Edited by Eric H. Kessler and Diana J. Wong-MingJi
Chapter 11: Cultural Mythology and Global Leadership in South Africa
David N. Abdulai INTRODUCTION The commonly held notion of a myth is that it is a traditional story mostly emanating from primitive societies that deal with the supernatural, ancestors or heroes that serve as primordial types. It could also be a collection of stories that appeals to the character, emotions and consciousness of a people. But such definitions of myths or mythologies of a people in the view of this author are static and stale. The definition of a myth that has not been explored is how lies and half-truths have gained currency as truths in our society today. This is because fictitious stories were written and peddled by people with a certain agenda, ideology or worldview which have succeeded in turning their half-truths into truths and facts. The consequence of such half-truths or fiction is that they are now used to make decisions that affect the lives of people. Some of these half-truths have also created negative perceptions that can have a devastating impact on a people. The definition per this elaboration therefore is any issue that is a fallacy, a fiction, half-truth which in most cases evolved out of a certain ideology or worldview. This definition of a myth by this author is different from the mainstream definition offered at the beginning of this chapter. This latter definition is what this author will use in the course of this chapter. This chapter will explore how ancestral veneration by Africans1 has now come to be widely believed abroad and...
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