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- Indilinga African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems
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- Volume 12, Issue 1, 2013
Indilinga African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems - Volume 12, Issue 1, 2013
Volume 12, Issue 1, 2013
Creating spaces for eZiko Sipheka Sisophula theoretical framework for teaching and researching in higher education : a philosophical expositionSource: Indilinga African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems 12 (2013)More Less
Within the academy, science and theories have historically been constructed in ways that maintain and privilege the centrality, superiority, legitimacy and universality of western thinking as 'regimes of truth'. The theoretical value of indigenous theories and science has often been denied because theorizing has been evaluated on the premise that western academic epistemologies and paradigms are the most relevant for teaching and for conducting researching in higher education. Indigenous scholars/researchers and students have been questioning these assumptions, and in the past fifteen years or so, opportunities for establishing the Kaupapa Maori Theory (KMT) in New Zealand and eZiko Sipheka Sisophula (eZiko for short) theoretical framework in South Africa have emerged. These are both rooted in indigenous worldviews, philosophical foundations, cultural values and languages, and have relevance for teaching and researching for the improvement of the quality of lives within indigenous contexts. The purpose of this philosophical exposition is to first provide an introduction and background information; a historical overview of the construction of western-based scientific knowledge as 'regimes of truth;' pioneers and pathfinders for cultural freedom of African minds; an exposition of eZiko Sipheka Sisophula theoretical framework; commonalities between (KMT and eZiko) and present seven pillars of eZiko and illustrate their methodological implications for teaching, researching and community engagement practices within indigenous contexts.
Source: Indilinga African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems 12, pp V –XII (2013)More Less
In the Indilinga issue 4, the authors posed the question Can IKS Offer Solutions for Modern Problems Facing Africa? The same question was again posed in Indilinga Issue 12. Subsequently the same question has consistently appeared, directly or indirectly, in all the issues that have followed. The question is also the subject for a research agenda for African Indigenous Knowledge Systems (AIKS). In fact, the challenge posed to the African IKS is to ensure its contribution to the economic, social, cultural and ethical transformation and development of the African societies. Therefore, it is imperative that African researchers on IKS engage themselves in a debate about the agenda for their research undertaking.
Rowing upstream : contextualising indigenous research processes and methodologies through the utilization of ethical principlesSource: Indilinga African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems 12, pp 13 –25 (2013)More Less
The use of indigenous research ethics has a possibility of contextualising indigenous research. Orthodox research is guided by ethical principles which are meant to protect the institution or researcher and the participants. Despite the existence of the ethical pronouncements, literature has shown that research has proven to be a source of distress for indigenous people. Research has historically drawn upon frameworks, processes and practices of colonial, Western worldviews and the inherent knowledge, methods, morals and beliefs (Martin, 2001). This has led to the perceived notion of insensitivity towards indigenous people. First, they are not only regarded as a "problem" to be solved by external experts, they are treated as passive "objects" that require assistance from external experts. In view of these arguments one can deduce that the orthodox research methods have somehow failed to uphold the contextuality of research methods. Stemming from the incompatibility between orthodox research methods and the indigenous milieu has been the predominantly negative indigenous experience of research which has resulted in not only sceptism towards researchers but also to research processes and outcomes. For instance, indigenous people are on record saying, "researchers are like mosquitoes; they suck your blood and leave". The umbrage has prompted robust calls from indigenous scholars and research ethicists to develop new paradigms of research that have a decolonizing agenda upholding Indigenous ethical archetype. This being a concept the article utilised descriptive and analytical approaches to examine how the indigenous research ethical modus operandi can be a lever to contextualize research. The article concludes by positing that to lessen the scepticism of indigenous peoples cultural sensitivity should be embodied in ethical considerations to negate any dilemmas. Further it avers that in the application of research methods ethical principles such as informed consent should not be taken at face value, but should be considered at a deeper level.
