African Concept of Participation:
This chapter presents the African concept of participation as having a theological foundation. The African notion of participation is understood in terms of appurtenance to God our source and in whose fraction of vital force we participate. Man cannot give life to another if not by participating in God’s creative power through which he communicates life. This explains why the traditional Banyarwanda leave a small hole in the middle of the roof of their hats called endoleroy’Imana through which God (Imana) sees when the couple have intercourse and together with them creates a new life (baby). This common appurtenance and participation in one source makes us participate in each other’s vital force too. This explains why the life of an African is tied to his community (expressed by John Mbiti as “I am because we are, because we are therefore I am”) and it has a religious overtone, so much so that he does not distinguish between the sacred and the profane.