Mamphela Ramphele (Part 1) – Wired for Compassion, Self-Respect & Social Justice: Birthing South Africa’s Black Consciousness Movement, Becoming Who We Were Created to Be, and Finding Hope in a World That Has Lost Its Way

Ramphela Mamphele Club of Rome Black Consciousness Movement Social Justice

Ep. 106 (Part 1 of 2) | Dr. Mamphela Ramphele, global thought leader, author, medical doctor, scholar, anti-apartheid activist, and co-founder of the Black Consciousness Movement in South Africa has lived her extraordinary life guided by the knowing that every one of us is part of an inextricably linked system, and to live life as an authentic human being means assuming responsibility for oneself, others, and the whole web of life. Here, she connects the dots for us in so many ways, telling the remarkable story of how the Black Consciousness Movement in South Africa was born with the realization that accepting a second-class identity was only perpetuating apartheid, internally and externally, and right away, the group became aware they needed to bring forth practical manifestations of this new consciousness. Mamphela has worked to do exactly that—bring the values of expanded consciousness into being—her whole life, first as an anti-apartheid activist and doctor, in bimonthly meetings with Nelson Mandela when he was in prison, writing books on social-economic issues in South Africa, and later, working to manifest the values of compassion, dignity, and social justice on a global level as a managing director of the World Bank, co-president of The Club of Rome, and more.

When asked what hurts, Mamphela describes the terrible conditions in South Africa, which she explains could have been averted if post-apartheid leaders had chosen to act for the wellbeing of all rather than getting enmeshed in party politics. And what gives Mamphela hope? The hope she sees in the eyes of young people (and old), and the transformations already underway in small communities. As she says, “the world has lost its way…it’s all about having more rather than being more,” but Mamphela believes real change will happen in the next couple of decades, when our personal, professional, and political lives become framed by the same value system—the values of ubuntu, the traditional, indigenous wisdom values of Africa, which are not only Africa’s heritage but all of ours. Inspiring and enlightening, this conversation is a transmission from a vibrant elder who fully understands and puts into practice what it means to live an authentic, compassionate life, with courage, humor, integrity, and wisdom. Recorded November 9, 2023.

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