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Dr. Motheo Koitsiwe

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This South African Scholar Earned Africa's First Ph.D. in Indigenous Astronomy

At a young age, his love for the consumption of stories about the stars and the moon helped him develop his passion for indigenous knowledge systems (IKS) research, specifically indigenous astronomy. Fast forward to 2019, Motheo Koitsiwe made history as the first to receive Africa’s first Ph.D. in indigenous astronomy from the North-West University (NWU) in South Africa. “This passion was ignited by my late grandmother, Mmamodiagane Tladinyane, when she narrated stories, poems, riddles, [and] songs of African night skies and cosmologies around the fireplace,” Dr. Koitsiwe shares with Face2Face Africa. It was years of the oral traditions of storytelling inspired by the cosmos that motivated him to investigate the African indigenous astronomy of the Batswana in South Africa and Botswana. In centuries past, Africans relied on the natural world around them to keep track of seasons, time, and directions as there were no gadgets like mobile phones and clocks to help with timekeeping. For...

Shanique Yates

Dec 2, 2020