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Around the time of the great Greek philosophers like Socrates (born around 470 bce - died  399 bce - that is, he died 399 years before the birth of Jesus Christ), the Greeks engaged in ‘discourse’ or discussion for hours on a particular subject or topic of interest.

 While these discussions were very interesting - even today many marvel at the intellectual prowess of these thinkers - the Greek philosophers suffered from a fatal intellectual flaw; they never subjected their ‘theories’ or postulates to the scientific process of validating or verifying the truth of their postulates.

It was not until the beginning of the period known as the Enlightenment (some recent historians place the beginning of the Enlightenment at around 1620) that gave birth to the scientific method that the scientific revolution took off. A classic model of the scientific method was demonstrated by Italian scientist Galileo Galilei (born February15, 1564, died January 8, 1642) when he demonstrated from the top of the leaning tower of Pissa that if two bodies of different weight were dropped from the same height, they would reach the ground at the same time. Galileo’s experiment was particularly significant because it shattered a myth that had existed for centuries since the time of the ancient Greeks. The Greeks had concluded, quite unscientifically, that the heavier body would reach the ground first. And nobody had tried to verify the truth of this postulate until Galileo came along!

Fast forward to 2017. It is shocking to realise that in this day and age the scientific method has not taken root in the minds of many people. For example, gender-based violence is a topic of hot discussion among many individuals, organisations, the media etc. And yet, no one has mentioned the need for basic research to discover why men and women in Swaziland are killing, assaulting or otherwise subjecting their partners, spouses and lovers to the horrendous acts of physical violence we hear or read so much about.

Please, somebody, do the research before making unsubstantiated pronouncements in which ‘low self-esteem’, on the part of male perpetrators of physical violence against females, is blamed for the seemingly daily escalation of acts of violence against females. While some psychological theory may exist to help explain some patterns of abuse, we should not forget to consider the cultural dimension of male-female interaction in Swaziland.


NOTE: In an effort to afford them the right to reply, this letter was forwarded to both Clinical Psychologist Ndo Mdlalose and SWAGAA’s Slindelo Nkosi on October 30, 2017. Mdlalose responded by saying she is grateful to Hopeful for the enlightenment and Nkosi did not respond.


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