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- Volume 13, Issue 2, 2014
Indilinga African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems - Volume 13, Issue 2, 2014
Volume 13, Issue 2, 2014
Author Alfred ColemanSource: Indilinga African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems 13, pp 177 –187 (2014)More Less
A high percentage of the South African population depends on the governance of traditional leaders for social, economic and development projects. However, the duties of traditional leaders towards their people, and the government in power, are always marred by fundamental problems such as the issue of record keeping, management, as well as packaging and dissemination of indigenous information. This article investigated the roles and functions of traditional leaders, and how ICT is applied in the North West Province of South Africa. A case study approach was used. Nine participants were drawn from an entire population of traditional leaders who are chiefs, tribal councillors and headmen.
Data was collected using semi-structured, open-ended interview questions, to inquire about their roles and functions as traditional leaders, types of ICT tools available to them as traditional leaders, and how these ICT tools are used to support their work processes.
The findings revealed that traditional leaders perform functions which include protection of the rural local communities' customs, cultural values, laws, and provision of leadership to the people. It was further noted that there were computers in most traditional or tribal offices but were being used to write official letters and read emails. The routine work activities of the traditional leaders, such as the issue of record keeping, management of cases, accessibility of information from municipal offices, as well as the appropriate coding, packaging and dissemination of indigenous knowledge, were not executed by the use of ICT, but by paper base.
These findings led to the proposal of an ICT Framework for African traditional governance which could assist traditional leaders to automate their work processes, and share information with municipal managers in district offices, to facilitate effective governance. In addition, the ICT framework is to provide a repository where all indigenous knowledge, rules and procedures are stored for future generations.
Author Peter L. MkhizeSource: Indilinga African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems 13, pp 188 –200 (2014)More Less
In the Information Age, knowledge is so important that it can be likened to a form of currency; hence most organisations now invest in technology-based knowledge-sharing platforms. Rather different knowledge-sharing platforms, such as imbizo and stokvels, exist in indigenous communities, and support community development. The purpose of this article is to improve knowledge sharing using social media, by learning from indigenous knowledge sharing - thereby building social capital. Grounded theory analysis was used to extract contextual themes from interview transcripts collected from public sector employees who are involved in open source migration. The results reveal that social trust derived from competence, benevolence and integrity, emerges within communities of practice (CoP) in the same way as it does in indigenous knowledge sharing.
The ethics of anonymity and confidentiality : reading from the University of South Africa Policy on Research EthicsSource: Indilinga African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems 13, pp 201 –214 (2014)More Less
Orthodox research is guided by renowned ethical principles which are rooted in the philosophy of positivism. The positivist paradigm assumes that the researched are vulnerable and need to be protected from harm by disabling their identity. Adherence to these orthodox ethical norms is regarded as the litmus test of a virtuous research practice. Any deviance from these ethical norms is viewed as a serious violation of the research ethical code. However, whilst the significance of these ethical principles is renowned, there is a differing agenda driven by ethicists and some researchers that seek to question their ethicalness and universal appropriateness. This is based on the conviction that these principles are not attuned to other unique systems such as indigeneity. This article looks specifically at the ethicalness of the principles of anonymity and confidentiality as embodied in the Unisa Policy on Research Ethics (2007). This was a qualitative study informed by an interpretive philosophical paradigm that used document analysis as a method for assessing the ethicalness of anonymity and confidentiality as espoused in the University of South Africa (Unisa) Unisa Research Policy. This article concludes that although there is a discernible good intent from the institution detected from the Unisa Policy on Research Ethics (2007) stipulations, there is a lack of clarity or distinct direction towards the ethicalness of ethical codes. It recommends that Unisa needs to relook its' research ethical principles and align them with socio-political realities of the African indigenous milieu.
Source: Indilinga African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems 13, pp 215 –230 (2014)More Less
Cases of infidelity and cheating among married couples have characterised African traditional marriages. Consequently, indigenous intervention methods have been used to address issues related to immorality. One method that has been used in Zimbabwe to deal with men who prey upon other men's wives by seducing them is runyoka/lunyoka. Runyoka is an indigenous way of 'fencing' or 'locking' a spouse, usually wives, to prevent them from committing adultery. This is done without the knowledge of the victim.
