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A tradition in transition: the consequences of the introduction of literacy among Zulu people in Umbumbulu.

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This research study, in its efforts to discuss the consequences of the introduction of literacy among the Zulu people in Umbumbulu, will embody the social and educational aspects of the oral Zulu people before and after the introduction of writing. People have been made to believe that by learning to read and write, they would be empowered: literacy and education would enable them to get decent jobs and earn more money. Western civilization which has been adopted by many African peoples, attaches great value to money economy than subsistence economy, hence there has been a shift from orality to literacy. It is assumed that the acquisition of literacy skills may not change the intelligence quotient of an individual. This work will therefore investigate if the Zulu people did have a form of civilization before they met with the Whites. One will further investigate if the oral life of the Zulu man without the knowledge of reading and writing, was miserable and imbalanced. I shall then look into the method of how literacy was introduced among the Zulu people in Umbumbulu and lastly, check on the impact of literacy and education on the social life of Umbumbulu people. This project falls within the orality-literacy debate and will compare some often conflicting theories. Finally, one would propose suggestions of how school going pupils in Umbumbulu would improve their school performance by applying teaching methods and content that has relevance to their oral culture.


Thesis (M.A.)-University of Natal, Durban, 1997.


Literacy--Social aspects., Zulu (African people)--Foreign influences., Zulu (African people)--Social life and customs., Theses--Orality-literacy studies., Acculturation--KwaZulu-Natal--Umbumbulu., Oral tradition--KwaZulu-Natal--Umbumbulu.