Cultural Significance of Socio-economic and -demographic Variables with regard to Indigenous education, pregnancy and childbirth among the Ndau People of Zimbabwe

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Anniegrace M. Hlatswayo
Hassan O. Kaya


The study used the case of the Ndau people to investigate the cultural meanings attached to socio-economic and demographic variables with regard to indigenous belief andpractices on pregnancy and childbirth. Among the Ndau, age group, gender, maritalstatus and education do not merely serve as statistical characteristics of research participants. They have cultural significance. For instance, Ndau women of the same age group tended to associate and share together information on privileges and responsibilities associated with pregnancy and childbirth. The institution of marriage defined the inception of the socially putative time for childbearing. The history and status of education among the
Ndau was complete without the inclusion of indigenous ways of knowing and value systems. Ndau indigenous education had five philosophical foundations. These were preparationism, functionalism, communalism, perennialism and holisticism. The traditional education was predominantly informal using methods such as gender role play and folk media to inculcate cultural values. The Ndau also recognized the significance of Western formal education to meet the challenges of globalization. However, the study showed low levels of formal
education among women and the elderly. This was attributed to the socio-cultural environment which favoured education of the boy child and the unstable political and economic environment during Zimbabwe’s liberation struggle against colonial forces

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Author Biographies

Anniegrace M. Hlatswayo, University of KwaZulu-Natal (South Africa)

University of KwaZulu-Natal (South Africa)

Hassan O. Kaya, University of KwaZulu-Natal (South Africa)

University of KwaZulu-Natal (South Africa)