Orality : opportunities and challenges, a case study for research in Thembuland, Eastern Cape, South AfricaAuthor Jongikhaya MveneneSource: Indilinga African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems 12, pp 26 –36 (2013)More Less
This article seeks to highlight the importance of using oral history and oral tradition in presenting history as a reality. It shows how the use of oral sources - oral evidence and oral testimony - can help historians re-write South African history, dispelling myths that characterise our past. The repetition of the orthodox version of history necessitates the use of the voices of the voiceless people who had acquired information from their forebears, contemporaries, witnesses or participants in the past events. Challenges and opportunities that impact on oral research are brought to surface. This article shows that oral history can rectify or close gaps in historical narratives and that oral research can contradict with written sources. It discusses how and why oral sources should be subjected to critical analysis in order to produce a balanced historical narrative. It provides researchers with the essential ways of using oral sources, identifying interviewees, conducting oral interviews, comparing with written sources, weighing up evidence and putting each informant under a microscope and ask the following questions:
- Who was s/he?
- Could s/he have known the truth?
- Did s/he want to tell the truth?
Surveying technologies for integrating indigenous knowledge systems in mathematics teaching in South Africa : potentials and challengesSource: Indilinga African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems 12, pp 37 –51 (2013)More Less
The article is based on a study that surveyed pre-existing initiatives that integrate indigenous knowledge systems (IKS) in mathematics education in Durban, South Africa. In the exploratory case study, the researchers examined the existing modern and traditional technologies that are used in teaching mathematics by pre-service and in-service teachers enrolled in teacher certification programs at a high-tech university in the South African KwaZulu-Natal province. The overall goal of the study was to explore the feasibility of potential prospects to infuse traditional technologies and IKS in middle and high school mathematics education. A sample of 39 teachers responded to a 23-item online survey that examined the technological, pedagogical, and content knowledge of teachers completing their teaching degree and their predispositions regarding the integration of IKS. Juxtaposed between traditional/indigenous technologies and modern/digital tools and resources, findings of the study revealed a number of constraints that preclude preservice and in-service teachers from incorporating IKS in teaching mathematics.
Preservation of knowledge in traditional medical practices through information communication technology : a case study in South AfricaAuthor Alfred ColemanSource: Indilinga African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems 12, pp 52 –61 (2013)More Less
Traditional medicine is a vital source of primary health care to many South Africans and it is provided by traditional medicine practitioners (TMPs) in South Africa. The preservation of practices and methods used by TMPs in South Africa has become a cause of concern to the health care environment as these TMPs die or leave the country. The study investigated how knowledge of traditional medicine practitioners can be transferred and preserved for future use in South Africa. A case study approach was used. Participants were selected from a population group of TMPs. Semi-structured, open-ended interview questions were used to gather evidence from the participants regarding their methods of diagnosis and treatment, acquisition of skills as TMPs, and sharing their knowledge with others. The interviews were recorded, transcribed and coded. The findings revealed that TMPs base their diagnosis of ill people on their belief system and use plants as remedies for treatment. Skills and sharing of knowledge are acquired from close relatives and through verbal means. The results from the study led to a proposal of an ICT database framework to collate all scientific knowledge on traditional medicinal plants and practices of TMPs.
Source: Indilinga African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems 12, pp 62 –79 (2013)More Less
HIV and AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa is a dynamic subject that has attracted ongoing research interest, support and services. Through a systematic literature review, using an African frame of reference, this article analyses the effect of the pandemic on women as a vulnerable group, critically reviews service provision and education and offers suggestions for future research. Two theoretical frameworks guide the analysis: the systems framework to highlight the inter-relationship of the multiple factors exacerbating women's vulnerability to HIV and the social constructionist framework to appreciate how socially constructed realities shape (women's) lives.
