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International Study Abroad Language Workshop

African language and culture workshop

The International Studies Abroad once again invited UBuntu Bridge to do our fun African language and culture workshop for their students. We were delighted 🙂

About ISA

Since 1987, International Studies Abroad (ISA) has provided college students the opportunity to explore the world. ISA’s mission is to provide high-quality education abroad opportunities to U.S. and Canadian university students at an affordable price. ISA offers students a wide range of academic settings, campus cultures and extracurricular options through an established network of reputable host institutions.

In addition to language courses, ISA provides on-site tutoring at select sites and the option to add an Intensive Month program prior to semester or summer programs to accelerate language acquisition. Students are also encouraged to adhere to the ISA Office Language Pledge by promising to only speak the host country language when interacting with staff and fellow students.

UBuntu Bridge’s role

ISA invited us for the third time around to come and facilitate the African language and culture workshop at their Cape Town offices in South Africa. This two and a half hour workshop gives an insight in a fun as well effective way to the Xhosa culture, the origin of the Xhosa people followed by teaching basics of the Xhosa language. Our aim really is to ready them for their first ever conversation in Xhosa, getting them confortable and confident with being able to know how to greet, introduce themselves and know the Xhosa clicks.

The clicks 

By this we hope the experience will open their minds and help build sustainable relationships that they could potentially have with the locals. We believe the best way to learn about a country and its people is through learning their language. And being in South Africa with eleven official languages one might think it’s too much but what we always advise people is to learn the language that’s being spoken where they are in South Africa.


The beauty of being in Cape Town and learning Xhosa is that once people start speaking Zulu, Swati, Ndebele you will recognize similar words to Xhosa and might even be able to understand and find it easy to learn those languages.  It’s a good challenge that if you take on you stand the chance of having a fulfilling, raw and beautiful experience of being in South Africa and its people.

Ibhasi & Umxhentso 


Feel free to contact us if you would like more information about our workshops!!

Shap Shap
Shap Shap
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UBuntu Bridge Dance Workshops at the Festival of Trees and eco week in Hogsback 2017!

The Hogsback Festival of Trees is a three day (22-24September 2017) eco friendly Festival that began in 2013 where hundreds of people gather to plant thousands of trees and grow more enchanted forests in the Amathole Mountains. The festival is hosted by Terra-Khaya “Earth Home Project” partnering with Greenpop to host the tree planting day.

The Festival of Trees opened on Friday night with a beautiful and moving Ceremony by Xhosa Traditional Healers.  Craig Charnock, founder of UBuntu Bridge, was invited to do the opening context for the ceremony, as well as do a motivational talk on his journey of bridging, building communities through language learning and teaching, much like his Ted Talk.  He spoke about the opportunity of being in Hogsback at the Amathole Mountains as a great chance for people to learn the local, indigenous language, when in indigenous lands and surrounded by the indigenous people.  Understanding our diversity and being part of a multicultural worldview is a gift that we should all take advantage of.

Afro Dance Workshop

On Saturday afternoon after we planted about 3000 trees people had the opportunity to celebrate by participate in our fun Afro Dance Workshop. We pride ourselves for making people have the most fun by learning the basics of Ibhasi also known as electric slide and Umxhentso (traditional Xhosa dance) to South African music.

Ibhasi is one of those dances that everyone should know, it’s a dance for everyone by everyone, together. It is normally enjoyed by both kids and adults sometimes its done at weddings, staff party, celebration etc. We teach Ibhasi because people learn to move together as a community, we learn from each other and sometimes you feel like a fool for getting a step wrong but as we have seen on many occasions people move on and continue dancing anyway (and that’s the fun part).  Much like learning a new language and getting the support you need to keep going.

Umxhentso is traditional Xhosa dance it’s performed as a way to connect and communicate with your ancestors. This dance gives you a sense of connection to the rhythm of Africa. It energizes you, a good workout for your legs and its really great fun!

Eco Week  daily Xhosa classes 25-29 September 2017

UBuntu Bridge was also invited to be part of this great initiative, where we offered isiXhosa daily classes for an hour.  The classes were affordable, fun and inspiring, and covered our materials in a more creative and advanced way.  In addition we would would like to encourage more people to take this opportunity next year at the Festival of Trees in Hogsback to stay for the eco week and join the amazing workshops offered. It was great joy to be able to teach in a beautiful environment with a stunning view from Terra- Khaya. We hope to see you next year in our daily Xhosa classes.

