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- Volume 14, Issue 1, 2015
Indilinga African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems - Volume 14, Issue 1, 2015
Volume 14, Issue 1, 2015
Author Phillip HiggsSource: Indilinga African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems 14, pp V –VI (2015)More Less
Author Rosemary Chimbala KalengaSource: Indilinga African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems 14, pp 1 –11 (2015)More Less
This article seeks to adjust Western research techniques to accommodate research in the indigenous realm. Indigenous knowledge systems require a different approach from Western methodologies of collecting data. Indigenous people take pride in sharing their knowledge as they 'live it' because it cannot be contested anywhere in the world. Sharing it with a researcher does not change anything in their context. Indigenous research theory underpins this assertion. Data was collected through qualitative approaches that involved individual interviews and focus groups. The findings indicate that indigenous knowledge systems have their own ways of conducting research through ways that may not be palatable to Western methodology. This article recommends adjusting Western research methodologies to suit research in specific native settings. The 'one size fits all' is not a practical way of conducting indigenous research. As such, unless we embrace and respect the people and their culture, researchers may only prove hypotheses and not the realities of the phenomenon. Indigenous research methodologies will enhance finding new worthwhile knowledge.
Challenges and opportunities for IKS in higher education institutions in South Africa : politics, ideological, institutional cultures and structural dimensionsAuthor Itumeleng MekoaSource: Indilinga African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems 14, pp 12 –24 (2015)More Less
In 2004 the Department of Science and Technology in the Republic of South Africa adopted a policy on Indigenous Knowledge Systems (IKS). By doing so it moved IKS from just being a political and academic rhetoric into a political policy of government. The policy "affirms African cultural values in the face of globalization - a clear imperative given the need to promote a positive African identity" (IKS Policy, Chapter 5; page 9). The policy also provides for practical measures for the development of services provided by IK holders and practitioners. It also focuses on the contribution of the IKS to the economy. The policy further provides for the establishment of various legislative and institutional bodies. However despite this legislative initiative over a decade now, higher education institutions have not integrated IKS in their curriculum development. There are many reasons for this; some are historical, political, ideological, institutional and structural. The purpose of this article is to analyse how these challenges have hindered the development of IKS in higher education institutions and conclude with prospects for development.
Integration of indigenous knowledge management into the university curriculum : a case for Makerere UniversityAuthor Elisam MagaraSource: Indilinga African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems 14, pp 25 –41 (2015)More Less
Over the years, people have attempted at preservation of their indigenous knowledge (IK) in their day-to-day activities for socio-economic and community development. Preservation of IK systems would significantly contribute to food and health security, as well as environmental protection. Considering that most of the IK is not documented and is not easy to access, providing appropriate skills for managing IK becomes imperative. The challenge for universities is to orient their curriculum towards IK management. Strategies for identification, tapping/accessing, collection, documentation, organizing and processing, retrieval, disseminating and utilisation of IK are required. This article presents a strategy for integrating IK management into the university curriculum in Uganda. It attempts to identify the IK systems in Uganda, establishes the IK management curriculum needs universities, and the mechanism for integrating IK management into the university curriculum. In an exploratory qualitative research, data was collected from people believed to be knowledgeable and skilled in IK management from institutions and communities selected purposively. Physical visits and observations in institutions that keep information on IK, including the Uganda Museum, national archives, cultural centres and community/traditional institutions were also made. It is anticipated that, when appropriate mechanisms of mainstreaming IK values are developed and integrated into the university curriculum, there will be improved curriculum, appreciated and mainstreamed IK values, and an informed society for the enhancement of good governance.
