Should African culture give in to modern influences? Do we have a choice?

As Africans, we are naturally inclined to loving what belongs to us, be it good or bad. That is why no matter how much our planet opens up to external influences, many aspects of our rich heritage remain glued in our families and societies.Undoubtedly, a child raised in an African setting is more likely to have better morals than the one brought up in an American setting. This is because our culture puts more emphasis on morals than anything else.

As Africans, we are naturally inclined to loving what belongs to us, be it good or bad. That is why no matter how much our planet opens up to external influences, many aspects of our rich heritage remain glued in our families and societies.

Undoubtedly, a child raised in an African setting is more likely to have better morals than the one brought up in an American setting. This is because our culture puts more emphasis on morals than anything else.

From when we were toddlers, we’ve been told that our culture is good and that real Africans are those who do not dilute it with influences from those that colonised us.

Much as I understand why this is so, there is something that conservatives forget, and which is the bitter truth-locked in a box; African culture is completely unproductive to individuals today and in the future.

Had it not been for a little bit of exposure to the rest of the world, practices like female circumcision, forced marriages and witchcraft would have stayed with us unchallenged.

Future generations would find themselves having to contend with them, not because they believe that they are good practices, but because it’s what their culture mandates.

Ever since faster modes of transportation were invented, intercultural mingling was bound to happen, so it would indeed be a waste of time trying to fight against this reality.

African people realize that they can export as well as import culture. However, they are not so dumb not to sieve out the good from the bad.

That is why some Western influences are fought tooth and nail by almost all African countries.

Gay and abortion activists will tell you that they don’t find it easy to live in Africa. This is because Africans rightly so, believe that such behaviors are not natural and are harmful to the nucleus family setting.

But can you imagine how far back we would be had we rejected all forms of modernity, in the hope that our culture brings us all the development and satisfaction we desperately need?

Modernity imported with it, tools that save time and increase productivity, which Africans all over the continent adopted to improve their lives.

If you go deep in the villages, you will find governments still struggling to sensitize people about the use of tractors as a better alternative to hoes and axes.

The rigidity shown by some Africans to adopt beneficial practices has kept them in a sorry state.

They forget that some of the things are simply inventions- and the fact that they were invented elsewhere but Africa, does not make them less useful to Africans.

As a matter of fact, Africa has all the resources required to invent, say a car, but we will not deter from using it simply because someone from another continent beat us at it.

To me, it is not about which is better between culture and modernity, but rather, how the two can influence and borrow from each other without overriding the importance of the other.

mugishaivan@yahoo.com

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