Indigenous Knowledge Systems: An Alternative for Mitigating HIV and AIDS in Zimbabwe

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Muyambo Tenson


HIV, as one of 21st century crises, has caused great suffering. Nations, worldwide, have doubled efforts to mitigate the effects of the HI virus. Multi-sectorial approaches have been employed to reduce its transmission. Paradoxically statistics of new infection, Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) defaulting and HIV related deaths continue to increase despite the fact that communities in Zimbabwe, rural and urban, have access to HIV information. The paper seeks to investigate why the available information does not translate into effective and efficient HIV intervention measures. Is this to do with the nature and form (language and packaging) of the information? Can indigenous knowledge be helpful? These were some of the questions that underpinned the study. Since the study is a qualitative one, five prominent figures in Zimbabwe were interviewed. One chief, one acclaimed folklorist, two renowned scholars on traditional religion and indigenous knowledge and one theologian with expertise on religion and HIV and AIDS were the research participants. Findings revealed that ngano (folktales) as repertoires of indigenous knowledge, can be used for HIV information dissemination. The study argues that indigenous knowledge systems are a useful resource for mitigating HIV and suggests their use in dealing with existential challenges, chief among them being the HIV pandemic.


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How to Cite
Tenson, M. (2016). Indigenous Knowledge Systems: An Alternative for Mitigating HIV and AIDS in Zimbabwe. Alternation Journal, 23(2), 289-308. Retrieved from
Author Biography

Muyambo Tenson, Zimbabwe Ezekiel Guti University