Reclaiming Indigenous Knowledge of Mafwe in a Post-colonial Namibian Curriculum

John Makala Lilemba, Yonah Matemba

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Using the Mafwe ethnic/cultural group as a test case, the situation in post-colonial Namibia can be interpreted to mean that as long as indigenous knowledge remains outside the official school curriculum, ideologically, ‘power’ continues to elude the people in the country which for over a century had been under the control of various Western colonial powers. It is suggested that there is an urgent need for Namibia to adopt a diverse culturally sensitive form of education which firmly embeds indigenous knowledge in the way the curriculum is conceptualised, designed and delivered. The study used methodologies such as conceptual analysis, oral traditions and phenomenological analysis. The overall findings in the study suggest the need for a comprehensive theory regarding how indigenous knowledge can become the bedrock and not merely an ancillary to a modern education in Namibia. The emphasis here is that learning about indigenous knowledge enables children and the communities they represent to feel authentic, respected and connected.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-122
JournalJournal of Human Ecology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2014


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