News and Events > News > UMP n-GAP LECTURER BAGS PHD AT 29
31 December 2022

For her degree, Dr Bhuda investigated the origin of mathematical ideas and concepts in Ndebele artefacts. She says the study has presented new knowledge that the Ndebele mathematical artefacts were not born after the encounter with the Boers but have always been part of cultural practice. The study also found that mathematical artefacts have both historic and cosmic origins.

“Moreover, they need to be protected using existing laws and such knowledge needs to be part of the school curriculum which forms a method of preservation.”

Dr Bhuda further says that history has not documented some historical information and there has been a lot of misrepresentation of the AmaNdebele people and their artefacts.

“An intensive study was imperative as it needed to rectify past mistakes and trace back when the mathematical artefacts started being practiced and their symbolic meaning,” she added. 

“It’s time for African people to share their own knowledge and interpret it according to the indigenous people’s worldviews.”

UMPDr Bhuda graduated from the University of North-West (UNW) in November 2022.

Dr Bhuda notes that the research was conducted in Klipgat, North-West, where a community of Ndebele people who lived in Pretoria were moved during apartheid to a village called KwaMsiza.

“These people have a lot of knowledge about historic events that took place between the Boers and the Ndebele,” she adds. “The study’s findings indicate that the AmaNdebele artefacts were developed over the 16th century and rapidly developed after 1883 when the Ndebele lost the war to the Boers. The earliest study was conducted in the 1920s, which did not make full investigations on tracing the origin of the artefacts.”

She says oral history in this study was reliable to correct misinterpretations that the practices started after 1883 in the Transvaal.

The 29-year-old began her journey towards obtaining her PhD in 2019. She says it was a very different level of commitment towards her studies, and that putting together a research proposal was particularly challenging.

“I got a bit delayed because I was awaiting an appropriate supervisor but once that was sorted out, we worked extremely hard to catch up on the little time that was lost. It was a rocky journey with challenges but he was there every step of the way." 

Her interests include: decolonisation of education, African indigenous research methodologies, traditional medicine, traditional customary laws and leadership, promotion of indigenous languages, and indigenous knowledge preservation, protection, management and dissemination.

Dr Bhuda says that she has chosen the field of Indigenous Knowledge Systems because of her belief that African cultural heritage needs to be promoted and taught at all levels of education.

She also thinks that indigenous people and their knowledge deserve appropriate representation, which is why she decided to be an academic author and pursue a career in academia.

Some of her accolades include writing for a number of publications on various subjects related to Indigenous Knowledge Systems, which is a multidisciplinary discipline.  

@ Story by Lisa Thabethe. Pictures supplied.