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Fighting for Relevance: The Revitalization of African Knowledge in the Learning Sphere in South Africa

Fighting for Relevance: The Revitalization of African Knowledge in the Learning Sphere in South Africa
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Author(s): Nombulelo Tholithemba Shange (University of the Free State, South Africa)
Copyright: 2021
Pages: 23
Source title: Ethical Research Approaches to Indigenous Knowledge Education
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Ntokozo Mthembu (University of South Africa, South Africa)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-1249-4.ch001

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Abstract

South Africa's recent higher education protests around fees and decolonizing institutions have shone a spotlight on important issues and have inspired global discussion. We witnessed similar resistance during apartheid, where African languages and ideas were limited. The educational space was the most affected by clashes between languages and ideas; we saw this in the prioritizing of English and Afrikaans over indigenous African languages and the prioritizing of Western medicine, literature, arts, culture, and science over African ones. This chapter will show how formal education and knowledge production in South Africa has been used as a tool to repress Black people, while discrediting their knowledge systems. This discussion will draw from impepho, which is rejected by Christians because its main use is for communicating with ancestors. The herb has many other medicinal uses, but it is still rejected. African practices are used and revitalized by AIC like the Shembe Church and revolutionary movements like FMF.

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