History Revisited

This week Angie Motshekga, Minister of Basic Education, announced sweeping changes regarding the teaching of history in our schools. The proposed changes to the curriculum could see history being introduced as a compulsory subject all the way through to Grade 12, with a greater focus on African history. While things have certainly changed since pre-1994, Motshekga believes that not enough attention is paid to the different cultural groupings, with too broad a focus on the dominant Zulu, Xhosa and Sotho people. In line with this thinking, Jongumhlaba Pokwana, chairperson of Contralesa (Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa), and director of  the Vusizwe Foundation for Historical Research, has authored a book entitled AmaZizi, the Dlamini People of Southern Africa, now in its second edition.

The AmaZizi are found in Swaziland, the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, as well as many other parts of the country. Pokwana’s book, which was written in consultation which his father and grandfather, traces the history of the AmaZizi  as they travel through Africa some 1000 plus years ago. Through Pokwana’s telling of the story, he questions the dominant versions of history, and asserts the vital role that oral tradition plays in the recording of African history.

For further information on the Vusizwe Foundation, or to obtain a copy of the book, please visit vusizwe.com

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