Grant TypeEngaged Research Grant
Institutional AffiliationWitwatersrand, U. of
Grant numberGr. ERG-16
Approve DateFebruary 4, 2022
Project TitleNamono, Catherine (Witwatersrand, U. of) "BONWA KA KGOPA, Makgabeng, South Africa"
Bonwa ka Kgopa is inspired by the earth plastering of the walls of the Great Mosque of Djenn’, explores the possibility of conserving Northern Sotho indigenous earth-built heritage with grass-thatch roof known as rondavels in South Africa. It attempts to interrogate and expand understanding of craft technologies around earth materials to include technologies and symbolisms of indigenous earth and grass-thatch architecture. This will provide a connect for transferring indigenous knowledge and skills, community youth empowerment and provision of model structures for the benefit of the most vulnerable in the rural Makgabeng. Bonwa ka Kgopa will interrogate the myth of sustainability of vernacular architecture and/or confront the harsh reality that traditional communities endure in their quest to conserve indigenous practices. This project provides the opportunity to renew, refresh, reinvigorate indigenous knowledge, traditions of earth architecture technologies and earth consciousness.