South Africa is often referred to as the ‘Rainbow Nation’. This term was coined by Desmond
Tutu during the advent of democracy in the country. Tutu stated: ‘They tried to make us one
colour: purple. We say we are the rainbow people! We are the new people of the new South
Africa!’ This article seeks to answer the question as to whether the Rainbow Nation is a true
reflection of Ubuntu in South Africa or whether it is just idealism.
This article was written as
part of the research for a PhD
degree that was done under
supervision of Prof. Julian
C. Müller, Department of
Practical Theology, University
of Pretoria, South Africa.