The article is based on a study that sought to explore ethical issues related to the use of runyoka/lunyoka. Using literature review and interviews the study identified more than 16 types of runyoka that are common among the Zimbabwean communities. Data were gathered from the internet and eight interviews held with some married women in urban Gweru. The major findings were that women detested the invasion of their privacy through constant surveillance by their husbands. Runyoka victims suffer swelling or continuous growth of private parts, in some cases male culprits experience perpetual erection or shrinking of manhood while females endure vagina disappearance. In other situations victims die a slow and painful death. There is also a breakdown of marriage among other social dislocations. The study concluded that spouses did not trust each other. However, the study recommends that married couples should give each other space for their privacy and in this way it builds trust.
Indigenous knowledge systems and agricultural rural development in South Africa : past and present perspectivesSource: Indilinga African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems 13, pp 231 –250 (2014)More Less
Indigenous knowledge (IK) has formed the backbone of rural livelihoods for centuries. It preserved biodiversity and ensured long-term sustainability of natural resources. In South Africa and elsewhere, its survival was threatened by the arrival of Europeans and colonialism. The status and role of IK in South Africa with special emphasis on agricultural rural development are discussed. The article shows how colonialism and, more recently, apartheid impacted the IK of South African rural communities. The essential aspects critical to understanding IK for agricultural rural development, particularly in research, are considered. Lastly, the emergence of IK within the research and political domains in South Africa is explored. Although the South African government has made substantial progress towards promoting and protecting IK for the betterment of rural communities, there are still gaps and challenges. Politically these include the need for further legislation on intellectual property and general implementation of existing IK systems policies. In research, although many studies have been carried out on culture and ethnomedicine, other IK categories, notably soil and agriculture, have received insufficient attention. If maximisation of the contribution of IK is to be realised these need to be addressed as they are central to agricultural innovation and agricultural development.
The role of rural subsistence farming cooperatives in contributing to rural household food and social connectivity : the case of Mwendo Sector, Ruhango District in RwandaSource: Indilinga African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems 13, pp 251 –270 (2014)More Less
Subsistence agricultural cooperatives play an important role in improving household food security among rural households. In Rwanda, as in many African communities, traditional systems encompassing the concept of Ubuntu including ideas related to co-operation, solidarity, mutuality, reciprocity are evident in both the society and subsistence farming ideologies. The majority of the population resides in rural areas; mainly rely on subsistence farming in their smallholdings and participate in subsistence farming cooperatives. The main purpose of this article is to determine the rural subsistence farming cooperative success factors; highlight the benefits of participating in farming cooperatives and find out why some people do not participate in any farming cooperatives. This article focuses on maize, pineapple and peas cooperatives in the Mwendo Sector in Rwanda. A random sampling was used to select cooperatives and questionnaires were administered to 150 cooperative members in the study. Both key informant interviews and focus group discussions were used for data collection. Data was analyzed using cross-tabulation and content analysis. The results revealed that the factors influencing productivity of cooperative and household food security are the availability of agricultural equipment, agricultural inputs, age and level of education of cooperative members, training of cooperative members, cooperative organization government assistance and provision of extension services. The research also shows that cooperative members have an increased agricultural production, income, government assistance, easy market access and agricultural training. Increased agricultural production and income are both important to access dimensions of food security. Agricultural cooperatives also promote culture and unity in the locality through social and religious activities among cooperative members. Findings show that the unwillingness to be part of cooperative mismanagement; punitive measures and fear of seasonal hunger lead to non-participation in agricultural cooperatives. This is significant as it indicates departure from Ubuntu and co-operating principles that often characterize rural communities. Therefore, improving above-stated factors would improve participation in farming cooperatives.
Contribution of indigenous knowledge practices to household food security : a case study of rural households in KwaZulu-NatalSource: Indilinga African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems 13, pp 271 –282 (2014)More Less
The use of indigenous knowledge is a viable livelihood strategy for poor rural households. A binomial logistic regression model was used to demonstrate the effect of Indigenous knowledge practices (IKPs) on food security. Food availability at household level was used as a measure of food security using as a proxy the maize produced in 100 randomly selected households from five villages in KwaZulu-Natal. The IKPs were identified in pest management, fertility management, weeding, land preparation, seed and post-harvest storage. Households were able to secure food for an average of three to six months, and the significant effect of IKPs on food security was observed. Indigenous Knowledge feeds households in rural areas and focusing policy efforts on finding ways of enhancing and encouraging a perspective shift to that of approaching IKPs as a local source of resilience when it comes to food availability and access, could bring about one of the options for creating food-secure households in South Africa.
