04 May 2017 Volume :5 Issue :24

Academics Launch Book on Philanthropy in SA

Academics Launch Book on Philanthropy in SA
Dr Mvuselelo Ngcoya and Dr Shauna Mottiar with their new book: Philanthropy in South Africa: Horizontality, Ubuntu and Social Justice.

UKZN Academics Dr Shauna Mottiar and Dr Mvuselelo Ngcoya launched their book: Philanthropy in South Africa: Horizontality, Ubuntu and Social Justice, at Ikes Books and Collectables.

The book illuminates research on philanthropy in Africa by using case studies and ethnographic material to examine themes of cycles of reciprocity among Black professionals, social justice philanthropy, community foundations, Ubuntu, and giving in township and rural settings.

Leading thinkers on normative aspects of philanthropy in Africa, the authors also critically explore theories, perspectives and research on philanthropy.

Mottiar, who is the Director of the Centre for Civil Society (CCS) at UKZN, says the edited volume is a project that began a long time ago and emanated out of the Centre for Civil Society Philanthropy and Social Entrepreneurship Initiative funded by the CS Mott Foundation.

She said among the aims of the Initiative was to entrench philanthropy as an academic discipline by contributing to African and global scholarship through teaching, research and publishing.

While working on the volume, Ngcoya and Mottiar considered the idea of philanthropy and its impact on development trajectories and the rich forms of “giving” and “sharing” that form part of daily life in many African contexts.

‘We wanted to interrogate the idea of “social justice philanthropy” distinguishing between “charity” which risks disempowering and “philanthropy” which is better placed to consider the structural and systemic elements that contribute to disempowerment.

‘Regarding the latter, we wanted to trace the contours and characteristics of philanthropy in South Africa from a perspective beyond that of normative/ Eurocentric assumptions about philanthropy. In this sense we wanted to begin the process of drawing out the nuances of giving practices such as “ukusisa” and “ilimo”,’ said Mottiar.

The book is an invaluable resource to foundations, civil society organisations, researchers, policymakers and students of patterns of giving in South Africa.

Melissa Mungroo

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