Greener Journal of Social Sciences

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Mazuru and Nesbeth

Greener Journal of  Social Sciences Vol. 3 (4), pp. 171-179, April 2013

  ISSN: 2276-7800 © 2011 GJSS

Research Paper

Manuscript Number: 020713440


HIV and AIDS, Globalisation and the Shona Indigenous Knowledge Systems: the Impact of HIV and AIDS on the Shona Culture


Mazuru Michael and *Grand Nesbeth


Lecturer in African Languages and Literature, Great Zimbabwe University.


*Corresponding Author’s Email: nesgrand @ gmail. com


HIV and AIDS pandemic have wrecked havoc among humankind. They have caused a plethora of problems to the chagrin of humanity as humans fail to find a permanent panacea to the deadly diseases thereby prompting them to experiment in different ways in a bid to curtail their adverse impact on mankind. This has caused a review of different people’s cultural practices such as living styles, medicinal practices, beliefs and faiths, marriage practices among others as well as different people’s perceptions of the pandemic. In the struggle it has emerged that there are some western cultural views and practices that are given precedence over Shona and at large African cultural practices as these are negatively portrayed. This results in the infantilisation of the indigenous knowledge systems (I.K.S.) of the Shona which were core to their survival as a people in pre-colonial times. Consequently, the Shona indigenous knowledge systems have been fossilized, marginalized and pushed to the periphery as western cultural practices are given primacy in the struggle. The primacy given or accorded Euro-American cultures is in this paper regarded as cultural imperialism as this is to the detriment of the Shona indigenous knowledge systems that are gradually distorted and destroyed. Therefore it is within the ambit of this paper to argue that, the fight against HIV and AIDS have resulted in cultural imperialism, the agents being HIV and AIDS and their attendant western-oriented practices, beliefs and faiths that go along with its prevention and cure. The paper further posits that the Shona indigenous knowledge systems are also a formidable force to reckon with in the fight against HIV and AIDS and should be roped in, so as to give this struggle a real global perspective. It asserts the primacy of the Shona indigenous knowledge systems in this struggle as they appear to be more effective and life-oriented when compared with those from the West.

Keywords: Indigenous knowledge systems, globalization, imperialism, HIV and AIDS, feminism.

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