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The Custody, Preservation and Dissemination of Indigenous Knowledge within the Ndebele Community in Zimbabwe: A Case Study of Gonye Area in Tohwe, Nkayi District

Njabulo B. Khumalo, Cynthia Nsindane, Silibaziso V. Khumalo


he continued existence of indigenous knowledge is one mystery which boggles the mind, as for years, most communities in Africa had no means of documenting indigenous knowledge. However, indigenous knowledge has not faded or been extinct­—regardless of the absence of strategies and means to document it. Yesteryear African communities may not have had records or paper and ink to document indigenous knowledge, but they have, for a long time had the means to document, disseminate, and preserve their indigenous knowledge. The Ndebele community in Zimbabwe is one such community, which has had indigenous knowledge passed down from one generation to another without modern technology. This article seeks to establish how the Ndebele people in Zimbabwe have been able to pass down indigenous knowledge from one generation to another, and how specific indigenous knowledge, which was meant for a certain group of people within the community was kept as a secret within that specific group. Face-to-face interviews were held with Ndebele elders and custodians of culture. A purposive sample was used to select research participants.


custodian; documenting; generation; indigenous knowledge; modern technology

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