Making vides on research methodology in Africa

Written by Dr. Hannes Nel, D. Com, D. Phil

Context is what it is all about.

Ontology, epistemology, ethnomethodology, phenomenology and all the other “gy’s” mean pretty much the same when considered in terms of grammar. Interpretivists would tell you that every culture and historical situation is different and unique. That is why research conducted in an African context will be different from research in a European, Asian or any other context. And even “European” and “Asian” are overgeneralized contexts.

Even so, research methodology remains the same all over the world because the same principles and processes can be applied to different contexts.

Hello, my name is Hannes Nel and I have developed 109 video lessons on research methodology. Initially I worked from my office and house in Pretoria. Halfway through the process my wife and I moved to Hartenbos in the Southern Cape. That is when the environment became more interesting.

One night I was visited by a small snake with a huge self-image. Although only about 15 centimeters long, the little guy would lift his head and pump up his neck pretending to be a Cape Cobra. It was a Wolf snake, and they are harmless. I grabbed the little guy by the neck and gently dropped him over the fence into the safety of the open field.

Not long after that a centipede, about 5 cm long and fifteen millimeters wide crawled through under the same door as the snake. This rascal was incredibly fast and made a dash for the safety of a couch. I looked under all three our couches but could not find him. I sometimes wake up between two and three o’clock in the morning. Once I start thinking about work, I know that I will not sleep again, so I would get up, make myself a cup of coffee and work on the script for my next video. About two weeks after the centipede invaded my house, I accidently stepped on him in the dark passage leading to my room. He left his hide during the night, probably looking for food. Fortunately, I had my sandals on because a centipede can deliver nasty bite.

My wife had a rather extensive succulent collection in Pretoria and she brought some of them with to Hartenbos. She also bought some new ones in the Northern Cape, which is almost a desert, so that one can find ones that make the most beautiful flowers there.

Sadly, the suburb where we live is developing at an incredible pace. The natural vegetation is rapidly being lost to new houses. That is why the guineafowl are peeping over our neighbour’s fence to see if there is not, perhaps, some open space and something to eat for them on the other side. And the family of partridges that used to scratch around in our garden also left when the building contractors appeared on the scene. A family of rabbits lived and bred in the open field next to our house. You can still see them from time to time, but they are also moving out.

A thick knee bird laid two eggs right next to my study. They don’t build a nest like most other birds do. Their eggs are well camouflaged, so they just lay them on the unprepared ground. We have a collection of different protea species in our garden and the thick knee bird laid her eggs under one of the smaller protea bushes.

The male and female take turns sitting on the eggs and the one sitting on the eggs will not easily leave the nest even when threatened. The other one would stay in the vicinity to protect the nest and sitting partner. If you approach them, he or she would spread their wings and their eyes, which are usually a soft yellow will turn to a fierce-looking bright orange colour to scare you away.

One night a wild cat or some other predator attacked the male sitting on the nest. The next morning, he was gone. I found only the scull on my driveway. What I found strange was that the were no feathers or bones, only the clean-stripped skull. The hen still tried to hatch the eggs, but I am not sure if they hatched because I had to return to Pretoria to finalise our move.

Nature must be angry at us. In the early hours of 29 September 2019 a huge thunder storm broke out over the suburb where we live. In less than twenty minutes the water broke a 6 meter gap in the wall between our house and the one above us, raged through our yard and crashed into the wall on the other side of our house, breaking a six meter gap in this wall.

I wish we could just live with nature without having to disturb the habitat of the wild animals.  We really need to find a way in which to live with nature rather than to destroy and disrupt without thinking about the damage that we are causing. Fortunately, there is a game reserve less than a hundred meters from the suburb where we live so that most of the animals can move there.

In closing, allow me to share some brief notes on the videos on research methodology that I produced:

  1. The videos are aimed at students who wish to embark on P. Hd. or master’s degree studies.
  2. I am posting one video per week on YOUTUBE where anybody can have access to them for free.
  3. In addition, I am posting the scripts that I used to produce the videos as articles on one of our web sites ( You can, therefore, also read the articles for free.
  4. The full video menu is also posted as an article on the “intgrty” web site.
  5. You can also gain access to the videos on our online learning platform at less than one USA Dollar per video. Once you have gained access to a video, you can revisit it as many times as you wish at no additional cost.
  6. Prospective or studying post-graduate students need not watch all the videos. You should be able to write your thesis or dissertation if you watch only the videos that are relevant to your research level and topic. Five or six videos will probably be enough.
  7. Lecturers can also use the videos as training aids, thereby saving their students the cost of having to pay for the videos.
  8. Lecturers can also use the questions that I ask in my tests in theirs and they need not acknowledge the source. The electronic address of the platform is:


  • I also posted 3 videos with open access as a sample on our online learning platform.
  • I also developed a ten-question online test per video. Those who watched the videos on the online platform can do the tests online at no additional cost. They can repeat the tests as many times as they wish and, once they have successfully completed all 109 tests, will automatically be issued with a Mentornet Proficiency Certificate in Research Methodology.

Enjoy our studies.

Thank you.

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