Shining A Light on the Dark Continent

Monthly Archives: March 2017

South African General Select Chaplain shares abuntu

Editor’s Note: I apologize for the long break between entries. Life happened, but I am back on track now. If you remember, we left off at the U.S. African Command Chaplain’s Conference in Padova, Italy.


On the last day of the conference, the speaker was Colonel Monwabisi Andrew Jamangile, Brigadier General-Select for the South African National Defense Force Chaplain Service. Colonel Jamangile was a two-star general for the SANDF Special Operations when he left the military to become a minister. He rejoined the SANDF as a chaplain and worked his way through the ranks to become a general-select.


Colonel Chaplain Jerry Lewis, US African Command, right, presents Colonel Chaplain Monwabisi Andrew Jamangile, of the South African National Defense Service chaplaincy, with a pottery bowl during the AFRICOM Chaplains Conference in Padova, Italy.

The SANDF chaplain service is the second largest in the world. Chaplains represent all the major religions in the country. They serve in one of the four Arms of Service: Air Force, Arm, Navy and Military Health Services. The chaplaincy works closely with other developing chaplaincies in Africa.

He impressed Dave when he stressed the “spirit of abuntu,” or the attitude of peace and reconciliation for all, especially one’s enemies. He said this is the key for healing in South Africa – to be able to look at your former oppressors and say, “I forgive you and now you must forgive yourself.”

Abuntu is the message Nelson Mandela preached after his decades in prison. He told his prison companions on their release the only way the nation of South Africa would survive without bloodshed was through attitudes of peace and reconciliation.

“I felt privileged to spend time with Colonel Jamangile and learn at the feet of this leader/teacher,” Dave said.

In my next post, I will share more of Brigadier General Jamangile and his words of wisdom


To learn more about Brigadier General Chaplain Jamangile see