color of the person putting them across and we wonder why things are the way they are. The architects of apart-hate, as you so aptly put it, are still pulling the string beyond their graves and we dance along happily without really listening to the music.

  • len stevens

    I have the same happy experience each time I go back to Ghana, to present my “GRID Training Method Course” there – at their invitation, and with their enthusiastic, “rave-reviews” of the results I leave behind, each time!

    Sadly, my course is “not wanted” here. I have offered it to our Govt. many times, to address our Joblessness, our Poverty, our Inequality … but I don’t even get an ‘acknowledgement of receipt’ for my correspondence.

    There’s a serious, mischievous perception – fostered and maintained I’m sure, by self-centred interests – that ‘racism’ is something only the hated ‘Whiteys’ do.

    Having myself, often enough, been on the receiving-end of Black racism in our land, in many forms – overt and covert – it’s time more of the truth be told about its widespread existence!

    … and also time, that our Black compatriots began accepting their share of the blame, in helping perpetuate  this scourge!

    Perhaps President Zuma – as the Leader of our Country – will be prepared to set as good an example, as Zambia’s KK? … for the rest of us to follow?

  • Chidi Bosole

    Thanks for raising this important topic.

    Africa is for Africans and Africa is for humanity and humanity is for God. Before the eyes of GOD we are one and in any free country or free continent colour will be meaningless. Why we vote ? In this country most people vote because of fear not favour, that is why the political parties which has no interest at heart of the citizens win and after all people dies because of water. Why since the discovery of the Republic of S.A. we have never noticed any grave for fighting of water.

    Why in the democratic society people still have two types of education systems? Why people are still employed of their political affiliation but not of their skills? Why our land is not used fruitfully? Why we are still staying in shacks and our people dies like flies because of no proper infrastructures? Why peoples submissions of what they do not like are implemented without their consent? Why our courency is weak? Why people are still denied to run their innovative business ?

    All this is an indication of race and colour and hatred.

  • Bongani Khonjwayo (BK)

    I am touched by this brief and incisive contribution. Jealous that such a profound comment should be read only by a few people who are subscribed to Skills Universe, may I request that it finds its way to news papers such as Sunday Times with a view to reach a wider audience. Yes, apartheid has damaged our land and peoples’ perception about themselves and others of different races, but I seem to think that our current political system is not yet addressing oneness or unity. Even though political parties are making inroads into communities in which they were previously regarded as enemies, even that is not driven from a value based judgment of oneness but on what a voter is made to think what this or that party can do for me as opposed to for the South African nation. Some parties indeed preach “simnye” “we are one” in their posters when contesting for elections, but when you look closely into their actual practice, “simnye” becomes a fad. I am almost fully persuaded that a reasonable news paper editor can find inestimable value in publishing a piece of this kind. Brian, you have my vote man!