Image By Dana
Teaching greetings Image By Dana

About Terra Khaya

Off the beaten track, off the grid and off the hook, Terra-Khaya is a vibrant mountain-top sanctuary high in the hills of Hogsback. A warm welcome awaits wild wanderers, families and conscious explorers in our creative and comfy eco-lodge; built from nature, recycled materials and passion. Enjoy good times & healthy cooking in our permaculture paradise – run on renewable energy and vibrant community spirit.



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The Heritage Day #SALanguageChallenge2017

#SALanguageChallenge Heritage Day 2017

Language has often divided people and language also has the potential of bringing us together.  Let’s celebrate our heritage by taking an action that empowers us and others at the same time!

We have put together this fun and motivating video and campaign in hope that we inspire you to join the challenge and learn a few phrases from a South African language of your choice.


STEP 1 Get a friend who speaks the language you want to learn then learn to say – My name is [insert name] + three phrases from that language.

STEP 2 Take a duo-selfie of you and your “friend” saying your 3 phrases.

 STEP 3 Post your video to our Facebook page: TheSouthAfricanLanguageChallenge or Tweet us our twitter handle is @UBuntuBridge

 Be sure to include the following hashtags




The language you are learning #IsiXhosa/ #IsiZulu #Afrikaans #SeSotho #SeTswana #Venda #Xitsonga #Seswati #English

FINALLY Tag/Challenge ten of your friends to do the same thing

FACEBOOK:  The South African Language Challenge – Heritage Day 2017


We will add to these with time, and our priority is to get you learning with others, asking each other for help.

But obviously when it comes to isiXhosa we have a Free online video course.  Subscribe here:


This a start/ build up to our big campaign in December 16 Reconciliation Day. Take part. Be part. Show you are bringing South Africa together.

All language companies and people interested in promoting language, we will be looking to partner with you.  Please let us know if keen to be involved and we will make contact in October!

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UBuntu Bridges’s New Beaded Bracelet Certification


We are excited to announce that our UB Certifi-Beads are finally here!

Level 1 & Level 2 (with the colour orange)
Level 1 & Level 2 (with the colour orange)

Certifi-Beads are our new visual form of beaded bracelet certification that motivate and inspire learning and speaking after a course.

Those who pass our assessments will receive a PDF or printed certificate as usual, but who needs a printed certificate for language proficiency? Language is forgotten if not used regularly!

IMG_5389 (1)
Recognise other students or language tutors

So for those who get an in-course specified %, will receive a beaded bracelet.By giving you the Certifi-Beads we congratulate you in style for being committed and dedicated in taking the first and most important step to learning the isiXhosa language.

To always remind you 🙂

Certifi-Beads are something you can take with you. And be able to recognize and connect with other fellow UBuntu Bridge Xhosa students and hopefully speak to each other. But most importantly we want them to function as a visual reminder to be proud of yourself, to encourage you to continue learning isiXhosa and speak with Xhosa speaking people around you.

It can also help you identify other learners, or mother tongue speakers in the organization you work (if they have volunteered as part of the “include-your-colleagues” learning option, in which we give a brief coaching workshop to mother-tongue colleagues who can then continue to support your language learning as an informal conversation coach, and making the language learning process part of the organizational culture).

Learning local languages is such a beautiful journey especially when done as an organization, community, group or society. Receiving support from UB and offering support to your fellow learning mates is essential.

UBuntu Bridge is always seeking effective, fun and creative ways to make African language learning something you want to keep doing for the rest of your life. Living in South Africa it is crucial that you are able to speak a local language. It is the most simple yet effective way of showing that you want to be part of the new South Africa; that you are taking a step to bettering communication with your fellow South Africans; that you understand that learning an African language is a way of bridging gaps that still continue to separate us in South Africa.

Made with love by hands appreciating your efforts of learning IsiXhosa.
Made with love by hands appreciating your efforts of learning IsiXhosa.

Let us know what you think and we are always open to new suggesting to make language learning easy for you.

Indlela nhle.

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Achievement Awards isiXhosa Course Complete

What keeps UBuntu Bridge somewhat afloat amidst our unfunded work in community development and reconciliation is the occasional opportunity to teach corporate clients.  We offer excellent corporate language training, courses, materials and team-building workshops to help adult learners in a corporate or organizational context become comfortable and confident in everyday conversations with their Xhosa speaking colleagues.

Below is an image of our latest group from Achievement Awards Group.  We are happy to announce their completion of our level 1 & 2 Confident isiXhosa Courses. Its always a beautiful journey to come to a space and teach people who are willing to learn and enthusiastic about starting to speak isiXhosa. The images can do the talking. 





