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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Rethinking Indigenous Media: Rituals, 'Talking' Drums and Orality as Forms of Public Communication in Uganda
Author:Mushengyezi, Aaron
Periodical:Journal of African Cultural Studies
Geographic term:Uganda
Subjects:media policy
indigenous communication systems
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Education and Oral Traditions
Literature, Mass Media and the Press
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/1369681032000169302
Abstract:The current discourse on globalization has many far-reaching implications not only for African economics and politics, but also for the vital question of how we communicate in a 'global village'. African governments and their development partners often tend to extrapolate communication models from the developed world and apply them wholesale in local environments in Africa that are quite unique. This paper argues that such communication strategies often do not impact on the rural masses for which they are meant because they are not 'contextualized' to the local settings, cultural dialectics and world view of the people. The bulk of the rural people are non-literate, poor and have little or no access to modern mass media such as television, radio, film, newspapers, the internet and email. The roll-out of modern media should continue to occupy centre stage in planning by African governments, development agencies and nongovernmental organizations, and these modern media should continue to be used to disseminate various campaign messages (HIV/AIDS awareness, immunization of children, maternal health care, poverty eradication, etc.) to the communities. But given the dearth of these media in many poor countries, the limitation of their coverage to the urban centres, and the costly equipment involved, a strategy that relies solely on them has its drawbacks. Communication planners should not overlook the significant role indigenous forms such as popular theatre, drumming, village criers, storytellers, orators, etc., have played - and continue to play - in communication among rural, poor communities. The paper illustrates the ways in which these media continue to be utilized in development communication in Uganda, for instance, because of the way they are embedded in the cultural ideology of the rural people. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]