From Kondwani Munthali's fascinating post on Reflecting Africa's Diminishing Values.The belief that everything foreign is better than locally produced has affected all parts of [African] society. Some studies suggest that Africans are the largest absorbers of all foreign materials, from beauty products to re-used products. Nigerian alone imports close to 500,000 containers of reused items including computers and radios according to CNN....African presidents today are known for their designer suits, than for their traditional attires like King Mswati of Swaziland who seems to have been the remaining one to stick to his traditional dress. Interestingly, this belief in foreign items and philosophy is firmly rooted even among the structures of Government. Apart from the Tanzanian parliament, the majority of African parliaments converse in a foreign language.
The clear mark of diminishing African value includes the barrier to African dress when one wants to attend a parliamentary session. This is in short the most ridiculous rule for a continent struggling to find a voice and place in global society. Equality cannot be in terms of how white or how much one has adopted the “so called civilization” but acceptance of human diversity in a global society that have similar moral and social obligations to one another. Lawyers still dress as if they are in London, children in school learn of the philosophies of the British and others, while there are very little details about African philosophy and way of life even in schools in rural Malawi or Uganda.
The thoughts of Nelson Mandela as he adopted and later abandoned armed struggle, the thinking of Mozambican Samora Machel, the political system of Julius Nyerere, the rise and fall of Mobutu Seseko, the birth of a democratic South Africa, the HIV/Aids conquest in Senegal, all these are African stories that are yet to be taught.
Sunday, 9 January 2011
An indictment of a diminished culture
THEMES : culture