Decreasing reliance of indigenous knowledge systems in rural households; the case of Khambashe, Eastern Cape, South Africa

  • Tendayi C. Garutsa
  • Fhulu Nekhwevha


The gradual waning of indigenous knowledge systems represents the basis for major rethinking towards harnessing indigenous epistemology that can potentially alleviate food shortages in rural households. This article seeks to determine the factors, if any, accounting for the attrition of the gendered indigenous knowledge in food production systems in Khambashe rural households. The Foucauldian postmodern theory extended by African feminism was utilised to explore the patterns of power between gender and knowledge systems. Gender and knowledge in food production processes are embedded in systematised knowledge and gender relations. A mixed-method approach combining qualitative and quantitative research design was used in order to gain a full grasp of the various constraints that hinder utilisation of indigenous knowledge in preventing or reducing the impact of food scarcity in rural households. Chief among the identified constraints in Khambashe are the marginalisation of local knowledge by hegemonic Western science and discriminatory traditional practices. African epistemologies with the potential of improving the lives of Africans should be revisited and rebuilt.


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1995-641X
print ISSN: 0256-2804