Lemba/Remba indigenous knowledge and practice’s contribution to community health and wellbeing in Zimbabwe and other parts of Africa

  • Jacob Mugumbate
  • Robson Wuriga
  • Maxwell Musingafi
Keywords: Lemba, Remba, health, wellbeing, indigenous, ubuntu/unhu, Zimbabwe, Africa

Abstract

In the national museum in Harare, Zimbabwe, there is a Ngoma lungundu (Venda language) or Ngoma inotinhira (Shona language). It is believed to be a replica of biblical Noah’s ark of the covenant. Also called the ‘drum that thunders’, it is a rare wooden artefact carbon-dated to have been made about 700 years ago. It seems, its survival for about seven centuries, is evidence of the resilience of its custodians the Lemba (also known as vaRemba) people’s indigenous knowledge and practices. The pillars of their culture are dietary standards, health behaviours and a Remba education system. Remba people’s health, education, economic and social care practices are contributing in significant ways to Zimbabwean and African society today. This is a transdisciplinary paper looking closely on the contribution of the Lemba indigenous knowledge to health in Zimbabwe and possibly in the southern African region. We analysed traditional knowledge and practices instilled into their Lemba everydayness relating to healthy life styles and identified 10 aspects that contribute to physical, mental and social health and wellbeing.

Keywords: Lemba, Remba, health, wellbeing, indigenous, ubuntu/unhu, Zimbabwe, Africa

Published
2020-04-03

Journal Identifiers


eISSN: 2409-5605
print ISSN: 1563-3934