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International Human Rights Day sees the launch of “Ubuntu in the Age of Human Rights”

International Human Rights Day sees the launch of “Ubuntu in the Age of Human Rights”

By Freeman Ya Ngulu.

Prominent Namibian scholar, Dr Ndjodi Ndeunyema, a qualified Solicitor practising in England & Wales, attended the launch at Inner Temple in London on 10 December of the publication, “Ubuntu in the Age of Human Rights,” a publication to which he contributed a chapter. The launch was chaired by Lord Justice Dingemans of the United Kingdom Court of Appeal.

In the ethos of Ubuntu, the publication was brought into being by community. “I am most excited by the contribution of Dr Brewsters Caiphas Soyapi on ‘Ubuntu and Climate Justice’, Ndeunyema said.

Key speaker, Dame Victoria Sharp, captured the Ubuntu ecosophy saying “I am because we are; we are because they were; they will be because we were”, thus speaking to the concept’s intergenerational commitment.

Professor PLO Lumumba captured the eclectic manifestations of Ubuntu (Utu in Swahili) across African communities in his chapter, while Ndeuyema’s chapter written in his personal capacity focused on the value of Ubuntu in water access. “It seeks to cross-pollinate through Ubuntu, an age-old idea in this new age. It was a pleasure to exchange with Justices Hungwe and Ntaba of Zimbabwe and Malawi,” Ndeunyema said.

Prior to transitioning to legal practice, Ndeunyema was a Modern Law Review Early Career Research Fellow at Oxford University in 2020-2021 which saw him publish his book, ‘Re-Invigorating Ubuntu Through Water: A Human Right to Water under the Namibian Constitution’ by Pretoria University Law Press in November 2021.

Academically, he holds a DPhil in Law from the University of Oxford, which was awarded the Dr Surya Subedi Prize for the best law doctoral thesis submitted at the Oxford University Law Faculty in 2019-2020.

He also completed the MPhil in Law (Research), the BCL, and the MSc in Criminology & Criminal Justice, also at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar. His undergraduate LLB and B.Juris are from the University of Namibia.

This publication ironically questions Lord Denning’s assumptions about British Common Law in Africa as we assert Ubuntu’s potential to ‘trespass’ geographically and be transplanted beyond the African soil. “Time will tell if we are vindicated, but it’s satisfying that Ubuntu is arousing the intellectual curiosity of many more, especially as we endeavour to face the myriad of human challenges of this age – and certainly beyond,” stated Dr Ndeunyema.

The publication is available open access, with gratitude to Protimos, an organisation that supports economic growth in Sub-Sahara Africa by promoting the rule of law.


About The Author

Freeman Ya Ngulu

Freeman Ngulu is an investigtor, an author and a keen entrepreneur. His speciality is data journalism for which he loves to dig deep into topics often ignored by mainstream reporting. He tweets @hobameteorite.