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Script 59.9

Notes to broadcasters

It is important for young people to learn the value of indigenous knowledge and practice, and to respect and learn from their elders. Young people are often influenced by information that comes from outside their communities. The purpose of this script is to encourage youth to appreciate aspects of traditional life that are sometimes ignored or taken for granted. Older people in the community have important knowledge about the impact of environmental destruction, such as destroying indigenous forests for agricultural use, as well as the dependence of small-scale farmers on chemicals such as pesticides.

Script

Characters

Program host

Busi:
A teenager
Nozipho:
A teenager

Program host
: Greetings to our young and old listeners. The destruction of the environment is a serious concern for us all. Listen to what Busi and Nozipho learn from their elders about conserving the environment.

[Scene: Two teenagers are walking home on a dusty path chatting and laughing.]

SOUND EFFECTS (Play the sounds of a solitary dove cooing and a light breeze blowing…).

Busi
: Did you see Mrs. Gumbe’s hair today? That teacher is the funniest one in the school.

Nozipho
: I saw it. She does something different every day. One day her hair sticks up as though she’s been struck by lightning. The next day it looks flat and straight.

Busi
: I think she gets her ideas from her sister. You know she has a twin sister living in the city?

Nozipho
: I didn’t know that.

SOUND EFFECTS: DEAFENING ROAR OF WIND.

[Suddenly a strong gust of wind blows dirt in their faces. The wind continues to blow.]

Busi
: Hey, I can’t see! There’s sand in my eyes. -Nozipho, where are you?

Nozipho
: I’m next to you, sister. Give me your hand. There’s a bush we can hide behind.

Busi
: That’s better. Hey, look. Your hair is standing up like Mrs. Gumbe’s.

Nozipho
: Your hair doesn’t look any better.

Busi
: If there were more trees growing here, we wouldn’t have all this dust blowing around.

Nozipho
: You are right. When I was little, my Grandma told me that cutting down all the trees for new fields causes too much dust. It’s bad news for us. They should have left some trees and bushes around the fields.

SOUND EFFECTS (Wind subsides).

Busi
: Do you remember that time we were lost in the forest? Your Ma was so cross. She thought we had been visiting the boys, but actually we didn’t know where we were! I’m sure this is the place.

Nozipho
: Yes, I remember that time. You are right, this is the place. There’s that huge rock we used to climb. Look how it’s changed —

naked as you were the day you were born. Not a tree in sight.

Busi
: My Ma says we made a big mistake cutting so many trees down. She says when they were little her Mama knew how to farm. They always had enough food. She says they kept the trees for shade, then Grandma didn’t have to water the crops so much when it was very hot.

Nozipho
: Hey, that’s a good idea. So the trees help shade the plants and the water in the ground doesn’t dry up so quickly.

Busi
: That’s right. Trees are useful. They also stop the soil from washing away. Haven’t you noticed there are more ditches now than there used to be? I’m sure there were not as many ditches when my Grandma was still alive. My Ma says her Mama worked hard on her land and she had the most beautiful crops.

Nozipho
: Beautiful crops? Well I suppose crops can be beautiful, especially when they are young and green.

Busi
: Of course they can be beautiful! When the wind blows the maize plants, the leaves look soft and sweet as though you could eat them instead of the cob.

Nozipho
: Mrs. Gumbe would be proud of you, Busi. You sound like a poet.

Busi
: You are full of jokes today. I don’t want to think about Mrs. Gumbe anymore. Let me tell you something else about my Grandma. She didn’t spend money on pesticides and all that stuff. She let the birds eat the insects, and whatever pests the birds didn’t eat, my Grandma picked off by hand. I remember helping her.

Nozipho
: I would only do that job with gloves on.

Busi
: You get used to picking off the insects and they don’t bite or sting. My brother and I had many competitions to see who picked the most pests.

Nozipho
: How did you kill the pests?

Busi
: We drowned them in water. But my Grandma sometimes used a mixture of soap and water as a pesticide.

Nozipho
: Soap and water? That sounds like a joke. Did it really work?

Busi
: Yes, it did. That man who came to visit us last year from the agricultural school said the same thing.

Nozipho
: But what happens when you have a big farm?

Busi
: My Ma says it’s better to have small pieces of land to farm. Then you can control the insects more easily. Big farms are much more difficult to manage and they are the ones that need expensive pesticides.

Nozipho
: Your learned a lot from your Grandma …

Busi
: Yes … I loved my Grandma very much and she taught me a lot about respecting the knowledge of our elders.

Nozipho
: What else did you learn from your Grandma?

Busi
: Well, I remember helping my Grandma collect the chicken droppings and cow dung.

Nozipho
: What was that for?

Busi
: She used it for manure. We helped her put it in the fields to feed the soil.

Nozipho
: You helped her do that?

Busi
: Yes, I did.

Nozipho
: It must have been a smelly job.

Busi
: I do not mind the smell. It is definitely not as bad as the smell humans make!

SOUNDS OF BOTH GIRLS LAUGHING.

Nozipho
: I agree with you. Human beings make the worst smells. Tell me what else your Grandma used to say.

Busi
: I can’t think of anything else right now, except that I loved my Grandma and I learnt so much from her.

Nozipho
: Well, I think your Grandma had the right idea. It seems she used what was around her to make the crops grow instead of depending on harmful chemicals.

Busi
: That is true. I think she knew how to live in harmony with the land. She fed the soil and the soil fed her.

MUSICAL BREAK.

Program host
: How many things did you learn from these two teenagers today? They shared some interesting information about caring for our land. They also talked about the important knowledge to be learned from their parents and grandparents. Our young listeners need to remember that their parents and grandparents have been on this earth a lot longer than they have. They have knowledge and experience we can all learn from. Show them your respect and listen to what they have to say.

– END –

Acknowledgements

  • Contributed by: Karen Colvin, Vuleka Productions, Durban, South Africa.
  • Reviewed by: Lelo Njumbuxa, Senior Communications Officer and Linda Mabusela, Communications Assistant, Youth Development Trust, PO Box 214, Florida Hills 1716, South Africa.  Tel: (27 11) 472-4594, Fax: (27 11) 472-4597, E-mail: info@ydt.co.za, www.ydt.co.za

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