Preservation of Indigenous Knowledge through Indigenous Languages in Zimbabwe

Preservation of Indigenous Knowledge through Indigenous Languages in Zimbabwe

Lawton Hikwa (National University of Science and Technology, Zimbabwe) and Esabel Maisiri (National University of Science and Technology, Zimbabwe)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 21
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-0423-9.ch033


The chapter seeks to demonstrate the need to preserve indigenous knowledge through the preservation of indigenous languages in Zimbabwe. This is premised on linguistic determinism which states that language precedes thought and determines one's worldview. Therefore, by preserving indigenous languages, which in Zimbabwe have continued to be marginalized, the country would be preserving its intangible heritage and maintaining the diversity of its knowledge base. Activities undertaken to preserve indigenous languages are assessed and suggestions put forward on how library and information science professionals could also take part in preserving the knowledge resources. The chapter is based on a literature review.
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The Language Situation In Zimbabwe

The chapter is conceptually and theoretically anchored to the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No. 20) Act, 2013, which recognizes and guarantees the official status to sixteen national languages. This is in line with the recommendations of the Select Committee of Parliament on the New Constitution (COPAC) which was appointed in 2009 to coordinate the constitution-making process. The process was one of the deliverables of the Global Political Agreement (GPA) that was signed in September 2008 by the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) led by Robert Mugabe, and the two formations of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), namely, the MDC-T led by Morgan Tsvangirai, and the MDC-N led by Welshman Ncube (KuvakaZim, n.d.). The GPA was brokered by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and it ended the election dispute of 2007 between Tsvangirai and Mugabe, leading to the formation of an inclusive government that came into place in February 2009 (Dzinesa, 2012).

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