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Prevalence of use of indigenous social networks among women and girl children in a rural community in KwaZulu-Natal

V Jiyane
P Ngulube


Women and girl children regard indigenous social networks as important in their lives as they facilitate speedy awareness and announcements of urgent issues and sharing and transfer of information, knowledge and skills. In other words, they may also assist people to be conversant with what is happening around them. The article is based on the study that is informed by the feminist theory to establish the use of indigenous social networks among women and girl children in the Mfekayi community, KwaZulu-Natal. The focus of the study was on indigenous social networks’ practices, tools, effects and relevance. Face-to-face interviews and observations were used to collect qualitative data from a purposive sample of 63 participants. The findings indicate that although the modern social networks are extensively used for information and knowledge sharing and transfer, due to the advancements brought by the modern information and communication technologies, indigenous social networks remain rooted and highly regarded in some indigenous communities such as Mfekayi, especially among women and girl children. However, it is also noted that modern social networks are making aggressive inroads forcing the indigenous social networks to take a back seat. It is recommended that indigenous social networks should be extensively promoted among women and girl children as they revive the spirit of communalism and togetherness, transfer information, knowledge and skills, sharpen the minds, and support physical training and fitness, as opposed to modern social networks which promote individualism and isolation.

Keywords: Indigenous social networks, indigenous communities, women, girl children, Mfekayi community, KwaZulu-Natal.