OVERVIEW OF THE ORAL HISTORY PROGRAMME AT THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES OF ZIMBABWE: IMPLICATIONS FOR NATION BUILDING AND SOCIAL COHESION

  • 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

Abstract

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.

References

Bu-Kalanga-Muka-Kwayedza: Kalanga Culture Promotion Society. August 1981. The stability and contentedness of a nation lies with the two ministries – information and broadcasting and education and culture, Circular X11.

Dulo, C. (pseudonym). Interview, Plumtree, 10 July 2014. Interview conducted in Ndebele.

Grele, R.J. 1998. Movement without aim: Methodological and theoretical problems in oral history. In Perks, R. and Thomson, A, (eds.), The oral history reader. Routledge: London.

Guma, B. (pseudonym). Interview, 13 June 2012. Interview conducted in Ndebele.

Lochead, R. 1976. Three approaches to oral history: the journalistic, the academic, and the archival. Available at http://www.oralhistoryforum.ca/index.php/ohf/article/view/283/0

(accessed 11 September 2012).

Kaarsholm, P. 1992. The past as battlefield in Rhodesia and Zimbabwe: the struggle of competing nationalisms over history from colonization to Independence. Available at http://wwwsas-space. sas.ac.uk/4213/1/preben-kaarsholm.the_past_as_battlefieldinRhodesiaandZimbabwepdf

(accessed 24 November 2012).

Maja, I. 2008. Towards the human rights protection of minority languages in Africa.Retrieved from http://www.nyulawglobal.org/globalex/Minority_Languages_Africa.htm (accessed 21 October 2010).

Malpas, S. 2005. The Postmodern. Retrieved from http://wxy.seu.edu.cn/humanities/sociology/

htmledit/uploadfile/system/20110121/20110121235112690.pdf (accessed 5 January 2013).

Manungo, K.D. 2012. Oral history as captured by the National Archives of Zimbabwe. In Ngulube, P (ed.), National Archives 75@30: 75 Years of archiving excellence at the National Archives

of Zimbabwe. Harare: National Archives of Zimbabwe.

Mazarire, G.C. 2009. Rescuing Zimbabwe’s ‘other’ liberation archives. In Saunders, C. (ed.), Documenting Liberation Struggles in Southern Africa. Available at http://www.nai.divaportal-

org/smash/get/diva2;344963/FULLTEXT01.pdf (accessed 15 November 2012).

Munjeri, D.K. 1982. Archival approach in Zimbabwe, Paper presented at a conference on Zimbabwe history progress and development, University of Zimbabwe, 23-27 August 1982.

Murambiwa, I., Ngulube, P., Masuku, M. and Sigauke, D.T. 2012. Archival development in Zimbabwe 1935-2010: Setting the scene. In Ngulube, P. (ed.), National Archives 75@30, 75 years of archiving excellence at the National Archives of Zimbabwe, 1-16. Harare: National Archives of Zimbabwe.

Murambiwa, I. 2009. Dismembering or remembering the Zimbabwe archive?. Available at www.

britishrecordsassociation.org.uk/pages/list.htm. (accessed 12 June 2012).

Pickover, M. n d. Marching to the patrimonial drum: constructing reductionist archival postmemory in South Africa. Available at http://www.sitemakerumichedu/politicsof…/pickover_

patrimonial_drum.pdf (accessed 20 November 2012).

Thompson, P. 1998. The voice of the past. In Perks, R. and Thomson, A. (eds.), The oral history reader. Routledge: London.

South African History Archive (SAHA). 2012. Mafela historical collection. AL3289. Retrieved from www.saha.org.za/collections/the mafela_trust_collection_7htm. (accessed 21 November 2012).

Schwartz, J.M. and Cook, T. 2002. Archives, records, and power: The making of modern memory. Available at http://www.nyu.edu/classes/bkg/methods/schwartz.pdf (accessed 10 December 2012).

Siti, A. (pseudonym). Interview, Plumtree, 10 July 2014. Interview conducted in Ndebele.

Sivu, T. (pseudonym). Interview, Beitbridge, 12 January 2012. Interview conducted in Ndebele.

Shopes, L. 2012. Transcribing oral history in the digital age. In Boyd, D., Cohen, S., Rakerd, B., Rehberger, D. (eds.), Oral history in the digital age. Institute of library and museum services.

Available at http://ohda.matrix.msu.edu/2012/06/transcribing.oral.history-in-the-digitalage/ (accessed 1 October 2014)

Swain, E.D. 2003. Oral history in the archives: Its documentary role in twenty-first century. The American Archivist, 66: 139–158.

Published
2016-01-05
Section
Articles