Reliving South African Apartheid History in a Classroom: Using Vuyisile Mini’s Protest Songs


Many history pupils in South African classrooms study history in second or third language. This creates a number of problems for pupils who have to struggle with the language of learning and teaching as they grapple with historical events. This study sought to examine the impact of the protest song in the teaching of South African (struggle) history. The researcher employed qualitative research methods to investigate one teacher’s practice in her two history classes. She used struggle stalwart and composer, Vuyisile Mini’s compositions in facilitating teaching. The songs were either played from an audiotape or the teacher taught the class lyrics of some songs for the pupils to sing. Both the pupils and their teacher concurred that music played a crucial role in the classroom. The pupils also pointed out that music made them to remember historical events. The teacher stated that she wanted the pupils to be able to think critically as they constructed knowledge during the lessons. Moreover, in line with literature, the history classes were able to use cultural memory for critical learning. The methods used in the class were also able to make the pupils transfer learning to other situations. Conclusions illustrate that effective teachers will always seek creative ways to engage pupils in classrooms and music is one of these. Utilizing creative ways continuously is the crux of effective teaching and learning.

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Msila, V. (2013) Reliving South African Apartheid History in a Classroom: Using Vuyisile Mini’s Protest Songs. Creative Education, 4, 51-57. doi: 10.4236/ce.2013.412A2008.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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