Original Research

Towards a humane community: The search for disability justice in higher education through African moral thinking

Erasmus Masitera
Transformation in Higher Education | Vol 5 | a85 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/the.v5i0.85 | © 2020 Erasmus Masitera | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 03 May 2020 | Published: 03 November 2020

About the author(s)

Erasmus Masitera, Higher Education and Human Development Research Group, Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa; and, Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, Simon Muzenda School of Arts, Culture and Heritage Studies, Great Zimbabwe University, Masvingo, Zimbabwe

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Background: The central claim of this article is that African disability justice is possible through analysing, re-examining and reimagining realities that distort and disempower the being of individuals with disabilities.

Aim: In this article, I argue for an African disability justice.

Methods: I do this by establishing that higher education ought to produce citizens who are responsive and are able to reinvent Africa through the idea of (community) serving. I borrow these ideas from the African ethical thinking and practice of relational attitude and communal living.

Setting: In traditional African thinking, as informed by Ubuntu [I am, because you are] social thinking, disability was recognised and respected.

Results: I, therefore, develop the concept of reflective-creative education (RCE) as carrying this African ethos for social justice (responsive and enabling citizens) towards members with disabilities. In that endeavour, African higher educational institutes ought to prepare and empower Africans to be responsive and to enable others to live confidently and inclusively in transformed communities that address the needs of citizens.

Conclusion: In this way education becomes a tool (RCE) for changing attitudes and developing citizens to be proactive in building better communities to live in.


disability justice; African ethical thinking; Ubuntu; higher education; reflective-creative education; communal living; relational thinking


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