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- Volume 11, Issue 1, 2012
Indilinga African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems - Volume 11, Issue 1, 2012
Volume 11, Issue 1, 2012
Source: Indilinga African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems 11, pp V –X (2012)More Less
The African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems: Indilinga, is entering a second decade since its launch at the 2003 African Renaissance Conference. This bi-annual journal has taken us on a journey that has enabled us to explore the inter-disciplinary nature of indigenous scholarship and the new learning opportunities that continue to become available as collaborations between academics and traditional knowledge holders grow. It has also seen Indilinga become recognised as a scientific output in the African academia and beyond. Therefore it has taken indigenous scholarship into the mainstream of knowledge dissemination and, above all, production.
Re-discovering Indigenous Knowledge - ulwazi lwemveli for strengthening sustainable livelihood opportunities within rural contexts in the Eastern Cape ProvinceAuthor Nomalungelo GodukaSource: Indilinga African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems 11, pp 1 –19 (2012)More Less
Indigenous Knowledge (IK) has for millennia been an integral part for maintaining and strengthening sustainable livelihood opportunities within local communities, the world over. Application of this knowledge in specific different areas continues to be part of practices in these communities, albeit with challenges imposed by systems of colonial education and religion, apartheid and the emerging global knowledge economy. Therefore, the imperative to re-discover and re-store IK cannot be underestimated since building on this knowledge is particularly effective in helping to reach those living in rural communities. This knowledge is often the main asset they control, and certainly one with which they are more familiar. The case studies discussed in this article point to significant improvements in development projects when IK is utilized. These case studies also indicate that imposing the emerging global knowledge economy and Eurocentric knowledge systems on rural development will not only serve to destroy IK, but will also undermine conditions that allow this knowledge to contribute to sustainable livelihoods. In this article I examine the concept of indigenous knowledge and how it differs from western knowledge; ways to strengthen sustainable livelihood opportunities within rural communities; models and case studies that demonstrate the significance of IK; challenges in the protection and preservation of IK within rural communities in Africa, and ethical considerations. Finally, I present a discussion of limitations and possibilities of IK within rural communities of the Eastern Cape Province, and concluding remarks.
Demographic characteristics associated with Isinuka traditional spa near Port St Johns in the Eastern Cape Province of South AfricaAuthor Ndze Denis JumbamSource: Indilinga African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems 11, pp 20 –31 (2012)More Less
Curortology - the science of natural therapy that combines the effects of climate, water and mud treatment and other forms of traditional healing practices - is enjoying a phenomenal comeback. Behind the re-emergence of curortology lies the current popular revolt against synthetic products and the demand for more natural ways of treatment, especially for rheumatoid arthritis, for which there is no effective synthetic treatment. The comeback of curortology is greatly aided by advances in science, which shed much light on the healing properties of clays. In its current form, curortology has evolved to encompass holiday spas, day spas, hotel spas, all of which are seen as European. At the same time, indigenous African approaches, though widespread, have not evolved and have largely remained underdeveloped and undocumented. This has far reaching economic consequences, as exemplified by the traditional spa at Isinuka; though in existence for hundreds of years, this spa has little infrastructure and remains very poor. The current off-sales of Isinuka clay are about R7,00 per bag of approximately 2kg, while retail price of cleansing mud masks in pharmacies reaches R16,00 per 25g packet. Monthly returns from Isinuka sales range from only R350,00 to R500,00. Nevertheless, the inhabitants of Isinuka and locals from Port St. Johns, and villages and towns beyond, revere this healing system as holistic and handed down by their ancestors. While we should remain sensitive to, and respect the culture of the people, there is an urgent need to educate and train them to add value to their natural products, and improve their way of life.