These guys were absolutely amazing and a joy to teach.  Thank you Achievement Awards Group for having us and learning with us.

Our lessons are fun and engaging and perfectly suited to the needs of adult, employed learners, with the materials and the structure giving learners a number of opportunities to catch up if they miss a lesson.

If you would like us to come to your working space, please send us an email on or for any other enquires.

Siyabulela / We are grateful!

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Promoting multilingualism and diversity awareness for a better future at Ikamva Youth in Atlantis

Language Diversity & Reconciliation Workshop

On the 29th of October 2016 UBuntu Bridge was invited by IKamva Youth Atlantis Branch to run a team-building/confidence-boosting workshop with the theme of language and diversity awareness.

We needed to bridge language gaps in a fun and effective way that united the learners with the tutors on a common goal, which is to fulfill IKamva’s mandate:  IKamva supports school learners by connecting them with tutors from tertiary level education for them to ultimately access tertiary education and/or employment opportunities once they matriculate!

This 3 hour interactive workshop was held in Atlantis at one of the High schools in which IKamva Youth works.

The importance of language
Makhosi engaging with the kids on issues of language separation and diversity!

The importance of language

We had about 90 learners from different backgrounds who spoke the 3 main languages we have here in the Western Cape which are IsiXhosa, Afrikaans and English.  The main theme being the critical role of languages in South Africa, especially in secondary schools between the students and the tutors, and especially along cultural and linguistic and how it can impact on a learners education if they don’t have the right attitude that will see them through to tertiary and beyond.

Learn from each other

Our message was to make these learners understand the value of a number of different aspects relating to language:

1.  The importance of honouring and respecting their own languages, as pride in cultural and linguistic identity are important for confidence and self-esteem.  To actively demonstrate this, all the most important elements of what we taught during the container-building first hour of the workshop were done trilingually.

2.  The importance of learning each other’s languages (even if just conversational basics) as well as respecting and include (rather than exclude) those who speak languages different from their own.  After using experiential processes to reveal the common struggles they have around language, identity and confidence, as well as their concealed interests to learn each other’s languages, we introduced ways to teach each other their own languages, empowering them with tools to bridge gaps, whilst building their own skills.  We would like to expand this further, empowering them with teaching and language skills.

3.  The importance of learning and speaking English, which is obvious but still faces resistance, so more importantly, expanding their awareness, and empathy for each other through the workshop processes.  And thus helping them see the importance of supporting each other to gain confidence and proficiency in English through practice and encouragement, rather than shaming each other into shyness and silence.

English is needed nowadays to secure them a less challenging life once they reach tertiary level of their education. Language cannot be a barrier or burden to the education of our children whose mother tongue is not English, and for them to overcome the challenge of learning a language as complex and inconsistent as English, they need to not have additional barriers such as peer humiliation, shaming, or other internal resistances due to socio-economic and historical (apartheid) factors.

Because English is the language we are able to communicate in to understand people from all around the world and it is the business language in South Africa, but aware of our history and its legacy, it was important for these learners to know this:  their home language and those of others are still important.

We had great fun with the participants!  UBuntu Bridge’s facilitation and interventions are part of our professional and social mission to promote balanced transformation, multi-cultural and multi-lingual fluency, for a more united and prosperous South Africa!

Diversity awareness discussions
Diversity awareness discussions


About iKamva Youth

Ikamva Youth equips learners from disadvantaged communities with the knowledge, skills, networks and resources to access tertiary education and/or employment opportunities once they matriculate. IkamvaYouth aims to increase the collective skill level of the population, to grow the national knowledge base, and to replicate success in more communities. A non-profit organisation (established in 2003 and formally registered in 2004) with branches in five provinces in South Africa, IkamvaYouth currently operates in the Western Cape, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, North West and the Eastern Cape.

Thank you Ikamva Youth for having us be part of your community in Atlantis.

