Have you ever wondered what it would feel like to have a society, where people strive for a bond so unique, that it overcomes prejudices and barriers?
We, in the African-Slovak Union, are convinced that such a vision can be made real if we really try. Thus, an idea for a new project was born – the UBUNTU project.
UBUNTU, a term that is known in many African languages, could be translated as a spirit of togetherness, brotherhood, of solidarity between people – one that allows them to share many aspects of their lives in order to grow closer.
It is a beautiful linguistic display of how people can be brought together and that is exactly what we aim for.
Kicking it off with the UBUNTU Summer 2022 BBQ event, our plan is to organize various activities throughout the year, creating a space where people of African descent, foreigners, and locals are able to meet. It’s a possibility to get to know each other, get acquainted with different cultures, and share our stories, celebrating our differences and similarities at the same time. The theme we have chosen is “Let’s Build Together” as our goal is to build an open, multicultural society in our country and we cannot wait to see the outcome.
The first event which took place in the framework of this project was the UBUNTU Summer 2022 BBQ. The BBQ gathering which occurred at Zelezna Studnicka on the 6th of August was a huge success with over 100 people from all over the world taking part.
If you were passing by the beautiful surroundings of the Železná Studnička forest after 1 p.m., you could breathe in the wonderful smell of grilled meat and hear the laughter of an ever-growing group of Kenyans, Cameroonians, Nigerians, Slovaks, Indians, and many more as they chatted together, enjoying each other’s company. Everyone was welcome to join and get to know new people, dance to the irresistible rhythms of African music, provided by the talented DJ Kalinga, or taste delicious food prepared by the event-chef Peterson Njagi. Slovak, English, and French words blended in together as numerous conversations were taking place, sharing various experiences, opinions, and memories.
The gathering lasted until morning hours, providing a night full of new friendships, knowledge, dance moves, and an unforgettable feeling of belonging to an international community within our borders. As the photographs will surely testify, the concept of togetherness, UBUNTU, was fulfilled. The incredible moments spent at Železná Studnička opened the hearts of many, letting various communities intertwine.
Our plan is for the UBUNTU BBQ event to be organized annually, while different activities will be held during winter and the rest of the year. Encouraged by the overwhelmingly positive feedback we have received so far; we thank all those who took part in the UBUNTU premiere on Sunday. What is more, we would like to invite you, dear readers, to participate in the events to follow and support our effort to overcome the barriers in our society. It is our wish to introduce the spirit of togetherness to the everyday lives of people living in Slovakia. So, if you are interested in bringing out what’s the best in us, join us to make Slovakia more UBUNTU.
Written by Sofia Ontkovicova