Source: Indilinga African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems 11, pp 32 –48 (2012)More Less
Among the Zulu in South Africa's KwaZulu-Natal Province, overweight and obese women are generally viewed in positive light. Favourable cultural associations of plump women range from beauty to fecundity, physical wellbeing, affluence and happiness, among other positive attributes. Such notions are still widely held among isiZulu speaking women in contemporary KwaZulu-Natal, despite overweight and obesity being implicated in public health disorders like diabetes, hypertension, cancer, coronary disease and strokes. This gender-based article interrogates changes in how Zulu women in particular view their sexuality in terms of their body weight, size and shape, against the backdrop of an individual's image and identity. These concepts are juxtaposed against the western 'thin ideal' of a sexually alluring female body. The article is based on an ethnographic study in cultural anthropology conducted mainly among Durban based Zulu women either studying or working at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. In South Africa the western thin ideal has heavy racial overtones for the majority of blacks, who are still shrouded by a minority white culture that continues to dominate 17 years after the apartheid era ended. Whether for or against the contemporary western 'thin ideal', for the above women there is no escaping the cultural change currently mapping future trends. Current trends foretell an intertwined Zulu ethnicity of the past, but also contemporary aspirations spearheaded by women in the globalizing west.
The effect of African breath psychotherapeutic workshops on spirituality perceptions and experiencesAuthor Stephen D. EdwardsSource: Indilinga African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems 11, pp 49 –60 (2012)More Less
The aim of this research was to investigate the effect of an African breath psychotherapeutic workshop called Shiso on spirituality perceptions and experiences. In view of previous pilot study findings, it was hypothesized that further Shiso workshops with enlarged samples would improve participants' spirituality in comparison with a control group who did not receive the workshop. Quantitative findings from three workshops involving a total sample of 59 participants indicated significant increases in spirituality perceptions as measured on a standardized spirituality scale and as compared to a control group of 41 subjects. Qualitative findings indicated improved spirituality experiences. Results are discussed with regard to further African breath-based research into the relatedness and causal patterns of transformations in spirituality, consciousness and health.
The contribution of traditional healers to halting the spread of HIV and AIDS in South Africa : the case of Soshanguve Township in the city of TshwaneAuthor Blessing MbathaSource: Indilinga African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems 11, pp 61 –72 (2012)More Less
This article gives an overview of the importance of traditional healers in HIV and AIDS prevention, treatment and care in Soshanguve Township, City of Tshwane, Gauteng, South Africa. Answers to the following questions were sought: What are the HIV and AIDS practices of traditional healers? Why do people consult traditional healers in seeking a cure for health problems? What are traditional healers' perceptions regarding their collaboration with biomedical health care providers? What are the most significant problems faced by traditional healers in their interaction with the South African health system? A qualitative approach was adopted, in which focus group interviews were held with traditional healers. The data was analysed using thematic categorisation. The findings demonstrate that healers considered themselves to play a significant role in helping the community to improve its health and quality of life. Their role would be further reinforced if they were to receive proper training and were to be fully accepted into the health system.
Exploring gender and cultural factors associated with sexual health communication in the era of HIV/AIDS : implications for sexual health interventionsAuthor Dorah U. RamathubaSource: Indilinga African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems 11, pp 73 –82 (2012)More Less
Societal orientation places expectations about what it means to be a man and a woman, thus gender has a powerful influence on sexual behavior. Gender stereotypes of submissive females and powerful males can hinder communication and encourage risky behavior and increase vulnerability to sexual health threats such as STIs including HIV. Sexual communication within unions is a crucial issue.
Many African women face inequitable sexual relations, the nature of their sexual bond with a partner seem to affect their sexual decision-making. Power inequity, emotional and financial dependence seem to present significant obstacles to sexual decision-making. The study intended to explore and describe the extent culture and gender influences communication relating to sexual health and health seeking behaviours within communities in Thulamela B municipality in Vhembe district, Limpopo Province.
A qualitative, explorative, descriptive and contextual research approach was used. Data was collected by means of in-depth individual interviews and focus group discussions. A purposive sampling method was used to sample thirty participants, seven for interviews and twenty-three for focus group discussions.
Analyzing the socio-cultural values influencing the development of mathematics teaching skills of open and distance learning pre-service teachersSource: Indilinga African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems 11, pp 83 –92 (2012)More Less
The article is based on the study that intended to document the social and cultural values that influence the development of mathematics teaching skills of Open and Distance Learning (ODL) pre-service teachers. With the lack of face-to-face tuition that is prevalent in formal teacher education, ODL pre-service teachers lack models of exemplary practices to model their practicum teaching. The results from archival documents, e-mail correspondence and telephonic interviews revealed that passiveness of African learners to adults ideas, which is a traditional way of childrens respect for adults, filtered into the mathematics classrooms of the pre-service teachers. Such passiveness limited the full implementation of constructivist tenets in the pre-service teachers' classrooms. These results can provide general teacher education insight into ways of reducing pre-service teacher's research-practice gap of implementing reform pedagogies in the mathematics classroom.
