What comes to mind when we hear true African values? Actually, i have tried to think of a less social consequential explanation of what african values and culture truly means. We are defined by the tenets of our social environment which varies by geographical location across the african continents.
By this i mean the ethno-religious division of the african continent which is mostly credited to the imperialism that followed colonial periods. A well planned and articulated antagonism created by colonial masters to ensure there continous involvement in the governance and economy of africa. (It is pertinent to note that even the colonial masters observed that unity in Africa would only promote our societal values and expose their sole purpose of looting our treasuries, and enriching their vaults), well this is a topic for another day :)
Back to the African child, during the early ages of most african countries, it is a popularly known thing that africans hold in very high esteem their traditional and societal norms and values. The arrival of the colonial masters integrated the western culture and system into the african system. Thus, leaving africans caught between the lines of their traditional societal which is going extinct and western culture. Obviously, westernization has an upper hand. Think about it, the information age has brought about newer discoveries even at the convenience of our homes and fingertips. That is why you could have a 4 year old nigerian girl who already dreams of being a barbie. Remember Barbie is a fashion doll manufactured by the American toy-company Mattel, Inc. and launched in March 1959. American businesswoman Ruth Handler is credited with the creation of the doll using a German doll called Bild Lilli as her inspiration. Reason being that social media (television networks, recommended graphical images and toys in pre-schools, dresses, e.t.c.)
A lady once told me that she would never let her child understand her local dialect, that it was too barbaric and not something that should reflect in her child's development. by so doing, all i can see is a steady drive towards extinction of the African language or infact the dialect; think about it, if 70% of young couples come up with such ideas for 10 generations, there would be a very little % left of those who truly understand the african language. That reduces the African child yet again to someone without any identified traditional language.
Well, there are lots more to this issue of the dwindling standards of the true african child. Please do not misunderstand my idea of westernization as a bad thing, i really appreciate the civilization that the age of information integrates in the rest of the world daily. If not for this, i would probably be writing this on a paper to paste it on a wall in an institution which would obviously reduce my targeted readers.
Having clarified this, i would want to say that as we fall deeply for the irresistible advantages of the information age, we should also try to imbibe the culture and heritage of the traditional african society, we should try to understand that unity and culture makes us one indivisible entity. Let's understand the need for an enviable culture that encourages not only external study for comic relief but also diversification across foreign borders. There is a need for sense of ownership, belonging and responsibility. Now is the time to let the african child know what its like again to primarily accept and recognize our traditional, cultural and social values before anyone else. Its time for us to say it loudly that AFRICA IS OURS!!!
Nb: I stand corrected if valid reasons are expressed, the comment box is all yours. Thanks