RE-UNITING A PEOPLE SEPARATED BY ‘ARTIFICIAL’ BOUNDARIES USING 100 WORDS: AN AUTOETHNOGRAPHY ACCOUNT OF MALOZI, BASOTHO AND BATSWANA OF SOUTHERN AFRICA
Keywords: Autoethnography; Culture; Languages; Setswana; Silozi; Sisotho
AbstractScholars in this study interrogated the Malozi of Zambia, Batswana of Botswana and Basotho of Lesotho and established their purported common ethnic heritage in a quest to contribute to the attainment of the Sustainable Development agenda. The researchers applied Autoethnography and interrogated similarities and differences in 100 purposively selected words. 100 words were selected across themes common to humanity as follows: (i) human body, (ii) family, (iii) environment, (iv) food, (v) animals, and (vi) religion. Finding showed a 100 percent level of similarity across the six themes above with minor variations. Therefore, commonalities in the use of words among the three ethnic groupings is a pointer to a common heritage despite being separated by geographical boundaries. Equally, minor differences in language pronunciations exist but not profound enough to warrant poly-acculturation. Thus, blurring the ‘artificial’ boundaries in existence as perceived by members of those groups. This discourse spurs a realization of a common culture and identity.