Click to this link to watch a 20 sec video on the day- UBuntu Bridge with learners at IKamva Youth Atlantis

“Nelson Mandela once said; ‘without language, one cannot talk to people and understand them; one cannot share their hopes and aspirations…’ We were glad that UBuntu Bridge could come and promote unity through language so that we can intensify the unity in realising the hopes and aspirations for the learners of the IkamvaYouth Atlantis branch. It has been refreshing to experience the change in perspective and thus making it a joy to watch more meaningful interaction at the branch. “ – Yanga Totyi, Atlantis Branch Coordinator

“There should definitely be more workshops such as this one held by Ubuntu Bridge at IkamvaYouth Atlantis. Learners or rather individuals need to broaden their perspectives on languages and different cultures. We can be so oblivious to language dynamics and it’s eye opening to see that you are not the only person who has a certain set of views about the difference in languages and cultures, especially considering the history and landscape of our country.” – Chante Van Der Merwe, Atlantis Tutor


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LOKOH Laaties with UB inspiring our kids to grow up tri-lingual


On the 30th July 2016 Quite A white Ou with UBuntu Bridge were invited by LOKOH to be part of their very first LOKOH Laaities experience as volunteer facilitators.  This was an event for kids (with their parents) from all different backgrounds to engage them in all sort of fun stuff including laughing yoga, story telling, gardening, face painting, drawing and learning about the importance of different languages we have in South Africa but most importantly the ones we have here in the Western Cape.

Lokoh 1pg
Preparing for some YOGA!!

Our main goal  as UBuntu Bridge was to ensure that the kids are inspired to grow up tri-lingual. We taught the kids (all under the age of 13) the different clicks we have in the Xhosa language.

Makhosi teaching the kids how to click!

It was great to see how easy the kids were able to adapt to the clicks sounds and in no time everyone was able to do the X, C and Q clicks, which are the three clicks found in isiXhosa and isiZulu.

Learning to say “thank you” in many languages!

We taught them how to introduce themselves in Xhosa, it was great fun to see these young ones having fun whilst learning this beautiful language.

The event was entertaining and educational the kids had fun.  It was indeed the ultimate family gathering were adults learned from the kids on how to let go and be open to learning new things with people they didn’t know at all.

Founded the year 2015 December LOKOH is a Lifestyle Brand providing a platform, network & community inspiring change, connection & empowerment on an individual and collective level.
They believe that regardless of age, experience or background, we must unite as one.  -“Like our vibe, join our tribe”

We had so much fun and if you would like to know more events that LOKOH has, be sure to check out their facebook page LOKOH 

Getting some help with our improvised poster for the day!!
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UBuntu Bridge partners with Dine with Khayelitsha

Dine night hangout
A Dine group gathered outside in warmer times!

As part of community development UBuntu Bridge has for a while been in partnership with Dine with Khayelitsha, which usually takes place the first Friday of every month. On the 15th July 2016 Dine will be hosting a slight different one called Dine with Khayelitsha-Mandela Day Dinner.  There will be discussions about how far South Africa has come as well as finding ways of moving forward as one.

Latest Dine with Khayelitsha – Mandela Day 2016

Special Edition – Mandela Day – Click for the event page!

Special Edition - Mandela Day - Click for the event page!

As our late Madiba said ”If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart”.

UBuntu Bridge lives by the words uttered by Mandela years ago and in honor and respect of his legacy which was to reconcile, one of the ways we can do that is by learning each others languages and cultures. 

Dine Athi
A Dine group enjoying Stellar Organics wine, home-cooked meals from KUBU Cuisine and heart conversation!

As part of the Dine With Khayelitsha on this day (15th July 2016) we seeks to be a bridge through language learning, cultural discussions and to make the experience of the diners one that’s authentic, exciting and educational. We believe that it is important that when you go to any township in order for you to fully enjoy the experience and understand the lifestyle you need to understand the language that people speak or at least know the basics.

With that being said on the 15th July we will be providing basic learning tips and some printed essential of the Xhosa language.  As isiXhosa is the dominant language in Khayelitsha, the diners will get the chance to learn the different clicks, pronunciations, greetings and introductions. 

Dine Big Issue
The Big issue did an article thanks to Claire Van den Heever

 More about Dine with Khayelitsha…..

The Dine with Khayelitsha project came to light as a result of a group of young minds, who saw an opportunity to change the world by starting an NPO called Have Fun. The Dine with Khayelitsha initiative sees people from all corners of the globe, coming together to enjoy what is described as a ‘purposefully awesome experience in the township. Part of their purpose is to break down race boundaries in order to better understand elements of life from a township perspective.

Township taxi
Taxis bundle people from the Library near Grand Parade to Khayelitsha


Dine 2
Gathering before breaking into groups!

Overall this is a space where the young and the old learn from each other about our different cultures, languages, and how we all relate somewhere or somehow in our lives. Dine With Khayelitshas goal is to bring people from all walks of life in Khayelitsha and share a meal while taking about some of the barriers we have around townships. It’s an experience for one personal growth and to broaden ones horizons and lastly to better understand the township life without any judgments.

