Southern African Journal for Folklore Studies 2023-08-22T06:39:23+00:00 Dr Norma Masuku Open Journal Systems <p><strong>Hybrid Open Access</strong></p> <p><em>Southern African Journal for Folklore Studies</em> publishes original scientific articles pertaining to folklore studies and research. Research articles, theoretical papers, critical reviews and case studies will be considered for publication.</p> Reimagining the Role of Folklore in the 21st Century: Don’t We Need New Ones? 2023-08-22T06:39:08+00:00 Mantoa Motinyane <p>If you ask any South African child who attended school in the 20th century to name one folktale, they will be able to do so without hesitation. But, if you ask children today this identical question, many of them will pause for a long time to think before responding. Nowadays, the majority of children do not grow up hearing folktales like they used to. Contrary to popular belief, folktales serve an important role in children’s education and upbringing, according to several folklore specialists. Folktales can provide role models that instil moral principles in youngsters, including decency, solidarity, and compassion. Folktales further aid in the formation of social identities. Folktales have recently been mentioned as a potential draw for the South African tourism industry. All of these are true, but one has to wonder whether these instances of folklore’s contribution are consistent with the educational requirements of today. Do they emphasise difficulties that children encounter in schools, such as gender identities, new family structures, changing roles for women in society, pandemic health problems, embracing diversity in cases involving foreigners, multilingualism, and language development? In order to encourage young authors to continue creating new works that preserve and address the ideals of contemporary society, this article will synthesise these topics. By doing this, I hope to inspire writers to prepare for the future in the same way that those who came before us did.</p> 2023-08-16T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Unisa Press Thematisations of Child Abuse by Xitsonga Music Composers 2023-08-22T06:39:14+00:00 Tintswalo Mapengo <p>Abuse in its multifarious manifestations, for example, physical, sexual, emotional, economic, verbal and psychological abuse, as well as harassment, stalking, and property vandalisation, is currently treated as both a global and national crisis. This malady permeates a variety of spaces. It is notable that even musicians devote their creative outputs’ thematic foci to confrontations and agentive contestations against abuse. Some Xitsonga music composers in particular have been adamant in vocalising their objections to child abuse through songs, an area which is yet to receive broad scholarly attention. This article employed a qualitative approach and discourse analysis to reflect on three purposely selected Xitsonga songs that thematise child abuse in its varied forms. This article employed literary theory to analyse song lyrics. The songs are analysed based on a predetermined set of themes, namely, notions of child abuse, condemnations of child abuse, conscientising society about child abuse, and the selected musicians’ proposed remedial interventions against child abuse. The article contributes a contrastive dimension to the ongoing discourse on abuse in general and child abuse in particular from the perspective of Xitsonga musicians. The article recommends, with heavy reliance on the sampled songs, the ways through which the malaise of child abuse can be best addressed and possibly even eradicated in society. </p> 2023-08-16T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Unisa Press Including Indigenous Praise Poetry in the FET Band Curricula Can Benefit Learners in the 21st Century 2023-08-22T06:39:19+00:00 Joseph Maleke Sethabela <p>Indigenous praise poetry is an appropriate and relevant genre to be taught in the 21st century to address the challenges of peer pressure, identity crisis and social ills amongst the youth today. Apart from solving their challenges, it offers pedagogic values related to their imvelogy, historiology (historiography), discipline and employability. When the Curriculum Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS) document talks about <em>poetry</em> (not indigenous praise poetry), it refers to modern poetry. It is the opinion of the author that the exclusion of indigenous praise poetry from the language curriculum for all African Home Languages in the Further Education and Training (FET) band could be one of the factors contributing towards immoral behaviour amongst the youth today, especially Black youth. Teaching praise poetry can be a useful tool in branding the cultural identity of the youth. It can also be useful in branding their clan names and praises. Furthermore, it can help to preserve their language, culture and heritage, as well as to discredit pervasive misconceptions amongst them that their praises are a passé subject—dead and uninteresting. It is worth noting that praise poetry has been in