Midlands State University lecturers Dr Tyanai Charamba and Professor Davie E. Mutasa scooped an award for the most outstanding article in the Sociolinguistics category of papers that were published in volumes 38(1) and 38(2) of the South African Journal of African Languages (SAJAL) in 2018. This was the first time that the outstanding award in the sociolinguistics and literature category was won by Zimbabweans who are based in Zimbabwe. In previous years, all awards for the outstanding articles in the divisions of language, literature and sociolinguistics were won by either non-Zimbabwean researchers or by Zimbabwean researchers in the diaspora.
The award was presented to the pair at a colourful gala-cum-dinner held at the University of Free State in Bloemfontein, South Africa on the 9th of July 2019. The presentation ceremony was held during the 21st Biennial International Conference of the African Languages Association of Southern Africa (ALASA). ALASA is an association of language and literary practitioners that attracts membership from all over the world. SAJAL, on the other hand, is a prestigious journal that is run under the auspices of ALASA and published by the Routledge Taylor and Francis Group.
The award for the most outstanding article in the category of sociolinguistics is an ultimate accolade that was granted to the two distinguished and outstanding academics and their universities for excellence in research work. Their winning article is titled: ‘Folk-story telling among the Shona and Freire’s framework of banking versus dialogical methods of education – In search of innovation and social cohesion in post-independence Zimbabwe’s education’.
The paper advocates and lobbies for pedagogical revamping in the teaching of folktales from ECD to university level. It has a strong Afrocentric call for educationists in particular and cultural practitioners in general, to learn from the traditional folk-story teller, to shun banking methods of teaching and narrating folktales as they grab dialogical ones.