Original Research - Special Collection: Women Theologies

‘Kufa kwa jongololo nkhusiya mphete’: A critique of gender injustice procreation cultural practices of the Sena of Malawi

Lucy T. Chibambo
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 78, No 2 | a6885 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v78i2.6885 | © 2022 Lucy T. Chibambo | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 03 June 2021 | Published: 20 June 2022

About the author(s)

Lucy T. Chibambo, Department of Ministerial Studies, Faculty of Religion, Philosophy and Classics, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa


The central argument of this article is that kufa kwa jongololo nkhusiya mphete, a concept that is used to encourage procreation amongst the Sena people of Nsanje District in Malawi, is a dehumanising concept for the barren men and women, in the context of HIV and AIDS and gender justice, where men and women need concepts that affirm life in all its fullness. The study uses feminist cultural hermeneutics as a tool to analyse dehumanising cultural practices, through the examination of three Sena cultural practices.

Contribution: The study also questions the methodology used to engage indigenous knowledge, a methodology that denies traditional communities the right to maintain secrecy on some treasured indigenous practices. At the same time, the article argues that no protection should be afforded to indigenous practices that dehumanise the lives of people on the margins of power.


jongololo; women; Sena; life-giving; life-denying; children; cultural practices; indigenous knowledge


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