Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela explained uBuntu as follows;

"A traveller through a country would stop at a village and he didn't have to ask for food or for water. Once he stops, the people give him food, entertain him. That is one aspect of uBuntu but it will have various aspects. uBuntu does not mean that people should not address themselves. The question therefore is: Are you going to do so in order to enable the community around you to be able to improve?"

                                                                    

An attempt at a longer definition has been made by Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu:

"A person with uBuntu is open and available to others, affirming of others, does not feel threatened that others are able and good, for he or she has a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that he or she belongs in a greater whole and is diminished when others are humiliated or diminished, when others are tortured or oppressed."