existence since time immemorial and that it is engraved in the DNA of every Black African child because it defines who we are as African people. By exploring the relevancy of praise poetry today, the article takes a helicopter view in order to broaden its knowledge on how praises are significant at different stages of the African child’s life. When a child is born, or graduates (from an initiation school or an academic institution), as well as on his or her wedding day or at his or her funeral, praises are recited to further affirm, connect and bind him/her to the ancestors. Clan names and praises are a direct connection for Africans to the ancestral spirit world and they give a sense of acknowledgement and belongingness to the clanship. This article confirms that praise poetry forms part of the rituals of the African child. It looks at the pedagogic and normative role of indigenous praise poetry in the African Language curriculum and it employs qualitative and documentary analysis of the CAPS document as its research methods. The article aligns itself with revisionist and constructivist theory to arrive at the research outcomes.</p> 2023-08-16T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Unisa Press Methods of Processing Medicinal Plants: A Semantic Study of the Use of Verbs in Sesotho Sa Leboa 2023-08-22T06:39:23+00:00 Seleka Tembane <p>From time immemorial, medicinal plants have been common traditional medicines for treating diseases and ailments in most households. Even today, plants are used for treating ailments and diseases such as the flu and coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). This article investigates the semantic use of verbs for collection, preparation and administration as methods of processing medicinal plants in Sesotho sa Leboa. Most of the medicinal plants, like folktales, are extinct, so by writing this study the ethnobotanical knowledge of the communities will be promoted and preserved. Medicine from medicinal plants is mostly used in a traditional medical healthcare system. Recent studies have indicated how the medicinal plants form the foundation of traditional medicine and how these are sometimes incorporated into allopathic or biomedical medicine. For the medicinal plant to attain its medicinal value, several processes take place and verbs are used to describe them (processes). Specific meaning is attached to the verbs of methods used during the collection, preparation and administration of medicinal plants. Ethnobotanical theory forms the framework of this article, supported by the theory of linguistics. A qualitative approach is used to explain concepts in the collection, interpretation and analysis of data. Data is collected from existing documents and auto-ethnography. The study found that verbs used in the methods of processing medicinal plants are semantically used in relation to specific parts of the plant.</p> 2023-08-16T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Unisa Press Storytelling Research: Implications for the Broader Higher Education System in South Africa 2023-08-22T06:39:06+00:00 Mogomme Masoga <p>The present investigation aims at promoting storytelling as a critical research discipline within the broader higher education system in South Africa. During the apartheid era and in democratic South Africa, storytelling was (and is) not part of the agenda for consideration in the broader higher education system. This status quo was due to multifarious factors including a myopic view of traditional scientific research. In the pre-colonial African communities, stories were told in the evening in the rural home around the fire to capture the attention of and educate the younger family members. Members of the community and adults within a family (e.g., mother, father, uncle, aunt, etc.) usually told stories which drew themes from lived realities. In their entirety, stories were posited towards teaching important lessons about life in general. Some stories were simple fiction-oriented, while others were non-fiction and premised on empirical life actualities. A story would predicate the characters as actual people in a real-life situation. In our modern digital era, some stories are stage-played or dramatised on television. Today, storytelling also involves public speaking by individuals known as “motivational speakers.” Among African societies, most stories featured themes involving a human being with wildlife species such as lion, leopard, baboon and wild rabbit, and many others. To make the discussion on storytelling more vivid and meaningful, an autoethnographic reflection on the story of the man and the leopard was used as an example in this article. In view of the reader-response concept, an articulation of the main ideas unfolding in the story follows the example presented in this paper. The study is based on a narrative analysis as an approach. A narrative analysis comprises literary genre as a theoretical framework. </p> 2023-08-16T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Unisa Press Moral Degeneration in Setswana Hare Folktales: An