Members of the northern Natal tribes of South Africa have a beautiful tradition. When a member of the tribe does something harmful and wrong, they take that person to the center of the village and the whole tribe surrounds him. For two days, they tell that person all good things he has done to each one of them.
The tribe believes that every human being comes into the world as a good being, and in the pursuit of happiness, love, peace and security people make mistakes. The tribe sees those mistakes as a scream for help. They unite to lift that person and to reconnect him to his true nature, which he had been temporarily disconnected.
The members greet each other by saying “Sawabona” which literally means “I see you” as a way to say “I respect you, I value you, you are important to me”. In response people say “Sikhona” which means “I am here” as to say “Then I exist for you”.
This tradition acknowledges the connection that we share as human beings and our gratitude to one another by “Until you see me, I do not exist” and “When you see me, you bring me into existence”.
This inspiring story from the African tradition has inspired each one of our Sawabona Association leaders to work together emphasizing teamwork and collaboration to our world and each existent individual. We believe on humanity through recognition of one another in each other’s uniqueness and differences.