Women and the Strategic Role of Information Dissemination through Folklore in Africa: A Case of Masvingo Province, Zimbabwe

Keywords: Strategic role, information dissemination, folklore, Africa, Masvingo, Zimbabwe, sarungano (story-teller, folklorist), women


This article discusses the central “ignored” role that women play in disseminating vital societal information through folklore. It explores the limited conceptions and constructions of their roles in literature and the media today where they are confined to housekeeping duties. It argues that through story-telling—the cornerstone of communal revitalisation—women play a pivotal task in ensuring the well-being of their communities. In advancing this argument, the article takes into account the fact that folktales have formed the basis of African formal education and training, which was meant for cognitive development of the African child. The major concern is, despite the tremendous contribution of women into the development, re-engineering and redesigning of the society, women are not taken or taking themselves seriously when it comes to societal decision-making issues. This paper mainly depends on a literature review and qualitative research methodology. A sample of 25 homes was selected randomly in the Bikita District of Masvingo Province in Zimbabwe. Data were collected orally from the story-tellers. Thereafter, an analysis was undertaken to establish the strategic role of women in disseminating information.

Author Biographies

Medicine Magocha, University of South Africa

Dr. Medicine Magocha is a multi-disciplinary researcher

Key areas of research: empowerment of women; poverty eradication through small enterprises; children's development; African youth empowerment and upgrading indigenous knowledge systems

Supervisor: postgraduate research studies

University of South Africa Graduate School of Business Leadership

Davie Mutasa, University of South Africa

Professor in African languages

University of South Africa

Richard N Madadzhe, University of Limpopo

Deputy Vice Chancellor

Research, Innovation and Partnerships

University of Limpopo