The Traditional Health Practitioners Act 22 of 2007 : a perspective on some of the statute's strengths and weaknessesAuthor Boyane TshehlaSource: Indilinga African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems 14, pp 42 –51 (2015)More Less
The Traditional Health Practitioners Act 22 of 2007 was enacted to regulate the traditional health sector in South Africa. With effect from 1 May 2014, a cluster of the Act's sections became effective by promulgation in the Government Gazette. This development made the majority of the sections of this statute binding after the last proclamation in 2008. The current article discusses the key provisions of the Act and the implications it has for the traditional health sector. After presenting these key provisions and highlighting their strengths and weaknesses, the article relates them to other legislative measures in the form of the Intellectual Property Laws Amendment Act 28 of 2013 and the Medicines and Related Substances Amendment Bill (B 6-2014). It then argues that the legislative measures introduced thus far fall short of providing a framework necessary for the protection of the traditional health practice. Thereafter, the article discusses the bias of the Act, evident in the more concern shown about the protection of the public against the practices of traditional health practitioners and less concern about the protection of the traditional health practitioners against the hegemony of Western health practitioners and low respect that the former have been accorded. The main argument is that there could have been more balance in the legislative measures effected to bring about justice in the health care system of South Africa.
Source: Indilinga African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems 14, pp 52 –66 (2015)More Less
This article examines the global debates about indigenous knowledge and Africa's traditional medicine. It explores whether it is possible to document all the elements of indigenous knowledge about Africa's traditional medicine that is used for the treatment of diverse forms of sickness. Certain types of Africa's traditional medicines used for the treatment of different forms of sickness encompass associated knowledge in the form of spiritual rituals that may be considered mostly by religious leaders as devilish in nature. It may be difficult to document the spiritual elements of traditional medicine that is deemed devilish as traditional healers consider it top secret. The non-documentation of the spiritual rituals that form part of the traditional medicine is tantamount to documenting certain elements and not the entire process of a particular medicine. The raison d'être for documenting Africa's traditional medicine stem from the notion that there is an increasing extinction of medicinal plants due to environmental degradation, deforestation, agricultural encroachment, over harvesting and population growth that is associated with the loss of indigenous knowledge on plant use for medicine. Hence there is a need to document medicinal plants with their associated knowledge. The article explores Africa's traditional medicines that can and cannot be documented in its entirety and proposes measures within Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) in the form of patents through which certain types of traditional medicines used for the treatment of particular illnesses could be documented in their entirety.
Source: Indilinga African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems 14, pp 67 –86 (2015)More Less
Malaria is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in Nigeria, especially in rural areas among children under the age of five years. This cannot be unconnected from the fact that malaria control programmes and strategies have not taken cognisance of the local perceptions of the causes and symptoms as well as management of malaria in rural communities of Nigeria. The article is based on the study that examined the nexus between culture and health with emphasis on the perceptions of the causes and symptoms as well as management of malaria in Okanle and Fajeromi communities in Kwara State, Nigeria. The study was guided by the constructionist paradigm through the use of semi-structured interviews, in-depth interviews and focus group discussion (FGD). The majority of the respondents were mothers of children below the age of five. Although the perceived threat and symptoms of malaria in children as reported by caregivers were in tandem with biomedical constructions, the perceived causes and management sharply contradicted biomedical knowledge. Such contradiction has significant implications on health seeking behaviour of caregivers as well as malaria control programmes in rural communities of Nigeria. While it is undisputable fact that caregivers in local communities require informed education about the aetiology and management of malaria in children, there is the need for intensification of scientific investigation into the efficacy or otherwise of indigenous knowledge medicine (IKM) in the management of malaria in indigenous communities of Nigeria.
Source: Indilinga African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems 14, pp 87 –102 (2015)More Less
The goal of this article was to explore the phenomenon of respect as experienced by South African psychologists with special reference to Zulu culture. The narrative experiences of six isiZulu speaking psychologists with regard to the isiZulu concept of respect (Ukuhlonipha) were thematically analysed and synthesized by two independent English speaking psychologists. Five main interrelated themes respectively emerged of Ukuhlonipha as: pillar of African humanity (Ubuntu); including ancestors, marriage, family, parents and children; special language, narrative, story and/or textual reality; harmony, order and discipline; and gratitude and appreciation. These findings reiterated the manner in which African people have always recognized respect, as a concept, experience and practice with spiritual and cultural dimensions of great breadth, depth and height. Such practice is recognized as crucial for the promotion of local, international and global health and wellbeing.
