The article attempted to analyse critically the definition of trauma as it is used in the Western
medical and psychiatry contexts in order to come up with an appropriate African definition.
This was undertaken with the view to demonstrate that the Western worldview is different
from the African worldview. Superimposing solutions or providing pre-packed answers to
unique African problems will lead only to re-traumatisation, whereas cultural sensitivity and
the right diagnosis will lead to the correct treatment. The driving force behind this article was
therefore to aim to be relevant, effective and contextual in all African-based pastoral care.
This article has been
adapted from Ray Motsi’s
PhD dissertation, which
was completed under the
supervision of Prof. Maake
Masango, University of
Pretoria, South Africa.