Nhimbe practice in rural Zimbabwe revisited:  Locating indigenous knowledge systems, gender dimension, food security and peace building in it

Pindai M. Sithole, PhD (Sustainable Development)

Director  & Social Research and Evaluation Consultant in Development 

Centre for Development in Research and Evaluation International Africa (CeDRE Africa)

240 Samora Machel, Belvedere, Harare, Zimbabwe

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Abstract

 

Nhimbe is an indigenous knowledge practice used in community development and it is couched in people’s socio-cultural moral compass.  Households in rural areas use it to assist each other on a wide range of development initiatives especially agricultural activities to promote and sustain food security.  In Africa, similar practices to nhimbe are Harambee in Kenya, Chilimba in Zambia and Letsema in South Africa and Botswana.  Since the 1800s or earlier, economic and social benefits are the key motivations to the practice of nhimbe.  The paper is a re-visit of nhimbe from the perspectives of gender, food security, climate change adaptation and social inclusion.  It is clear that during the nhimbe practice, various types of indigenous knowledge systems are produced, shared and used for the community social and economic wellbeing.  In addition, gender dimension, human rights and social cohesion are evident in the practice. 

 

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