Creating spaces for Eziko Sipheka Sisophula theoretical framework for teaching and researching in higher education: A philosophical exposition
Within the academy, science and theories have historically been constructed in ways that maintain and privilege the centrality, superiority, legitimacy and universality of western thinking as ‘regimes of truth’. The theoretical value of indigenous theories and science has often been denied because theorizing has been evaluated on the premise that western academic epistemologies and paradigms are the most relevant for teaching and for conducting researching in higher education. Indigenous scholars/researchers and students have been questioning these assumptions, and in the past fifteen years or so, opportunities for establishing the Kaupapa Maori Theory (KMT) in New Zealand and eZiko Sipheka Sisophula (eZiko for short) theoretical framework in South Africa have emerged. These are both rooted in indigenous worldviews, philosophical foundations, cultural values and languages, and have relevance for teaching and researching for the improvement of the quality of lives within indigenous contexts. The purpose of this philosophical exposition is to first provide an introduction and background information; a historical overview of the construction of western-based scientific knowledge as ‘regimes of truth;’ pioneers and pathfinders for cultural freedom of African minds; an exposition of eZiko Sipheka Sisophula theoretical framework; commonalities between (KMT and eZiko) and present seven pillars of eZiko and illustrate their methodological implications for teaching, researching and community engagement practices within indigenous contexts.
Keywords: Kaupapa Maori, Eziko, indigenous worldviews, philosophical foundations, cultural values, languages and collective knowledge production.