Volume 9, Number 3

Challenges Faced by Student Affairs Practitioners in Embedding Indigenous Knowledgeinto Student Leadership Development Pedagogy. A Case for Zimbabwe


Crispen Mazodze1, Jacob Mapara2 and Maria Tsvere3, 1Bindura University of Science Education, 2Director of
Institute of Lifelong Learning,.Chinhoyi University of Technology, 3Chinhoyi University of Technology, Director
Academy of Teaching and Learning


The drive to mainstream indigenous knowledge into student leadership development in Zimbabwean higher education has recently gained currency. Student leadership development has a Eurocentric historical background and it has continued on this paradigm in the post-independence era. Framed on decolonial theoretical framework this study interrogates the challenges that are faced by student affairs practitioners in their efforts to include indigenous epistemologies into student leadership development programmes. The research was designed as a case study that employed qualitative methods of data collection and analysis focussing on student development practice at three state universities in Zimbabwe namely Bindura University of Science Education, Chinhoyi University of Science Education and Great Zimbabwe University. Data were collected through in-depth interviews with student Affairs practitioners and analysed through NVivo qualitative data analysis software. Research findings indicate that student affairs practitioners face a myriad of problems which hinder the mainstreaming of the knowledge of the local indigenous people into leadership development. These problems include lack of training to empower them with skills to include indigenous epistemologies into student leadership training, lack of funding and policy guidelines. Theorising on this complexity the research recommends the designing of leadership programmes that imbue indigenous epistemologies of the local people in student development such as hunhu/ubuntu values.


Student development, Afrocentrism, Eurocentrism, hunhu/ubuntu values, epistemology.