The most common greeting in the Zulu tribe is Sawubona. It literally means “I see you, you are important to me and I value you”. It’s a way to make the other person visible and to accept them as they are with their virtues, nuances, and flaws. In response to this greeting, people usually say with “Shiboka”, which means “I exist for you”.
Natal was one of the four original provinces of South Africa. It included the Bantustan of KwaZulu, or the land of the Zulus. Most people know about it due to its famous war with Britain at the end of the 19th century. However, sometimes history books camouflage or hide things. They can relegate or disregard our cultural, human, and philosophical legacies. This is a shame, as the African culture is so fascinating.
Sawubona: All my attention is with you. I see you and I allow myself to discover your needs, to see your fears, to identify your mistakes and accept them. I accept you for what you are and you are part of me.
The longer I live, the more deeply I learn that love — whether we call it friendship or family or romance — is the work of mirroring and magnifying each other’s light.
∆ James Baldwin, Nothing Personal