Author Queeneth Nokulunga MkabelaSource: Indilinga African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems 13, pp 283 –291 (2014)More Less
Increasing awareness has been drawn, in recent years, to the flaws of culturally irrelevant human rights education. Several factors, including a general lack of a culturally appropriate approach, a lack of integration of indigenous values, and the failure to provide human rights education that is responsive to community perspectives, have created a gap between the conceptualisation and practice of human rights by indigenous communities. So widespread is this feeling that parents are beginning to abdicate their roles of instilling values to their children and are blaming the system of education for introducing human rights education in schools which encourages unacceptable behaviour in communities.
This article is concerned with a critical discussion and analysis of the key tenets of ubuntu and attempts to show how these can be utilised as an axiological framework for human rights education in South Africa.
Perceptions of traditional healers on the treatment of diarrhoea in Vhembe District Municipality of Limpopo Province, South AfricaSource: Indilinga African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems 13, pp 292 –299 (2014)More Less
Diarrhoea illness has long been recognised as the cause of death of millions of people worldwide especially in developing countries (Nkwi, 1994). The disease is treated using western as well as traditional remedies. The knowledge of traditional healers and their practices can play an important role in building capacity to promote the appropriate home management of diarrhoea (Anokbonggo et al., 1990). Traditional healers around the world have different beliefs and understanding of diarrhoeal disease and its treatment. The aim of the project was to investigate the perception and concept of traditional healers on the treatment of diarrhoea in Vhembe district. Twenty traditional healers from two municipalities (Mutale and Thulamela) around Vhembe district were interviewed. Data was collected through interviews using questionnaires. Interviews were conducted with individuals in their own languages and later translated into English. According to Vhembe traditional healers, diarhoea is described as a disease which can lead to death as a result of excessive loss of water in a patient's body through vomiting and frequent visits to a toilet. Symptoms of diarrhoea include vomiting, loss of weight, and change in appearance of skin, face and eyes. Traditional healers of Vhembe district have a better understanding of diarrhoeal diseases. They mention different categories of diarrhoeal diseases. There is a lack of information when it comes to the description of diarrhoeal illness's on infants and children.
Perceptions of cremation as an alternative burial system among the Zulu people living in KwaZulu-NatalSource: Indilinga African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems 13, pp 300 –310 (2014)More Less
Africa is going through a tremendous and rapid change in every respect of human life; some of these changes being more circumstantial than otherwise. People are becoming increasingly detached from the corpus of their tribal traditional beliefs and practices. One of the changes pertains to cremation, an act of disposing of a deceased person's body by burning its remains. Zulu people, a major population group in the province of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa and a progeny of King Shaka Zulu are known to unwaveringly hold onto their cultural beliefs especially those that touch on the 'idlozi', living dead. HIV and AIDS pandemic in particular, have resulted in several deaths in the province calling for unconventional ways of disposing of dead bodies. A current debate on cremation as an alternative burial system at a time when municipal burial sites are increasingly becoming a scarcity thus becomes valid and critical. Municipalities are encouraging people to seriously consider cremation as an option to burial systems (Madlala, 2010: 1). In light of the circumstances highlighted above, we recently undertook a study whose aim was to explore the societal views on cremation amongst people of African descent in general and with special reference to the Zulu people living in KwaZulu-Natal and who was represented by Durban's largely populated areas (Zwane, 2011). This study was conducted in two areas; a semi-urban area represented by uMlazi and a rural area exemplified by Zwelibomvu. The researchers believed that this study was necessary as it would contribute in influencing society to review cremation for future decisions without feelings of coercion. Even though Umlazi residents are the most directly affected by burial land shortage, we thought including a rural area would also enhance the study so as to arrive at a balanced conclusion. This article, therefore reports on the findings of the study with reference to cremation as an alternative burial system amongst Zulu people.
Source: Indilinga African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems 13, pp 311 –324 (2014)More Less
Although isiZulu has been accorded its rightful place by the constitution of the country, its elevation has been fraught with difficulties. One of the main forces that have stifled the promotion of isiZulu have been market forces. A language can be marketed if it has the potential to meet people's material needs. An important purpose of this article is to determine whether or not Zulu speakers are in favour of the greater use of isiZulu in society. The input of Zulu speakers is important in determining whether isiZulu is a viable linguistic product that could be marketed in a multilingual society. An empirical investigation which produced descriptive statistical data was undertaken. Data was collected by means of questionnaires from a random sample of Zulu speakers in selected private and public sector institutions. The findings indicate that isiZulu has the potential to be marketed in a multilingual society.