Indigenous Communication Systems versus Modern Communication Systems: A Case Study of the Bukusu Subtribe of Western Kenya

  • Job Allan Wefwafwa


This qualitative research attempts to tell a history of a people by highlighting the most life-threatening moments of their existence, and how they communicated the threats to mobilise the people into a common course to either save or better their lives. Through this, the study seeks to establish the most effective communication system(s) to address the rural folks’ negative cultural practices such as Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and wife inheritance. This will help development communication experts to device and package messages that will effectively target the negative cultural practices in developing countries. Purposive sampling was used to sample three interviewees (traditional diviners who are also custodians of their culture) with whom, through face to face interviews, the researcher obtained data for the study. The study established that rural folks regard modern communication systems as superficial and unable to address their deep seated cultural issues. They argue that the synthetic, glamorous, and vivid yet skeletonic value of TV and Radio lack the naturalness that they seek in communication. To them, metaphors, village dances, and folk songs deliver messages far more effectively. After all, African rural life is largely natural and knows no glamour. For this, modern communication systems alone cannot address the cultural issues. Both the indigenous communication systems and the modern communication systems need to be blended to generate (a) hybrid communication system(s) that can effectively address the negative cultural practices in Africa.
Academic Papers