Culture as anchor or culture as impediment? The plight of child care workers (CCWs) in dealing with HIV related deaths in a children's homeSource: Indilinga African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems 12, pp 80 –95 (2013)More Less
This reflective article is based on the experiences of child care workers in a children's home in South Africa, who, when faced with untimely and successive deaths of children from HIV/AIDS related illnesses, resorted to culturally informed emotional coping mechanisms. This is, therefore, not a research study but presents the authors' reflections on the topic and seeks to highlight the need for further exploratory studies in the area of the positive role of cultural practices in HIV/AIDS interventions. The women whose experiences are the focus of the article, adopted culture specific coping mechanisms which they saw as a necessary strategy for managing their distress i.e. an anchor in the face of what they perceived as an "unnatural" occurrence. This, however, conflicted with their organisational identities as employees in an establishment for abandoned/orphaned children, referred to here as a 'Home', thus causing what could be perceived as an impediment to their organisational care-giving services. The authors document the nature of the conflict, highlighting how the care workers adopted 'mothering roles' based on African cultural parenting practices, resulting in the need to perform culturally prescribed rituals, and how this brought about challenges within the workplace. The need for integrating traditional methods of healing with Western approaches of counselling and psychotherapy is reflected on, especially in recognition of the symbolic nature of African healing practices. The article emphasizes the role of culture as an anchor rather than an impediment.
The effect of a 10-week Zulu stick fighting intervention programme on body composition of prepubescent Zulu malesSource: Indilinga African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems 12, pp 96 –107 (2013)More Less
The article is based on the study that investigated the influence that traditional martial arts of Zulu stick fighting has on body composition of prepubescent males. A sample of forty five children were divided into an experimental group (n=22) which underwent a ten week stick fighting intervention programme facilitated by two professional stick fighters and a control group (n=23) which did not participate in the intervention programme. Data was collected at two intervals: pre- and post-intervention. Body composition measurements included the following: skinfolds, body mass index and waist to hip ratio. The results of the study showed that a 10-week Zulu stick fighting intervention programme led to reductions in the sum of skinfolds, body fat percentage, fat mass and waist-to-hip ratio for the experimental group. An increase in lean body mass, body mass and body mass index post-intervention means was observed. The use of indigenous physical activities may prove beneficial for learners attending rural schools that mostly lack infrastructure.
Indigenous knowledge systems, drought and people's resilience and responses : the case of Msinga community in KwaZulu-NatalSource: Indilinga African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems 12, pp 108 –125 (2013)More Less
Because drought has numerous effects on people and the environment, it has received the attention of several scholars and policy makers. It leads to the disruption of the normal functioning of society causing human, material and environmental losses which at times exceeds the ability and capabilities to cope with its effects. It is because of the magnitude of its impact and its multidimensional nature that some scholars have concluded that its management needs combined institutional and indigenous approaches. Numerous studies have demonstrated that local communities have well-developed traditional indigenous knowledge systems for disaster management, rain predictions and coping strategies, making them more resilient to environmental change and external shocks. This article is based on the study that examined the application of indigenous knowledge in the management of drought. For purposes of manageability, it focused on Msinga village in KwaZulu-Natal, paying specific attention to droughts that have been recorded and that prevail in the area and the manner in which people have continued to construct their livelihoods in the face of such drought. The article argues for the integration of indigenous knowledge systems in the construction of strategies to cope with elements of climate change in rural communities. The utility value of these knowledge systems has stood the test of time and they are well understood by the people who practice them.
