|dc.description.abstract||Inspired by Afrocentrism ideologists such as Molefi Kete Asante (2007), the researcher
advocates for non-dominance of one community by any other, as this has created
problems across sub-Saharan Africa.
The social phenomenon of internal colonialism thrives on cultural authoritarianism that
the ruling elites or dominant social groups accentuate through the built environment.
This study explored collectively accepted makings of Afrocentric sources that would
inspire Afrocentric placemaking and architecture in contemporary urban built form and
promote social equality, justice and a sense of belonging. The study of these
Afrocentric sources would motivate architects to design contemporary local built
environments that respond to African value systems.
The study focused on the Mthwakazi Nation’s historic capital, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.
A mixed method approach was adopted, with a qualitative method applied generally
and a quantitative one locally.
Special consideration was given to concerns such as African cosmological orientation,
culture and identity that pivoted indigenous legal, political, governance and economic
institutions. This enabled a narration of precolonial built forms. Various concepts and
theories such as placemaking, social identity, symbolic interaction theory,
Afrocentricity and existential theory were drawn on to explore the possibility of
contemporary architectural design and urbanism that captures the African worldview.
Given their ability to exhibit identity phenomena, the focus was civic spaces and
buildings. International precedents such as the Sydney Opera House and its linkage
to the Bennelong House in Australia, which demonstrate the extent to which Australia
has taken on the mantle of European culture and the significance of historical events
as a source of inspiration in urban placemaking. Symbolic interactionism evokes
indigenous ecological features to encourage creation of locally responsive built
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environments. The Mpumalanga Provincial Legislature is presented in this study as a
Built forms and parallel historical developments were examined from the precolonial,
to the colonial and postcolonial periods to identify appropriate Afrocentric sources for
contemporary placemaking. In Zimbabwe, Shona traditional built forms were anchored
by Great Zimbabwe while King Lobengula’s historical settlement of koBulawayo
reflects amaNdebele architectural developments that date back to KwaZulu. Both
kinds of traditional settlements provide indicators to Afrocentric sources for envisaged
strategies in placemaking and architecture in African cities.
To the African mind circularity and movement capture what the cosmos represents.
Movement is rhythmic, regular and seasonal. With respect to symbolic interactionism,
circularity and movement is how the cosmos reflects itself to an African mind; hence
the criticality of organic and rhythmic motion in his/her art and architecture. The study
contends that the Collective Centred Afrocentric Placemaking (CCAP) knowledge
model is to assist the conceptualisation of Afrocentric placemaking and architecture in
contemporary urban built form and thus create an authentically existential sense of
belonging in African cities.||en_US