10 / 1993
Eyethu Imbali is a South African consultative institute for development through community history and religion. With its commitment to affirm the dignity and worth of the oppressed people of South Africa, the Eyethu Imbali Trust has resolved to target students (in both primary and high schools)and teachers for more positive study of the African past. These people receive training in the skills and methods of oral historical research. Here oral history will not only be given credibility and status but the people trained in the skills of oral history are empowered enough to stand up to literate counterparts. One of the reasons why blacks in South Africa are often said to have no history is that they cannot put forward primary records in the form of written documents. Yet for Westerners history is that body of information that ancestors put together as well as passed on to posterity. However, counter to what Westerners claim, it has been demonstrated that primitive communities have always had some form of history consciousness. In fact, that consciousness has accounted for cohesion among early communities. African groups have always sung praises where they recalled events and experiences of those gone before them. Secondly, in naming their newly born, they have quite often linked the child to some significant historical happening in the family or community. Thirdly, clan names have been a way of celebrating the past. Through these family history has been passed on to later generations.
Participants : some twenty youngsters representing all the racial groups in the country are invited through channels available in the schools where they are. Room is provided for participation by some teachers who are there mainly for support.
The attempt to promote an objective but sympathetic oral history of the black community should foster transracial communication in the study of South African history. This might contribute to improve interracial relationships and harmony between white and black students and teachers in South Africa.
Articles and files
EYETHU IMBALI, VERHELST, Thierry in. CULTURES ET DEVELOPPEMENT - QUID PRO QUO, 1993/10/01 (BELGIUM)
Réseau Sud Nord Cultures et Développement - 172 rue Joseph II. B-1040 BRUXELLES. BELGIQUE. Tel (19)32 2 230 46 37.Fax (19)32 2 231 14 13 - Belgium