Presentation on theme: "Indigenous African Leadership: What value can it add to school leadership? Evidence from Southern Africa Vitallis Chikoko University of KwaZulu-Natal,"— Presentation transcript:
Indigenous African Leadership: What value can it add to school leadership? Evidence from Southern Africa Vitallis Chikoko University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa CCEAM (UNB) 2014
The big African paradox on one hand Poverty high levels of unemployment under-development poor health abuse of power lack of accountability weak education systems high levels of illiteracy despondency and apathy ALL SUGGESTING WEAK LEADERSHIP
On the other: Africa was not always like that Our forefathers and mothers who built: * the Great Zimbabwe * the pyramids of Giza *who taught the Greek mathematicians the basics of algebra and trigonometry The leaders of the kingdom of Monomotapa, Timbuktu, Mapungubwe and many others WERE GREAT LEADERS (Tsedu in Ngambi (2004, p. 112)
The research journey we are traveling How can we characterise indigenous African leadership? How can it inform modern school leadership in Africa? *Lesotho (Sotho), South Africa (Zulu), Zambia (Lamba), Zimbabwe (Shona).
Leadership and indigenous African leadership ‘Leadership is communicating to people their worth and potential so clearly that they come to see it in themselves’ (Covey, 2004, p. 98). Indigenous African leadership is based on chieftaincy and village community (Ngambi 2004).
The asset-based approach development and empowerment of communities from inside out (Kretzman and McKnight, 2003) individuals, groups of people, communities etc, have some capacities, skills and resources to address own problems even in the poorest of neighbourhoods. the glass as half full’ as opposed to ‘half empty’ (Mourad & Ways, 1998)
motho ke motho ka batho” (I am because you are).
A Community Spirit Basulutani (Headmen) take care of the people; they know in detail who has a visitor, where they are from and why they have come into the village and when they will go back. They know if they have come to stay and if so which piece of land to give them. They know who is sick and for how long. They know everybody and everybody knows them too.
Comm. Spirit cont’d children belonged to the village. As an adult, you were to discipline every child, I mean every child. If children are fighting, insulting each other or anything unacceptable, you wouldn’t just pass….. No one would accuse you of reprimanding his/her child, also as a child you wouldn’t go and report them to your parents. We were not mad; we wouldn’t just beat children unnecessarily! The child belonged to everyone.
Children as leaders ….leadership was practised at different levels from the parents down to the children. As an older child you cannot ignore the wrong- doings of the younger ones. Actually it would be a disgrace to you too, because you are regarded as a leader.
Personalised teaching of children Currently my son is not here with me, I sent him to his uncle. That child did not listen, I do not understand why, but I know when he comes back from there, he will be a totally different child. Children at my brother’s house listen and respect.., mine will learn that there. My brother does not tolerate nonsense. I am a bit soft, but he is good with child discipline. We help each other with teaching of children in our culture.
Stories and proverbs there was this boy who did not respect the elders, one day he was sent to another village to deliver some medicine. He drank that medicine and became pregnant. Eishh!! Imagine a boy becoming pregnant!
Stories and proverbs cont’d Ukatana nowikwitile (if you are stingy, you will be stingy even to somebody who is full) Sunga umukoshi, ubulungu tabukateshepo’ (keep your neck, finding beads for it will not be too difficult). The moral: It does not matter how long it takes you in hardship, one day you will succeed. Umweni tapinta nganda (a visitor does not take your house).
Wisdom When King Moshoeshoe’s grandfather Peete Peete was killed and eaten by cannibals, his people wanted to hunt the culprits and kill them. He refused and said “let’s give them a herd of cattle, they did so because they were hungry. Their stomachs are now my grandfather’s grave, so you cannot dig up his grave.” His people couldn’t believe it. When he was being attacked by the Zulu people, he used to say, they do so because they are hungry, do not to fight them but instead give them cattle. He insisted on building peace and knew as long as they fight they will be no peace. People wasted too much time and energy fighting instead of producing food and he was tired of these wars! That’s a sign of his wisdom.
motho ke motho ka batho (I am because you are). How can we make every child count in today’s schools? Are children granted opportunities to lead learning? Do schools engender a sense of community? What stories do we tell children in today’s schools? NDINOTENDA