In this article, I explore the concept of Ubuntu in a context of caregiving with the aim of
deconstructing the gendering of caregiving in a context of pastoral care. Using a qualitative
approach, this article draws from the empirical findings of primeval praxis of Ubuntu from a
study conducted on the KwaZulu-Natal chapter of South Africa’s National Research
Foundation (NRF) funded ‘Archaeology of Ubuntu’ project. Empirical findings were evaluated
through African women theology. Findings of this article highlight that Ubuntu in a context of
caregiving is not exclusively feminine because men also display strong tendencies of care in
African traditional communities. This suggests that pastoral care in an African context should
not be gendered because findings of the article confirm that the Zulu elders from KwaZulu-
Natal generally linked Ubuntu to communal care where men and women partnered in
extending caregiving to those in need.
INTRADISCIPLINARY AND/OR INTERDISCIPLINARY IMPLICATIONS : Although the article is written from
a socio-anthropological perspective, it integrates African traditional presumptions of gender
and care ethics that are significant in extending pastoral care by reviewing literature from
sociology, anthropology, gender, feminist studies, practical theology and systematic theology.
This research is part of the ‘Archaeology of Ubuntu’ study, which is a
southern African research project that was conducted in
Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, Swaziland, Zambia and
Zimbabwe and in the following provinces of South Africa –
Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga and
the North West during 2014–2016.