The 7th Annual Africa Ubuntu Run took place this past weekend. This prestigious event takes place every year on the last Sunday of January.
The term “Ubuntu” is formally defined as: a quality that includes essential human virtues of compassion and humanity. In layman’s terms, from isiXhosa it is translated as “I am because we are”. It is a term that embraces humanity towards others, encompassing solidarity and unity amongst all peoples irrespective of race, gender, age or religion.
This is brought full circle by the Africa Ubuntu Run. It is a mass multinational celebration of brotherhood, respect, honour, and racial and cultural diversity amongst the many biking communities. Over the years this grand event has garnered support and popularity from not only the bikers, but also with motorcycling agencies, associations, brands, clubs, non-organized biking affiliates and governmental agencies coming on board and contributing to the success of this annual event.
With this event taking place not only across the 9 South African provinces, but the Ubuntu run has also attracted participating countries (over 10 and counting) from as near as Swaziland, Mozambique, Lesotho and as far as Nigeria, Morocco and Egypt.
Having woken up Sunday morning with clear blue skies above, I headed off to Bikers Warehouse in Randburg which served as a meet-up point for the Gauteng riders. I was accompanied by the sleek 2022 Suzuki Katana in the new darker-toned metallic matte stellar blue. A fitting riding companion, swift and easily manoeuvrable through the City of Tshwane and maintaining a comfortable highway cruising speed with minimal wind drag.
The call-out was 08:00 for 09:00, supplying enough time for the arrival of bikers from all over the province. The bikers most certainly did not disappoint, arriving in numbers. Out came the sports bikes, superbikes, cruisers, adventure bikes and the odd scooter here and there, not forgetting the plethora of riding clubs making their grand entrances, most notably the M109R club.
In the true “spirit of Ubuntu”, it was beautiful witnessing first-hand the unity and sheer cultural diversity present. The young and the mature. The vastly experienced and the new riders. Everyone present personified the “spirit of Ubuntu”. Smiles and laughter, cheers and greetings, revs and nods, waves and winks made up the gloves we all wore.
After an important safety briefing, the marshals and the Traffic Police Department departed ahead of those gathered, to ensure safe passage from Biker’s Warehouse right up to Slotjhile Pub and Shisanyama in Tembisa.
With the necessary addresses having been made, in minutes, legs were swung over and engines ignited. The Katana came to life at a touch, thanks to Suzuki’s Easy Start System. It was time to hit the open road. There’s nothing like a highway “shutdown” with various bikes to your left and right, this was certainly a spectacle for the patient on-lookers waving from the seats of their cars and those capturing the occasion on their smartphones. How ironic, even the non-riding spectators ended up uniting, in celebration of the Africa Ubuntu Run.
Upon arrival at Slotjhile Pub and Shisanyama, there could not have been a better location to house an occasion of this magnitude. A beautiful venue, with ample parking space and a calming dam situated just a few metres away.
As we embraced some downtime after an exceptionally well-guided ride from the meet-up point. We tuned in, to the present speakers. I had a quick word with two members of the National Gauteng organising committee.
“As this was the 7th Annual Africa Ubuntu Run, we have had an amazingly positive response from not only the bikers, but mainly the sponsors, stakeholders, biking councils, and other partnering entities. A special thanks to Bikers Warehouse and Honda for their crucial organisational involvement in this year’s event. Additionally, an extended word of thanks to the Gauteng Department of Community Safety and the National Traffic Police. It has been a successful event and turnout, we hope to continue to grow and not only maintain current relationships with stakeholders but to build further connections to scale this event even further, with a vision to have even more bikers come together.” – Mathule Motswiane (Thules)
“The main agenda and objective of this event was not only observed but also realised. Next year, we certainly aim to go bigger and better than before. With earlier marketing strategies implemented, we will reach our desired goal of increased social cohesion amongst even more bikers than we have had in the past. We graciously thank our organisers, riding and Traffic Department marshals, the Gauteng Department of Community Safety and all our stakeholders for consistently playing their part in the successful annual run of this event. Last but not least, a big thank you to Slotjhile Pub and Shisanyama for hosting us.” – Thato Makgari (Voodoo)
All in all, from start to finish, it was a well-run, well-organised and successful 7th Annual Africa Ubuntu Run. They say, “Four wheels move the body, Two wheels move the soul.” I guess, it’s not a coincidence that it is termed the “spirit of Ubuntu”. As bikers, we are connected and unified deeper than what the average person will ever understand or comprehend. Let the “spirit of Ubuntu” not only stem from us, but continue to reside in us.