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AmaHippies nama-Eco-Villages

To all the excellent friends and family i know well and count myself part of, who wish to live off-grid, to be closer to nature, to find that idyllic peace of land and cultivate an alternative and conscious way of living, where people and planet come before or at least equal to profit.

To creating a place for adequately raising and educating our children in joy and health in these unsettling times of uncertainty, corruption, overwhelm and despair, I dedicate these outrageous thoughts, philosophies and experimentations in social visioning. ????

I offer this with love and appreciation for the intentions, and good-hearted ness of all contributions so far in this movement, over generations.  But I must simply speak directly and with clarity for due and urgent consideration, given the nature of these times.

Are we all on the complete wrong track, an old model tried many times by many different very conscious people of privilege, over the last years?

With regards to off-grid eco-villages, what if the solution is not to separate further and to isolate ourselves, but to pro-actively engage communities from the majority peoples of this land? 

What if there is a solution to creating alternative community that takes this below video as a part of the spectrum of possible ways forward? It is by no means the solution itself but perhaps it hints at what is possible if there was a will.

Perhaps a next step lies in something inbetween this and what so many groups keep discussing?

As the curator of this experience of language learning, cultural reconciliation and conscious, sensitive rural development (YhoXhosa – (yoga and Xhosa learning) – as we call it, although it is a newer model of the old UBuntu Bridge Village Experiences I used to run in the late 2000’s), I am the first to point out the many problems, shortcomings, restrictions, challenges and outright impractical idealism of the grander idea (some kind of collective re-ruralising), and its practical manifestation the last two years (Dec 2019 and 2020, the third being this December 2021).

But is there something to this that addresses the longer term issues of cultural and social disharmony that awaits our children, even if our generation manages to navigate and accept this period of comfortably distanced quasi-compassion or convenient resignation to the indisputable stats of inequality and unemployment that are so wonderfully easy to blame on a government corrupted by the very economic system that created this situation and indeed built the foundations of our privileges (and resultant sufferings)?

Philosophical debates and personal opinions aside, our children will be dealing with what we ignore or spend energy only debating.

Is collecting and spending many millions of rand on land, and thus investing in the exact same system of ownership in a colonised country, social divisions (except for convenient labour) and inequality really an awakened or wise solution?  

I don’t even care about ‘ethics’ or ‘morality’, what about the ‘practicalities’ beyond the next decade?  How long can little hippie bubbles last?  For us fine, maybe, but for our kids…? 

Could we not take a collective pooling of resources and invest in a way of living in harmony with indigenous people’s that does not require private (even if “communal”) ownership, in the garden route?
Can we not forge new relationships and ways of being in this land and on this planet and co-create an extraordinary solution that really paves the way?
My lord, what would it even look like?  How would we avoid the pitfalls of cultural arrogance and unconscious beliefs in blanket superiority (i.e. racism)?  Which communities or people would be open or willing to experiment?  How can we trust peoples we approach? How do we build trust and how long will it take? How do we avoid the contrivances and discomforts? How do we guarantee safety and security, (as if anything can actually do that)? How would we manage all the ego’s involved, all the soft, self-centred, set-in-their-comfortable-way souls, like me?  

Eish, I think I have convinced myself not to get involved or dare to believe in such audacious and irresponsible thinking, but I still I wish to contribute this one ingredient and potentiality to the cosmic pots being here brewed and visioned by this community of awakening shamans and light beings.

Let us dream big, aim high, fail grandly and die at peace with our hearts. Indeed, if ever there was a time to do so.

Or keep clinging and running.

Blessings, OneLove and Camagu

Craig Makhosi
Errant Social Entrepreneur, ridiculously funny and effective teacher, mediocre leader and amateur drama-queen.



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How you(r children) learn Xhosa?

Many people ask me for advice on how their children can learn Xhosa and can I teach them or provide materials.  

I know many people, and Im talking about non-Xhosa people, who have learnt Xhosa as their first language when children or did it for AGES at school, but now can’t speak much at all.

 Languages are complex codes that take a lot of our brain computer’s RAM, but our brain’s are wired to learn them, and CAN learn them easily….

We just need the right factors in place.


So what can help your kids learn and retain?


Of course exposure to the language when young is important.  Any people, songs, movies, theatre they can watch when young will introduce their young brains to this other code and plant a seed of awareness at least, and hopefully of importance as they become aware how many people they share land with speak that language.


