African Indigenous Knowledge and Social Work Practice: Towards an Afro-sensed Perspective


  • Allucia Lulu Shokane University of Venda
  • Mogomme Alpheus Masoga University of Venda



social work practice, indigenous knowledge, intervention, Afro-sensed


South Africa is a multicultural society with diverse indigenous cultural communities. It has been argued that as Africa enters into a new phase of knowledge development, disciplines like social work are equally asked to rethink their methods and theories to embrace this emerging challenge. The central idea of this article is based on the presumption that social workers should intervene in a culturally-sensed manner, appropriately and seeking to discover uniqueness in local indigenous ways within specific communities. It is contested in this article that the practice of social work, with its specific intervention approach, which uses local specific knowledge, can be a catalyst for social change and transformation. The article calls for a transformed social work education in South Africa that embraces notions and discourses such as decolonisation, indigenisation and Africanisation. Locally collected anecdotes are presented in the discussion. Broadly, the article suggests that indigenous knowledge, which encourages local cultures, and contexts, which integrate culturally-sensitive and Afro-sensed approaches, has the potential for driving a changed social work practice and education.


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How to Cite

Shokane, Allucia Lulu, and Mogomme Alpheus Masoga. 2018. “African Indigenous Knowledge and Social Work Practice: Towards an Afro-Sensed Perspective”. Southern African Journal of Social Work and Social Development 30 (1):18 pages.
Received 2017-03-14
Accepted 2017-08-11
Published 2018-06-19