Mmino wa bana (Children’s Songs) as a Determinant of Reading Recorded Knowledge among Rural Teenagers in Ga Molepo, South Africa




mmino wa bana, reading, recorded knowledge, rural teenagers, interpretivism, critical theory


This article takes a phenomenological approach that combines interpretivist and critical forms of research paradigms to explain mmino wa bana (children’s songs) as a determinant of reading recorded knowledge among teenagers in Ga Molepo, South Africa. Data was collected from focus groups in a purposive sample of rural teenagers engaged in learning through song and repetition. The multiple case study method was employed to draw data from multiple sources including the rural teenagers’ childhood experiences and literature in library and information science, the behavioral sciences (i.e., anthropology, sociology, and psychology), musicology, and folklore. Photovoice was used to visualise rural teenagers in their natural habitat. This research argues that recorded knowledge in the form of books and other printed material is what drives reading within the school system and the purview of mass reading. The findings reveal that best practice in reading programmes should consider ways of knowing from traditional and modern communities. The driving of reading programmes in South Africa and the continent at large requires a critical interpretivist approach that acknowledges the nature of being of traditional communities and their local epistemologies. The article concludes that mmino wa bana should be catalogued and made accessible in new formats that integrate technology. Policymakers in arts, culture, and heritage (i.e. library and information services) should consider the importance music plays in the early development of rural teenagers.


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How to Cite

Molepo, Mahlaga Johannes. 2021. “Mmino Wa Bana (Children’s Songs) As a Determinant of Reading Recorded Knowledge Among Rural Teenagers in Ga Molepo, South Africa”. Mousaion: South African Journal of Information Studies 39 (1):19 pages.



Received 2020-05-10
Accepted 2021-04-11
Published 2021-05-27