Children and adults alike will learn languages quickly, as mentioned, when they need to, when it is a priority.  The time languages are consistently a priority is when one is immersed in that language.  In our country of such diversity, it means spending a lot of time at a language-specific school, or in a township or rural village community.  Either studying in such a school, or volunteering or getting involved in community projects and businesses.  There is so much to learn in such spaces and the language and people skills developed become indispensable for the rest of one’s life. 

IMAGINE if instead of ‘national service’, our children spent either an exchange year in an “other” community, or a gap year volunteering or working in a community, immersed in another language to one they know.  We need this as a national project, and we needed it from 1994, or else 2022.


What children need are role-models.

I tried as QAWO (Quite a White Ou) and will continue to try further making videos, performing, talking at schools, as I have done these last 15 years, plus other ideas long dreamed and not yet hatched.

But the number 1 role model for children is their Parents and Teachers!  They will follow our examples, and learn from what we prioritise, in most things.  

So when adults ask me how they can get their children learning Xhosa or any vernac, I say to them:  Expose them to the language, immerse them in it, and most importantly, be a part of the process, expose and immerse yourself, learn and speak yourself, and demonstrate to them that you walk your talk, and that you have valid reasons for valuing this language.

So parents/teachers/adults, we can inspire our children to do the nation building and reconciliation work our nation needs by leading by example.  

Learning language in South Africa is part of the parcel of reconciliation, of combatting racism / prejudice / divisions and it is crucial for developing long lasting unity and prosperity. 

If we want to go far, then we must go together.  At UBuntu Bridge, we are striving to create a movement, a community of learners.

As founder and lead learner, I pledge to keep learning, teaching, creating, and doing what I can to inspire and motivate, and to make content accessible.

Yizani nifunde nathi! – Come learn with us!

Masifunde kunye! – Let’s learn together

Craig Makhosi – eKapa, on mission from 2003 – 2021

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Council of Wisdom – Process

A process for:

  • getting and giving support and advise as a community,
  • respecting and re-awakening the archetypal energies of the community elder and the counsellor
  • and rediscovering our inner sovereign

I write this in my personal capacity as a contribution and response to the Muizenberg Can Emotional Support aspect during the COVID lockdown March – June 2020. It is part two in a series, the first of which can be read here: My Story is Our Story


Also known as KING’S COURT, in the men’s work circles where I first encountered this process (2007-present), I re-write this as a gender-neutral process, having scoured the internet for any sign of an open source guide. Much respect to the Mankind Project (MKP), and although I believe MKP manuals are copyrighted, I believe this archetypal structure of wisdom, advice, counsel and feedback to be ancient and of universal heritage. I thus take liberty to re-write a version of this process for these difficult times. Inverted commas come from an uncredited document I received and saved somewhere over the years.


Any good leader has always been as strong and as wise as their counsellors and advisors. Each of us holds king or queen (regent) energy in our individual lives, perhaps not overtly in our family or community setting, but each of us ultimately has the power to make decisions for the good of our own internal realm, our inner kingdom, and outwardly our life. It is our right and our responsibility to discover and activate this personal power, if we feel we don’t have it at present. But even when we do, we still need support from others.


Our modern world has stripped us of a culture that effortlessly allows for wise counsel to be given to us by our elders, or even peers. We have no old men and women sitting under trees telling stories to the youth and giving counsel to the temporarily lost or confused. Perhaps it is just that they now sit under bridges and few are willing to listen to them, for often I do wonder if the wisest amongst us are the homeless, and the law keeps them away from the trees, parks, forests. No doubt that is a long and philosophical and complex discussion.


Because of this loss, it is imperative that we set about re-creating pockets of culture that are flexible and adaptable. Despite the connectivity, over-population and high density cityscapes of our modern world, so many of us feel alone, lonely or devoid of good mentorship, or even just good advice when we need it. Personally I have found wisdom and advice in the most unlikely and abundant of places, but one needs to have finely tuned senses and gift of balanced interpretation. Perhaps my thwasa training or meditation retreats have gifted me, but despite that, I regularly benefit and am deeply grateful for receiving guidance, or even just caring ears, from my peers, and elders.