Source: Indilinga African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems 12, pp 126 –141 (2013)More Less
The essence of restructuring and Africanizing secondary school curriculum to accommodate the attributes of Kenyan philosophy of education together with African philosophical thinking is inevitable not only in Kenya, but also in the entire continent of Africa. Ministry of Education Science and Technology (MoEST, 2004: 21) articulated that philosophy of education in Kenya is envisaged to prepare the students for social cohesion, human growth, and economic development. In tandem, African philosophy is founded of communalism, functionalism, perennialism, preparationism and holisticism (Mwinzi, 2006: 40) as the basis of transformation and reorientation of the studentsâ?? consciousness. In this article, post primary phase of education in Kenya situates the students to take active roles in the society as educated Africans. These factors which define African philosophical thought are central in formulating the statements of philosophy of education, while secondary school curriculum is the model site for such philosophy of education. The concept of transformation and reorientation of the students is a process which is facilitated by education (Yamada, Bhalalusesa, Chege, Karega and Shibeshi, 2007: 28). As an important component, philosophy of education and African philosophical line of thought has been alienated in education practice at secondary school level. This article explored the dynamics of how secondary schools can refocus attention towards Africanizing the curriculum and allying academic activities to match the fundamental elements of social cohesion, human development, and economic progress portrayed in the statement of philosophy of education. These crucial attributes explain the magnitude of philosophy of education as it is deliberated in MoEST (2004: 21). The article emanated from the interviews conducted in secondary schools to substantiate that philosophy of education and African perception should determine how secondary schools can cope with societal expectations in terms of social cohesion, human growth and economic progress in juxtaposition with the tenets of African philosophy. Drawing on studies conducted using twelve interviews in sampled secondary schools, the article concludes that revision of material resources, altering teaching and learning tactics, restructuring evaluation strategies, and intensifying the value of knowledge transfer cannot be vilified if philosophy of education will recover the decisive African tenets of communalism, functionalism, perennialism, preparationism and holisticism (Mwinzi, 2006: 40) in secondary school curriculum in Kenya and outside.
The gods will get you - a plea, exploration and assessment of possibilities for the rescuing of Phiphidi Wwaterfalls and other sacred cultural sitesAuthor Matome M. RatibaSource: Indilinga African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems 12, pp 142 –159 (2013)More Less
This article is based on an analytical exploration and assessment of a variety of possible ways of saving cultural and sacred sites - such as the Phiphidi Waterfalls - and thereby possibly protecting the communities for which such sites are culturally sacred. The discussions will, where applicable, point to and lay out the possible arguments that could be raised and resorted to by affected communities in order to (hopefully permanently) protect such sites. Five possible approaches are discussed and tested. Firstly, the constitutional approach which entails enquiry into religious freedoms and the right to self-determination is dealt with. This is followed by the legislative approach, wherein the relevant provisions of the National Heritage Resources Act 25 of 1999 are dealt with. Thirdly, certain principles and concepts of 'property law' are interrogated to determine the applicability and suitability thereof to the protection of sacred sites. Fourthly, initiatives in the international arena, which are geared towards, and can therefore possibly be utilised for preserving and protecting cultural sites are explored. The exposition concludes the discussion with a survey of judicial precedents in the international environment which may serve as further authority for African tribes seeking to protect their sacred sites.
The consumption of indigenous fruits and vegetables and health risk in rural subjects of Limpopo province, South AfricaSource: Indilinga African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems 12, pp 160 –168 (2013)More Less
Indigenous foods contain phytochemicals that are linked to protection against the development of diseases such as cancer, diabetes and hypertension1. Some of these indigenous foods have been chemically analysed and contain active compounds such as organic sulphur, hypoglycaemic alkaloids, flavonoids, phytosterin glycosides and polyacetylenes. The article is based on an explanatory study that was carried out to determine the consumption of indigenous fruit and vegetables, and health risk in rural subjects. Subjects were selected from twenty-four (24) villages in the five former districts of Limpopo Province. In Phase One, dietary consumption of the indigenous fruit and vegetables was collected from 703 subjects and health risk and presence of other chronic diseases of lifestyle were determined in the subjects. The study was done during 2002-2005. Phase Two is underway where the identified foods are being analysed for phytochemical composition. Sixteen indigenous vegetables were consumed by between 33% and 92.5% while 15 indigenous fruits were consumed by 32.3% to 81.5% when in season and accessible. There was no significant difference in health risk in subjects (p<0.05). Group one consisted of subjects who reported having consumed indigenous fruits and vegetables at least once a week (frequently) while group two consisted of those who consumed them occasionally (once in three months or seasonally).