• Sindiso Bhebhe National Archives of Zimbabwe
Keywords: National Archives of Zimbabwe, National Archives of Zimbabwe War Archive, National Archives of Zimbabwe’ Minority Archive, oral history conceptions and methodologies


This article will aim to give an overview of the development of oral history programme at the National Archives of Zimbabwe since the colonial period to the present. It will look at the strengths and weaknesses of the programme, especially in issues of inclusivity and exclusivity. The article will try to answer  questions such as whether the programme is national in its outlook or elitist in its approach, serving the interests of few dominant ethnic groups. How it is faring in giving a voice to those marginalised groups of the society will be another issue the article will consider. It will also look at the approaches and methodologies used to collect oral testimonies and how these bear in the long term on preserving and archiving these recorded testimonies. The article will mainly be based on the views made by interviewee’s who, when interviewed during the oral history programme, made passing statements about the programme. The environment encountered by archivists and the welcome given to them in different communities they visited during oral history exercises will be discussed, especially its implications on the success of oral traditions programme at the National Archives of Zimbabwe. The literature on oral history relating to National Archives of Zimbabwe will be reviewed and a document analysis will be done.


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