You need to have a small group or community of people who are united in their desire to receive and give support to each other. Any good container (a space that holds and supports what happens inside it) generally needs a few universal principles to keep it safe and nurturing. Qualities that build trust and a sense of safety for the participants like:

  • honesty and transparency
  • confidentiality
  • non-judgment (compassion)
  • listening and patience
  • respect for each other and the process guidelines
  • accountability and taking responsibility

It’s hard to always be perfect, and mistakes are part of the process, but at least those form part of a conscious intention. There are process to support each of those, but this is not re-creating the wheel (The Mankind Project for men and Women for Afrika for women are two organisations I can recommend for anyone wanting to explore this work further)


Once you have your group and created your container of time, place, setting, intentions, values and guidelines, a brief introduction by the facilitator can be followed by this process:

Each person present checks in with feelings/emotions to ground themselves in the space. Depending on the time and number of people, either the time is divided equally between everyone, or people also state in their check-in if they are here to support/advise, or receive support/guidance/advise, or both. I have always found that I gain much from supporting others, their problems often resonate or echo with an issue in my life, as does the wisdom and advice that is given to them, sometimes my own advice to them, is just what I need to follow in my life, and just what I needed to hear.


Usually we would “re-form the circle into the shape of a horseshoe. Place an empty chair at the open end of the horseshoe”. That is the Regent’s Throne, or the Soveriegn’s Seat, whatever you want to call it, even just the Hotseat! The person requesting the Counsel takes the empty seat with their Court (everyone else) sitting in the horseshoe. Now in a Zoom session, this would just need to be held according to those parameters, such as listeners keeping their mics muted at first, and using speaker view.


The person spends approximately 5-7 minutes talking about a particular issue in their life that is challenging them at the moment and where they appears to be struggling, or have few options that they can see. This person needs to” be clear, direct, concise and rigorously truthful”.


The Court practices “Warrior Communication and Listening to Understand, with the understanding that they have permission to point out options, alternatives, and other considerations without having to fix the problem” for the person.

REPEAT: This is not to pass judgment, or solve the problem, it’s to give feedback and reflections, potential other angles or suggestions to consider!


The King/Queen will then ask each person in the Court, one at a time “What do you think?” or the facilitator, just delegates each person a chance to respond, and they may decline if nothing to say. Bear in mind that time is limited according to the group agreement and the number of people, so there may be just one minute per person giving feedback.


The facilitator can re-iterate this for people/counsellors, while people are still new to the process: “Each person will answer again clearly, concisely with his feedback for the Queen/King. Be honest, but with compassion, and without judgement. No fixing, or rescuing, just advise that feels true from your heart in that moment.

The person may have follow up questions for their advisor to seek more clarity, though remembering that this is not a discussion (unless time allows – the facilitator needs to be strict with this).

After each and every advisor has spoken, the Queen/King can give thanks, and absorb the feedback they have received.


  • Reminding everyone of the group agreements and guidelines for the container at the beginning and whenever needed.
  • Ensure that there is enough time for everyone who needed counsel, to receive it, and that everyone gets a chance to give feedback. So be strict with time, and stop people if they are explaining anything other than their exact issue, or their exact advise.
  • Nothing needs to be perfect, especially in the beginning. The process can be repeated many times and people will get the hang for it over time. But time and guideline boundaries must be respected by everyone, or the safety and sustainability of the container becomes threatened.


When everyone has had their turn or the agreed time has been reached, their should be time left for a check-out, where each person again shares their name, their feelings at that moment, and perhaps a short reflection of their experience, in a word or a short sentence or longer (time depending).

If no final points of admin, or urgent needs, the facilitator can thank everyone and end the gathering.

I very much hope this brings great support, comfort and advise to you and your group, family, community!

Craig Makhosi


For PDF version of this post, audio/podcasts that explores deeper, new writings and posts of this nature: SUBSCRIBE to “Recovering Culture”

Craig grew up in Cape Town and after training temporarily as a Sangoma in the early 2000’s, went on to found UBuntu Bridge, a social entrepreneurship building culutral, linguistic and spiritual bridges, primarily through teaching Xhosa. Besides running the organisation, and volunteering in men’s work circles, he produces edutaining content to inspire and empower people relating to living as more conscious, harmonious, healthy and happy beings.

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My Story is Our Story – Process

How to facilitate the “My Story” Process

A process for:

  • nurturing community through auto-biographical story-telling
  • developing listening skills, compassion, empathy
  • strengthening relationships
  • seeing ourselves in each other (a gateway to ubuntu)

I write this in my personal capacity as a contribution and response to the Muizenberg Can Emotional Support aspect during the COVID lockdown March – June 2020. It is part two in a series, the second of which can be read here: Council of Wisdom


Also known as the My Story Process, I first encountered this process as part of the Art of Living Organisation’s part 1 course in 2003, (now called the Happiness Programme) – which I highly recommend for anyone seeking greater peace, strength, wisdom, community and love in their life. I have found this process to be extremely simple yet powerful in the other context in which I have found it, or in which I have used it.

