Africanization and Personhood: The Impact of Indigenous Knowledge Systems upon Learners and their Sense of Self

By Vuyisile Msila.

Published by The Humanities Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

In recent years, the africanization of education has become a topical subject in most African
countries, and South Africa is no exception. Conscientious Africans are looking at possibilities of
africanizing knowledge while keeping abreast with global trends. Some experts and philosophers have
argued that making curriculum relevant to the African context is crucial and has the potential
to enhance learning among African learners. However, absent in many discussions are practical
aspects as to how learners and their educators can play an active role in enacting an africanization of
the curriculum in learning sites. This study was conducted in the Eastern Cape Province in South
Africa. The researcher employed transformational research strategies and participatory methods
to investigate the potential effects of the introduction of African indigenous knowledge systems (AIKS)
in a learning site. The study found that educators need to understand that the democratization of education
calls for the acknowledgement that through education, learners can be assisted in making certain
choices in life. The study also confirmed that part of the teachers’ work is to assist the learners in discovering
what they already have. Learners in Africa can, and should, use the indigenous knowledge systems
(IKS) to develop a sense of self, which is necessary for worthwhile living in their context. Furthermore, it was
also established that transformational pedagogy would be crucial in the introduction of AIKS in the

Keywords: Africanization, Indigenous Knowledge Systems (IKS), Personhood, Post-apartheid Education

International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 9, Issue 4, pp.21-36. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 827.126KB).

Prof. Vuyisile Msila

Associate Professor, Educational Management, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa

Vuyisile Msila teaches in the Department of Education at the University of Johannesburg. He presents Leadership and Management in Education as well as Organisational Development and Behaviour in Educational institutions. Vuyisile is also responsible for post graduate (Masters and Doctoral) supervision.


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