Why are Africans losing their cultures?

By Shivute Kaapanda |

In African societies culture is a taproot of all knowledge and wisdom in every child’s upbringing.

In brief a culture is a collection of norms, creeds, values, languages, beliefs and ideas that belong to a specific society.

Cultures can be very different in such a way that one thing in one culture may be interpreted differently in another culture. Culture is differentiated by language, the arts, the dressing codes as well as general beliefs among other elements.

Culture has fundamental influence in the upbringing of a person and therefore it can shape a person into whom that culture dictates the acceptable person in a society should be.

With different cultural values and norms cultures polarize our modern societies thereby creating many miscommunications as well as misunderstandings between people of different cultures.

By observation in many cases especially in Africa it’s however obvious that every culture incorporates the values of humanity for humanity is a common denominator.

For example there is almost no culture which speaks ill of humanity as compared to some religions which instead of incorporating the values of humanity they appropriate them and make the values of humanity look as if they belong to some particular religions.

Despite these contradictions let us return to the question why we in Africa are on a cultural-losing spree?

In answering our question let us ask ourselves these fundamental questions as Africans: are we proud of our cultures? Do we by all necessary means have hope and confidence in preserving our cultures? Do we have policies which speak for our cultural values and preservation?

Are our different religions (many of them foreign and imposed) compatible with our cultural values? Why is most of our indigenous knowledge not incorporated in the formal education? Is the formal education doing us any justice in preserving our cultural values and norms?

Why do universities produce many professors of English and not those of our indigenous languages? Why are pastors and bishops wearing white gowns and not traditional dresses?

What exactly are we celebrating during our graduation ceremonies in those long-black gowns and caps when most of the time we know zero about our mother tongues?

One learned friend of mine by the name of Tomas Embodi once asked me in 2016 during a conversation that why is English projected as a measure of intelligence by the mainstream politics even when it is not?

Due to religions and many other spoiled public institutions we are slowly losing our culture. Our ignorance of who we are and where we come from is taking us to a destination only known to the one taking us there but not ourselves.

We need to come back and ask ourselves who we are as Africans with regard to our cultures. It’s therefore very advisable to participate in politics because the education of our cultures is for all purposes and intentions determined by the hygiene of our politics.

Shivute Kaapanda is a critical pan-African thinker and writer from Eyanda village. He is the author of the book “The Conscious Republic”. iskaapanda@gmail.com