As UBuntu Bridge we are in full support of this great initiative and we will continue teaching indigenous languages especially if we continue to have or hold spaces where we share knowledge around indigenous people and their languages, privilege and what to do with it. Come and celebarte the life of Madiba and be part of the change he wanted for this country.

Good food, good company with language learning. More details on how you can book your seat please click here Dine with Khayelitsha-Mandela Day Dinner

Dine 4
Sive and some visiting clowns


Dine 3
Mpesheni and some of his group


Dine nightlife
Dine Nightlife Gathering


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UBuntu Bridge at Somerset House Primary school inspiring young minds

UBuntu Bridge and Quite A White Ou were invited by Brenda Skelenge and Nina Wessels to Somerset House primary School on Tuesday the 21st of June 2016 to speak to the learners on the importance of learning Xhosa and other indigenous languages.

Makhosi sharing stories!

Watch some video snippets here:

Craig ‘Makhosi’ Charnock, the founder of UBuntu Bridge was the speaker for the day emphasizing that when learning isiXhosa, it opens doors to understanding isiZulu and other languages.  isiZulu being the most spoken mother-tongue language in South Africa.  How that creates opportunities for one not only to be able to engage with indigenous people but also opens your mind to learning about the different cultures we have in South Africa. Part of the talk was showcasing Quite A White Ou’s first music video track titled ‘Ndingumlungu’, which has more than 112 000 hits on YouTube.

We got the opportunity to teach the African handshake and the value of it when you are greeting people of any color as a sign respect to them. While the other learners sat and observed as Makhosi had two learners to demonstrate how its done, a few minutes later everyone had the opportunity to try the African handshake.  It was fun, interactive and the kids very much enjoyed it.

Teaching the African handshake!
Teaching the African handshake!

A few dances to the sounds of Mariam Makeba on the most popular song ‘igqiirha lendlela’ also known as ‘The click song’ were shared after teaching the kids the three clicking sounds of the Xhosa language, as represented by the letters Q, C, X.

Ma Brenda, Lee and Makhosi kickstarting Igqirha Lendlela (The Click Song)!

It was interesting to see how the kids had questions such as – if it was really him singing as though it was unbelievable that a white guy from Cape Town can speak Xhosa.  And this is important for us at UBuntu Bridge to remind people that if people who identify as black can speak English, then other white people (as classified by apartheid) should also make the afford of learning the basics or more of indigenous languages especially if that language is spoken by the vast majority of the people who are dominating in that county. The message with was that it is crucial that parents/adults to lead by example by learning these languages and encouraging our kids to speak indigenous languages (if possible) at home, school and making sure that their fellow black friends never feel ashamed of speaking their mother tongue (which happens especially in white dominating spaces where English happens to be their first language).  This was a great initiative by the Somerset House Primary School and we are happy to be part of such revolution.

Makhosi shared his story on how sad he was that he only realized later in his life the importance of speaking an indigenous language in South Africa and therefore was a bit harder for him to learn. However being at the school on this day gave him hope on the future of this county pertaining the next generation being able to speak Xhosa from a young age.

It was great fun and inspiring to be with such lovely and enthusiastic learners.  Siyabulela!


Makhosi fielding insightful questions from the inquisitive youngsters!
Meet Lee and hear his story! Click the image!
Kids practicing greetings and “the elbow touch”!
Some requested a hands-on handshake demo!
Queue’s for autographs and marriage proposals
Makhosi stumped by “Were you allowed on the railway tracks?”


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Somerset House’s Star Xhosa Pupil loving learning isiXhosa

Meet Lee!

At Somerset House Primary School when we were invited to do a talk (see full story here) on the importance of learning indigenous languages. And that’s where we met the amazing Lee.

A while back Quite A White Ou received a beautiful inspiring video of Lee singing one of his tracks ‘Ndingumlungu’, we met Lee at the school and it was such an amazing interaction between Lee and Quite A White Ou as they both were happy to finally met each other.

Watch his video below:

This was eye opening for us to meet this young man as it shows that we are making progress and that more and more young people in South Africa are interested in learning Xhosa and other indigenous languages. Meeting Lee is an encouragement to keep teaching and spreading the word on learning each others languages as well as our cultures.

Makhosi and Lee lead the hall in dancing to the click song
Makhosi and Lee lead the hall in dancing to the click song
High Fives!
High Fives!
Makhosi and Lee pull the secret Mlungu Handsign (oops, now it’s no longer a secret!)