n Commonwealth Youth and Development - Indigenous knowledge strategies of survival : the case of sangomas in Pretoria

Volume 10, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1727-7140



This article seeks to change the perception of African indigenous knowledge as traditional, atavistic and savage that are popularized in some western writings. The article will do so by with methods of reclaiming indigenous medicine as advertised by some herbal doctors or Sangomas of Pretoria. The article seeks to explain the reasons why the Sangomas - sometimes called 'traditional healers, witchdoctor or Healers or just Doctors - chose to advertise their healing practices in the written flyer and in the 'sexually' open language they use. The article is concerned with analyzing the themes and narrative strategies that these healers use in advertising themselves. The article argues that there is a certain ambivalence in both the narrative messages contained in the Sangomas' advertising forum of the flyer as well the figure of the healers as described on the flyers. This ambiguity is also due to the audiences' perceptions at the Sangomas attempt to reclaim the power of indigenous medicine in a commercial context where efforts at promoting indigenous medicines are promoted as well as undermined in the modern society.

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