Request Proposal

African Culture and Customs

Faculty-LedFaculty-Led | Social Science Zimbabwe

Module Overview

Africa is a passionate place that ignites the senses. It is richly endowed with vibrant and diverse cultures. While many cultures have become strongly individualistic, much of African culture remains strongly collectivist and connected to its traditional roots. This results in a fundamentally different worldview. Present day Zimbabwe was once home to the vast, wealthy Mutapa empire which spanned Southern Africa. Join us as we explore the ruins of its ancient capital – Great Zimbabwe. Input from The Centre for African languages at Great Zimbabwe University helps to give students on this program an understanding of how languages evolved as tribes moved up and down the African continent. We investigate how African cultures express themselves differently in terms of faith, language, the arts, leadership and decision-making. We look at the impact of more recent colonial history, while examining what the future holds for traditional cultures in an increasingly western-dominated English-speaking world. Participate in this module in order to gain a rich understanding of what makes the people of Africa unique.

Location

The group will go around Zimbabwe visiting some historical and cultural heritage sites in Harare, Masvingo, Gweru, Matobos, Hwange and Victoria Falls. These will include the Great Zimbabwe Ruins from which the country derives its name and the majestic Victoria Falls.

Educational Outcomes

By the end of this experience, students would have:

  • Understood the impact of worldview on politics, business and community life
  • Gained insight into the impact of colonialism and how its effects are still being felt today
  • An understanding of oral, collective societies (as opposed to individualistic ones) and principles of Ubuntu
  • Explored what is meant by the African Renaissance and Africa’s future in an increasingly globalized world

Module Length

The minimum duration for this module is 6 days. The maximum length is 21 days (longer modules may incorporate additional study locations).

Contributors

Gertjan Van Stam

Gertjan is Dutch and lives in Zimbabwe. He has been involved with strategic developments in ICT in Africa since 1987. He is a Research Fellow at Zimbabwe's Science and Industrial Technology Development Centre. He holds an MTech (cum laude) from Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University and is currently working towards a PhD in Cultural Studies.

His research is focused on the mechanism of engendering ICTs in (rural) Africa. He is also a member of IEEEs Board of Directors Ad Hoc Committee for Africa. Gertjan has also lived in different urban and rural areas within Belgium, India, Netherlands, Swaziland and Zambia. He is thus a professional with broad exposure within many contexts, cultures, leadership and innovation systems.

Sabina Seldon

Sabina grew up in Bulawayo, then studied journalism at Rhodes University. She worked in public relations in Zimbabwe before she gained experience in other areas within the field of communication. She worked at a picture library in South Africa before returning to Zimbabwe to work in advertising and film.

She now spends her time writing, animating and counselling children in Harare. Sabina was published in Women Writing Zimbabwe (2008). Her book ‘Seven’ was shortlisted for the Golden Baobab Prize for Early Chapter Books in 2013.

Customize Your Program

Thank you for your interest in this module and developing a faculty-led program with EDU Africa. We pride ourselves in our ability to customize a program that will meet your requirements, exceed your expectations and make your vision come to life.


Featured Experiences

Boma Restaurant

Meaning “the place of eating,” Boma appeals to the senses with a variety of local dishes including game meat such as kudu, warthog and ostrich. Guests are welcome to take part in traditional drumming and dancing. You even have the opportunity to eat a local delicacy – mopane worms!

Craft Workshop

Enjoy a cultural evening with Zimbabwean musicians, after which the local craftsmen will be available to teach you how to craft beautiful pieces of jewellery and sculptures. This cultural immersion experience will not only teach you new skills, but give you insight into the cultures and traditions of the people of Zimbabwe.

High Tea at Victoria Falls Hotel

Visit the famous Victoria Falls Hotel, renowned for it’s colonial-era architecture. This five-star hotel is only a ten-minute walk from the falls themselves, and was built in 1904 as a key part of the “Cape to Cairo” railroad dream. Today, enjoying a high-tea on the terrace gives you insight into what life was like over a hundred years ago as you gaze at the Victoria Falls Bridge, mist rising from the thundering waterfall.

Tiger Fishing

These ferocious, predatory fish lurk throughout much of the Zambezi, catching prey with their enormous jaws and needle-like teeth. Add a tiger fish to your repertoire during your sports fishing adventure on the Zambezi.

Flight of Angels

Hover through the pounding mist of Victoria Falls as you explore the stunning landscape from the air. A specially designed helicopter, providing panoramic visibility to every passenger, takes you high into the sky to be truly encompassed by the mesmerizing grandeur of the falls.

Victoria Falls

Known as the “smoke that thunders,” Victoria Falls is one of the seven natural wonders of the world. The waterfall system is the largest on Earth, about 1.7 kilometers wide and one hundred and eight meters high. Enjoy being awestruck by the sheer magnificence of the falls.


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