Tourism policies and management practices as perceived by indigenous people in KwaZulu-Natal municipalities : the 'black-hole syndrome'Author Lindisizwe M. MagiSource: Indilinga African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems 11, pp 93 –113 (2012)More Less
The tourism honeymoon following the advent of democracy in South Africa has begun to experience threatening challenges in the realm of tourism development in some municipalities occupied by indigenous people (DEAT 2000; Magi and Nzama 2002). Tourism policy, planning and management in these indigenous people's municipalities, have progressively eluded some municipal managers who are predominantly of indigenous origins. These policy shortcomings have also been supported by the opinion that tourism development planning across Africa has lagged behind (Dieke, 2000).
This article discusses the apparent collapse of tourism service delivery in some indigenous municipalities of KwaZulu-Natal. The article also assesses the ability of policies to uphold an efficient tourism delivery regime. Some of the salient objectives of this article revolve around: indigenous community awareness of the importance of tourism; tourism policies perceived as contributing adequately to tourism delivery; the effectiveness of existing tourism management practices; and identifying core shortcomings hindering tourism development, delivery and indigenous community beneficiation.
The analysis of tourism breakdown has been carried out in three local municipalities predominantly occupied by indigenous people: Ntambanana (72), uMvoti (128) and Ndwedwe (133). From these three places, 333 respondents were interviewed and the data collected were analysed using the statistical package for the social sciences [SPSS]. The findings of the study, inter alia, established that there were evidently negative perceptions of participation, management effectiveness, service delivery and the comprehension of related policies and strategies in the study areas.
Sustainable and informal : a case study in the shadows of housing policy in Masiphumelele, Cape Town, South AfricaAuthor Adam. F. PerrySource: Indilinga African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems 11, pp 114 –127 (2012)More Less
The article reflects on how South African housing policy explores alternatives in low-income housing through a pilot project carried out at Site Five or Masiphumelele, Cape Town. The potential of the project to speak of 'sustainable' solutions in housing may have been undermined in its goal to showcase an alternative in low-income housing because it pushed the envelope by building beyond building codes. By tracing the building process and the ethnographic fieldwork of the author, building practices reveal that in South Africa there are distinct categories between formal and informal ways to construct houses. During construction, the use of earth, a locally sourced material and typically a rural methodology, challenged regional building codes, but was viewed as acceptable by local residents, architects, engineers, and foreign volunteers who participated to build a more sustainable alternative in low-income housing. The article therefore traces the process of building an urban (township) house with more or less indigenous materials. The interest of the project is reflected by the manner in which local residents accepted an alternative housing product once it matched a 'modern' aesthetic. The case study therefore reflects on debates attempting to conceptualize what formal versus informal means, in terms of constructing houses but also as it relates to debates meant to refine South African housing policy. The success of the project was defined when innovation met local response and new knowledge was generated through discussions defining appropriate technology. Notions of 'modern' and 'traditional' and the synergy between these ideas are also explored because of the heightened ramifications, challenges and lessons learned when building outside of prescribed rules. Ultimately, the building process challenged local residents, and others interested in the project, to confront and redefine their ideas about vernacular architecture, in turn, stimulating debate about what constitutes low-income and appropriate housing in South Africa.
Author Johannes SeemaSource: Indilinga African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems 11, pp 128 –137 (2012)More Less
This article examines Basotho indigenous knowledge systems particularly in the way that they are embedded in proverbs, as containing a philosophy of their development. It seeks to analyse the pre-colonial Basotho's perspective with regard to the question of development as expressed in their arts and beliefs. There has always been an artistic relationship between Basotho art and their life and this article is mainly based on the assumption that Basotho oral art is used to formulate models of their development. Particular references will be given to the socio-economic aspects of Basotho development and how this is outlined in their proverbs. The article will also argue that the philosophy of Botho/Ubuntu and Basotho communalism that is outlined in their proverbs contributed very much to their development. Finally the article will argue that there is much to draw on from Basotho proverbs that can be used to solve the Basotho's numerous problems, especially the socio-economic problems.