Youth theory in South Africa: an indigenous African perspective derived from Sepedi idioms and proverbs

SOURCE: Southern African Journal for Folklore Studies
OUTPUT TYPE: Journal Article
TITLE AUTHOR(S): M.Mapadimeng
DEPARTMENT: Inclusive Economic Development (IED)
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 10817
HANDLE: 20.500.11910/13695

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While there is general underdevelopment of social theory within African scholarship, where the latter tends to rely heavily on borrowing from other scholarships, and in some instances adapt theories developed from elsewhere in a creative manner, notably from Northern scholarly discourses. This does not however, suggest the absence of theory within indigenous African knowledge systems. This article demonstrates, in a constructivist tradition pioneered by African scholars such as Akiwowo and Mafeje that there are rich theoretical and conceptual insights within the indigenous African folklore such as proverbs, poetry, and legends. It is observed that there is elaborate youth theory within South African indigenous communities' cultural heritage and folklore - especially proverbs and idioms. The article discusses such proverbs and idioms in a manner that deciphers their rich theoretical content and insights on young persons as an important social category of African communities, using idioms and proverbs of the Bapedi people of South Africa as examples.