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Does African culture enjoy underserved prominence?

A lot of times when African related events are mentioned, people tend to deem it irrelevant and a subject often hyped to give it prominence it does not deserve.

Well, science has been lauded for tangible contributions to mankind with prove undeniable. Technologically, it is impossible to overlook the extent of development and progress science has brought to mankind. Despite some negatives like cybercrimes, pornography etc. the sector has brought advancement that has eased human efforts in education, transport, health, governance, entertainment just to mention a few.

Hence, the recurrent question on the lips of African enthusiasts; How far has African culture evolved to solve the problems of its people?

To quantify the extent and consistency of indigenous approach to solving local problems can be tricky.  That is why it comes across not surprising that this generation has lost the balance between their traditions and modern lifestyle.

Interestingly, this concern is common to other continents as well but some have been able to manage it well to ensure that their culture is not entirely lost. Can you imagine a 21st century Japanese rocking Kimono (Japanese traditional attire) to a club or lectures? It doesn’t happen except during family gatherings, carnivals, movies, local health centers and in the hospitality sectors where some customized guest houses deliberately set up their environment to flaunt their cultural heritage.

Despite the fact that high technology is rife in Asia, chop sticks and baijiu (local white liquor) has not left their dining tables, which is an evidence of balance  in their culture.

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That being said, can one assert that Africa still has a center stage to apply cultural tenets in today’s world to achieve objectives in whatever sector while preserving the beauty and the essence ancestors kept for this generation?

Communities were bustling with activities, local governors were settling dispute and common people were marrying and procreating and trade was booming. The basics of life have not changed though approach to lifestyle has changed a lot in the past few years thanks to cultural dynamism.

So this is the point where do we merge our heritage to the fast moving technological era. To answer the question – Does African culture enjoy underserved prominence: Let’s consider the following -

Sanitation:  Do you remember when the town crier would play the gong to summon village folks for communal labour?  The recently instituted ‘National sanitation day’ is a modern version of the communal labour but today people treat  it lightly while many others ignore the exercise entirely. So why don’t citizens embrace this and by extension push for vibrant recycling plants to manage the waste that we create ourselves?  Surely if we merge our culture of communal labour with recycling, we will be striking a balance to solve part of our own sanitation problems.

Good grooming. Skin cancer is silently creeping into our society. At a point it was alleged that the use of antiperspirants roll-on were the cause of breast cancer but I remember that in the past, our grandparents patronized lime and powdered to stay fresh and it is still workable in our time. So why drop this culture?

Morality: Today’s youth have the impression that whites do not discipline their wards…That is a misconception. FYI they are disciplined their own way different from us. So why watch your child unguided to grow into a menace to society… The culture of discipline still holds, so let perpetrate it.

Self-reliance: We wove our very own Kente and wore it as a whole piece wrapped around a person in a traditional style “Ntama” with accessories to go with it. Kente was so cherished that it was used on very special occasion hence we have no excuse to flaunt it now that there are countless special events to attend and it okay to strike a balance by matching the fabric with trendy styles to your comfort. So then, can collect a number of our local made clothes and wear them proudly?

Food Security: Africa is known for her favourable weather condition which supports production of a large varieties of crops. It is understandable that some species may not be adaptable to our climate but then again, Green house garden technology is here to widen yet again our range of crop production. Why neglect farming to invest in other areas which are already choked. So the culture of farming is still key in Africa development and must be considered with keen interest.

Knowledge Acquisition:  Apprenticeship was the main teaching approach in the olden days. What we do not know is that, what we term technical education today, is the advanced form of apprenticeship. Why is every one veering off from technical education under the pretext that it is inferior? Let’s not be deceived as the main booster of economy is manufacturing industries. But then again the bigger responsibility lies on government to encourage and invest in this area to turn our shea butter, palm oil, ‘alata samina’ etc into booming businesses in the country.

Security for the future generation: I laugh when people say Africans do not think of future generation…per my understanding this is also false because… our great grandfathers hid many pots of gold under palm trees in family plantations for future generations. You can only be right if you state the point of greed as the leaders of today are clearly greedy.

The list is endless but African culture in all it facets is just as relevant as the innovations of today but African entrepreneurs need to find the balance and sync it with the fast moving technology of our time.

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