Breaking the silence, addressing the confusion and challenging denial surrounding HIV and AIDS by engaging tradition : a study of the mnemonic oral style with special reference to Marcel Jousse
Ngaloshe, Christina Nosabata
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In this study I demonstrate the extent to which I have achieved my original goals to ‘break the silence, address confusion and challenge denial around HIV and AIDS’. As the study progressed I could not ignore the stigma and discrimination associated with HIV and AIDS infection, and the impact of poverty and (mis)education in the time of HIV and AIDS. I also found myself confronted with the use of the traditional mnemonic oral-style of performance in the form of ‘new wine in old bottles’ where the learners at Mthusi High School used the ‘old bottles’ of gospel songs, isicathamiya and izibongo to compose and relay the ‘new wine’ of their experience and understandings around HIV and AIDS. I could see that the use of the mnemonic oral-style was a natural and powerful way for the learners’ understandings of HIV and AIDS to be shared amongst themselves, within the community, and with a larger public so breaking the silence around HIV and AIDS, and so addressing the confusion, challenging denial, stigma and discrimination around HIV and AIDS. The use of the mnemonic oral style in this way suggested to me that it could also be used effectively in education, and led to my suggesting the use of the traditional mnemonic oral-style relating to HIV and AIDS education in the Grades 10-12 Life Orientation Curriculum.