Analysis of Behavioural Themes—Tricks, Murder and Violence 2023-08-22T06:39:12+00:00 Thapelo Boya Refilwe Ramagoshi <p>In previous research, it has been argued that African folktales are primarily narrated to teach moral precepts, reprimand inappropriate behaviour, and caution against immorality in African societies. Nevertheless, Setswana hare folktales do not seem to serve these functions. Instead, the main character in these folktales frequently exhibits behaviour that contravenes moral standards and is associated with moral degeneration without any unpleasant consequences or punishment. The aim of this article is to explore such behaviours in the folktale “Mmutle le Phokojwe le Senonnori” (The Hare, Jackal and the Bear) and the modern-day occurrences of moral degeneration, as recently reported in popular digital media, including <em>eNCA</em>, <em>IOL News</em>, <em>News24</em> and <em>TimesLive</em>. The utilitarian theory of psychology is employed as a framework to determine the extent to which hare folktales contravene the notion of morality and the function of teaching moral precepts. This qualitative study is based on a master’s dissertation, thematically analysing behaviours of moral degeneration, namely tricks, murder and violence, depicted in folktales. As the folktale “Mmutle le Phokojwe le Senonnori” depicts behaviour associated with moral degeneration, its effectiveness in teaching about morality becomes compromised and flawed. Therefore, Setswana hare folktales seem irrelevant in teaching and awakening Africa’s moral potential. It is concluded that without meaningful interventions by folklorists, folktale teachers and narrators, hare folktales cannot impart moral precepts efficiently.</p> 2023-08-16T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Unisa Press Dynamics of Botho/Ubuntu in Basotho Folklore: The Relevance of Basotho Folktales in the 21st Century Exemplified by “Leobu” 2023-08-22T06:39:17+00:00 Mary Mensele Mabohlokoa Khanyetsi <p>This study is triggered by the one description given to <em>botho/ubuntu </em>nowadays. The term <em>botho/ubuntu</em> is often described as a special kind of African humanism, based specifically on one Basotho proverb, <em>Motho ke motho ka batho</em>, which means “a person is a person through other people.” It is associated with positive attributes among African people such as kindness, sincerity and humanness. This article argues that <em>botho/ubuntu</em> can also be described as a multifaceted aspect of human nature that should not be interpreted narrowly or as one-sided, in terms of conformity to goodness and kindness to be accepted or fit within society, because human nature—<em>botho/ubuntu—</em>is not always harmony-seeking. It is human nature for people to be kind and loving as much as it is human nature for people to be jealous, selfish, rebellious, or to lie. Basotho folktales such as “Leobu” have always depicted within the Basotho various characteristics in human beings to make listeners or society aware of different personalities in life, because human nature is a dynamic phenomenon. The study employed a contextual approach to analyse and interpret the Basotho folktale “Leobu” in relation to events and human activities as well as connections with the self, the environment and with other people. A contextual approach will help readers become aware that Basotho folktales are still relevant as a tool for scrutinising people’s actions and to encourage people to interrogate every piece of information they receive, for they may not know the real intentions of those delivering such information. </p> 2023-08-16T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Unisa Press Batswana’s Beliefs, Myths and Practices regarding Certain Birds 2023-08-22T06:39:21+00:00 D S Matjila <p>From time immemorial, birds have been considered to represent a variety of symbols, depending on their attributes and behaviour. Birds might epitomise spirituality, life, death, peace or conflict. This article deals with the traditional beliefs, myths and practices of the Batswana regarding certain birds, such as the <em>mmamasiloanoka</em> (hamerkop/hammerhead), <em>kgoadira</em> (fish eagle) <em>tladi</em> (lightning bird), <em>tlhatlhamedupe</em> (Jacobin cuckoo bird), <em>leeba/lephoi</em> (dove), <em>lenong</em> (vulture), <em>legakabe</em> (crow) and <em>morubisi</em> (owl) that feature prominently in their biosphere. The Batswana composed songs, poems, dramas, performances, folktales and proverbs about these birds, contending that religious value can culturally be attributed to the activities of these birds, in so far as their exertions and stories about them concern human experiences such as distress, happiness or strong belief. This research will use a qualitative method to analyse Setswana literature about the birds. The theory of critical discourse analysis is employed to enhance knowledge creation. The study demonstrated that religious value can culturally be attributed to the activities of these birds.</p> 2023-08-16T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Unisa Press