8 November 2012

Gambia: Focus On Culture

There is no society without culture and, consequently, without civilization. Man's understanding of his culture together with his moral and physical capabilities make him master nature.

Culture does not merely refer to the art of singing and dancing. It entails the totality of the way of life of a people. The notion that Africa does not have a culture, or that its culture is barbaric and hence impedes development, is nothing but an imperial propaganda to paint a picture of Africa at war with itself. This misguided ideology has resulted to the continuous drainage of African cultural values to alien influences.

Africans disowned themselves, and anything African, as we are indoctrinated with the concept that anything that originates from Africa is backward and sub-standard. People have to be aware that culture is not static, it is dynamic. As the human society evolves, the people's capacity to think expands, hence culture evolves alongside.This is the reality for African culture.

As Africans we have to uphold the principles and values of our culture, which is neither superior nor inferior to other cultures, and apply them based on our existing social realities. It is through this way that we can produce social change and development.However, Africans have to accept that we are a people with a way of life. Cultural ethnocentrism is a wishful thinking.We should cease from criticising our values to the advantage of alien ideologies. How can people love themselves and hate their origin?History has proven that Africans have contributed and are contributing to the advancement of humanity.

We must be proud of being Africans and associated with Africa. This we cannot do if we continue to reject our culture as inferior to other cultures. Let us therefore revisit our culture and societal values and incorporate the best of them in modern day life.

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