Oral Traditions: A Tool for Understanding Alcohol and Drug Addiction in Swaziland

  • Telamisile Phumlile Mkhatshwa
  • Gloria Baby Malambe


According to the 2015 Swaziland State of the Youth Report, 58.9% of out-of-school youth drink alcohol on a daily or weekly basis. With regards to drugs, Swaziland is popular for growing first-grade cannabis or marijuana and illegally exporting it. This chapter discusses how Swazi people define and conceptualize addiction, specifically alcoholism and drug addiction. It analyses Swazi oral traditions such as songs, proverbs and traditional terms in order to understand how Swazi people perceive addiction. The chapter also evaluates how oral traditions may encourage the increase of alcohol and drug addiction and general complacency towards addiction. Basing the research on sociological criticism, it is hypothesized that the current problem of substance and alcohol abuse in Swaziland stems from deep-seated Swazi oral traditions.


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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Telamisile Phumlile Mkhatshwa
    • 1
  • Gloria Baby Malambe
    • 1
  1. 1.University of SwazilandKwaluseniSwaziland

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