I having scoured the internet for any sign of an open source guide, and finding none, I decided to share the process from my perspective. I believe this archetypal structure of wisdom, advice, counsel and feedback to be ancient and of universal heritage.


  • Quite simply it involves someone telling their story of their life, just the facts, the bare bones! This may include emotions, or feelings that accompanied parts of the journey, but it is not a counselling session or a detailed description of a short period.
  • for about 5-10 mins, or based on time allowing and group size
  • The others in the group listen, without any interruption.
  • No questions are asked, no feedback or commentary is given afterwards, just a simple thank you for listening and a thank you for telling.
  • The next person shares their story. Ideally, EVERYONE shares their story, and everyone listens.
  • Many people have stories to tell and time is limited in this busy world.
  • People can always go and ask each other questions and continue conversations when the process is over for everyone.
  • If time is short and the group is large, break people into groups of minimum three (or four or any number time allowing), and each has a turn while the other two listen.
  • All of the GOLD in this process is in two simple dynamics: being able to share your essential life journey AND perhaps more importantly, listening without interrupting to someone else sharing what is unique to them and their experience of breathing air on this planet.
  • I have been surprised every single time I have been part of this process, whether I knew the person or not. There is always something more I did not expect about their lives, always something I have in common. It shatters my expectations and preconceptions, and even judgements of a person.
  • It is a great process for developing empathy and relationships.
  • The experience is tremendously enhanced by following this process with eye-gazing. Read more and instructions here, but perhaps even better experienced if part of an Art of Living Course, or elsewhere with loving and experienced guides.

I very much hope this brings great support, comfort and advise to you and your group, family, community!

Craig Makhosi


For PDF version of this post, audio/podcasts that explores deeper, new writings and posts of this nature: SUBSCRIBE to “Recovering Culture”

Craig grew up in Cape Town and after training temporarily as a Sangoma in the early 2000’s, went on to found UBuntu Bridge, a social entrepreneurship building culutral, linguistic and spiritual bridges, primarily through teaching Xhosa. Besides running the organisation, and volunteering in men’s work circles, he produces edutaining content to inspire and empower people relating to living as more conscious, harmonious, healthy and happy beings.

Follow Makhosi:

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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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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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The Critical role of language and relationships in growing green economies.

UBuntu Bridge is proud of Craig Charnock to have been one of the 10 impact speakers at the 110% Green annual event#GrowingGreenEconomies. He spoke on ‘The critical role of language and relationships in growing green economies’.

“Alot of people are looking at the symptoms rather than dealing with the roots of the problem” – Human Relationships

Enkosi Makhosi


The video is coming soon !!!!


Green Eco


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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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Kasi Bioscope – Mobile Township Cinema Project

UBuntu Bridge will be launching a new project in May 2016.

Kasi Bioscope.

Basically setting up of pop-up events that collaborate with township communities and centralise around a mobile cinema.  Local food and drinks will be on sale, as well as other community enterprises.

Its also an opportunity for people to practice their isiXhosa language skills with tutors present to assist.

Films screened will be documentaries such as:

– Music is the weapon (Fela Kuti)
– An upright Man (Thomas Sankara)
– Fantastic Man (William Onyeabor)
– Baraka
– Beyond the Rainbow
– Shore Break
– Miners Shot Down
– etc

As well as more popular films that have strong social themes.

First event weekend of Fri 20th May 2016.  Details soon come!

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UBuntu Bridge South African Schools Vernacular Proposal 2016 and Beyond

 Proposal cover


Over the last 10 years UBuntu Bridge has been developing a vision around the issue of language diversity and continued cultural and economic segregation in South Africa.  We believe it addresses multiple issues in our society, and provides viable suggestions for solving them.

It has been based on  personal experience and journey of learning isiXhosa and other indigenous languages of South Africa as an adult, within cultural contexts of welcoming, supportive and enthusiastic communities, from eKasi (townships) to ezilalini (rural villages), from the Eastern Cape to Limpopo, and in between.

Camagu Makhosi!


UBuntu Bridge School Vernac Proposal