Here for a 10-day pilgrimage, on 28th September evening, South Africans presented a special musical drama “Ubuntu” which has received many awards in its 9 months tour in South Africa. Ubuntu meaning I am because you are, you are because I am. It is a story of unity in diversity.
In the evening, as Bhagawan entered the hall at 7:00, He was greeted by bhajans. 2400 Africans were seated in front block, with children occupying the centre-slot. As He passed by these frontbenchers were blessed by His benedictory glance.
Bhajans ended as Bhagawan came onstage after a full round of darshan. An album containing letters written by the children were taken by a little girl and Bhagawan quite interesting leafed through the pages, glancing over and showering blessings. At one point when the student-aid next to Bhagawan turned a bunch of leaves, most innocently to facilitate completing the task, Bhagawan most amusingly ‘corrected’ him asking him to turn leaf after leaf. Bhagawan’s gesture at the student evoked amusement to the assembly that went bursting into laughter.
Ubuntu, the South African production was presented by 356 students from the four Sathya Sai Schools in South Africa along with SSE and Balvikas children.
The 50-minute presentation turned out to become a delectable visual treat, showing the rich cultural variety of the nation. Presenting the unique theme with the aid of the 'Big Five' of South African jungles: elephant, buffalo, rhino, lion and leopard, engaging in conversation with a tribal chief, the production illustrated various phases of the evolutionary struggle. Beginning with the story of immigration of the tribals the story went on narrating the arrival of Europeans and Indians, the dark days of apartheid, Mahatma Gandhi’s date with the South African Struggle for freedom leading to the Nelson Mandela episode. Playing original track of Mandela’s inspirational speech, the programme paid rich tribute to the leader whose relentless struggle got them the ultimate freedom from apartheid.
The programme was entwined with eleven musical pieces including a couple of national anthems and folk medleys as well as dance sequences with children wearing traditional costumes and make ups. This included two of Gandhiji’s favourite hymns “Vaishnava Jana Tho” composed by the 15th century poet-saint Narsinh Mehta airing attributes of God-Loving Indians and “Raghupathi Raghava Raja Ram”.
The finale credited the emergence of democratic South Africa to the blessings of Bhagawan. Graceful children concluded the presentation with an African Medley and a South African Victory Song! The united voice of South Africa was heard echoing "My South Africa, Our South Africa". Children waved colourful flags while swaying to the beats and tunes of traditional instruments.
Bhagawan was absorbed in the presentation. Afterwards, Bhagawan moved down the dais to the front block blessing the crew spending more than fifteen minutes amidst them. Many faces showed the bliss of being with Baba. To quote a touching instance, as physically challenged boy in a wheelchair got himself transferred to his limp legs, moving unto Bhagawan 'dancing'...and lo! What a sight! There was sunshine on the little one’s face as Bhagawan blessed him with a touch on his forehead. When the boy turned beaming with bliss many luck hearts around were raining bliss as well. Indeed, Bhagawan was giving Himself, reciprocating to the South African Love!
The 2400 bunch of South Africans have come from many centres all over South Africa that come under the main three Sai Centres, Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town and the theme slogan was “Be The Change You Want to See in The World.”
South Africans children came and conquered everyone including Baba with their love, devotion and dedication. A couple of songs by the musical troupe followed. After which, Bhagawan called for Arathi.
Presenting some lighter moments, enticing the children, Bhagawan gesticulated at them to go and have food. Children burst into cheers making merry of the Divine gesture. Adding on, Bhagawan did the same act once again, this time, He wanted them to wipe their faces before having food, and they went bursting into crowd cheers, rejoicing every bit of His ‘conversation’.
Blessing the concourse, Bhagawan left the dais, gliding into the ladies' side, retiring to Yajur Mandiram at 8:50 hrs.