Author Lesiba Joseph TeffoSource: Indilinga African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems 14, pp 103 –117 (2015)More Less
Some of the economies of the world are currently under severe strain. For their survival, these economies within nation states are therefore compelled to explore new avenues to generate revenue. It is in this context that I perceive and conceive of indigenous heritage as an economic resource essential for local rural development. Accordingly, it should be treated as an integral part of national development plans and strategies. The challenge though is to link heritage to practical, sustainable and mutually beneficial economic development programmes. To this end local communities and developers should work together in the pursuit of common goals and interests, enabled by indigenous knowledge systems and contemporary information and communication technologies (ICT). The argument in this article is that Africa has a major under development challenge and with 'nature based' tourism properly administered and developed there could be economic dividends and attendant social benefits. The article cites success stories from similar initiatives that have profoundly transformed some rural communities into economic hubs.
Source: Indilinga African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems 14, pp 118 –129 (2015)More Less
Within the prevalent patriarchal system, polygamy and ilobolo are deeply-rooted practices that still endure and are considered vital within African cultures. The customs, however, have gender and power implication at times, where polygamy causes anguish for women when men consider them 'paid for' or 'bought commodities', not deserving to be treated with respect. Traditional men have championed polygamy in terms of 'tradition and culture' but a cursory observation suggests that it is currently also being embraced by women who seem to marry into these unions freely. By extension, it would seem that some first wives do not find it a problem when their husbands inform them of their intention to take second and subsequent wives. Even in arranged marriages certain women seem content to enter into a polygamous union because they will be answering the call of duty (Mkhize, 2011). This article reports on a study that was conducted at a semi-urban township of Hammarsdale in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa between 2009 and 2011 using qualitative research methodology. The aim of the study was to explore why middle-class educated and employed women enter or even stay in these matrimonial arrangements. The study differed from any previous studies in that it focused on financially independent women; a crucial point which eliminated one of the main assumptions that women enter into such unions for financial and or material gain and/or support. Moreover previous studies had focused on rural women who were mainly housewives entirely dependent on their husbands for their livelihoods. The findings of the study revealed that women entered such unions for numerous reasons, amongst them, love, family, societal pressures as well as desperation to have a higher social standing in the community than being a single woman. It is concluded that most of these women were influenced by society into being married regardless of the type of marriage they wanted.
Indigenous approaches to peacemaking and conflict resolution : the case of inter-clans and political conflict in Msinga villages in -Natal provinceAuthor Rudigi Rukema JosephSource: Indilinga African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems 14, pp 130 –141 (2015)More Less
This article is based on the study that examined communities' indigenous approaches to peacemaking and conflict resolution and seeks to determine whether the government's responses are concomitant with local knowledge of peacemaking and conflict resolution through a case study of Msinga villages in the North of the Natal Province. It focuses on inter-clan wars, which have a long history in the study areas; the scars of violence are still fresh in the minds of men and women living in these areas. In the qualitative study, face-to-face in-depth interviews were conducted with local traditional leaders, village elders, both men and women, and local government officials and the youth. The findings of the study demonstrate that there is still mistrust between members of these communities to the extent that any tension can lead to violence. The findings also show that, although there have been and still are many peacemaking and conflict resolution initiatives, these seem to be ineffective in bringing about peace and the sense of a united community. Furthermore, many local citizens and women believe that government imposed approaches have limited their effective participation in peacemaking and conflict resolution. The contestation and in fighting between the Inkatha Freedom Party and the African National Congress has further undermined ordinary citizens' full participation as they try to wrest control from the other group; this continues to deepen divisions in an already divided society.