Youth Theory in South Africa – an Indigenous African Perspective

Wednesday, 13 July 2016: 14:15
Location: Hörsaal 07 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Mokong Simon MAPADIMENG, University of Limpopo, South Africa
While there is a general lack of development of social theory within African scholarship, which tends to rely heavily on borrowing and creative adaptation of theories developed from elsewhere, and notably from the Western scholarly discourses; this does not however suggest the absence of theory within indigenous African knowledge systems. This paper shall demonstrate, and in similar tradition as previous efforts by few African scholars such as Mbiti (1969), Akiwowo (1986), Gyekye (1987), that there are rich theoretical and conceptual insights within the indigenous African culture-based proverbs, poetry, folk lore and legends. It would be observed that youth theory in South Africa’s indigenous African communities lies within the indigenous African cultural practices and linguistic expressions, and especially proverbs and idiomatic expressions. The paper provides an analytical discussion of such proverbs and idioms in order to decipher their rich theoretical content and insights on young persons and their role and significance as an important social category within African communities of South Africa. It would extend this further by also citing examples from the unique past and present political experiences in South Africa which attest to the continued relevance of these theories.