Zimbabwe: Youths Implored to Value Culture

13 January 2021

Herald Reporter

Youths have been implored to revert to their culture following a rise in bad behaviour and moral decadence that is threatening the social fabric of the country at a time Zimbabwe is on a development trajectory.

President Mnangagwa's administration is clear on the need for youths to play an important role in the economic development of the country, but the wayward behaviour of some, including heavy drinking and substance abuse, has been a cause for concern.

Historian and director of the National Museums and Monuments of Zimbabwe, Dr Godfrey Mahachi, yesterday highlighted the importance of finding a way of returning to our values.

"It is very important because that is what defines the nation in terms of the values it propagates, the values that it transmits to its generations.

"I think we need to look back into traditional institutions, to re-introduce that to get the humanity of our young people together so that as a nation we can move forward," said Dr Mahachi.

Dr Mahachi said the country had a great history of success to look up to.

He said this could only be achieved if youths returned to the cultural norms of the way things should be done.

"I think as Zimbabwe we must fall back on our history, on our culture. I think we have a very rich culture, a very rich heritage that demonstrates that our ancestors might have used particular values in order to achieve the amount of success that they achieved."

"When you look at places like Great Zimbabwe, one of the most significant civilisations on the African continent, for us to have achieved that surely there must be a set of values that were used to get the people to achieve what they achieved, spiritually, economically, socially and all aspects of life," said Dr Mahachi.

Professor Mickias Musiyiwa said the immorality in youths was a cause for concern. He pointed out the importation of western culture as the major cause of immorality.

"We have serious problems among our youths and these problems range from prostitution, abortion to drug abuse. All these problems affect our youths wherever they are, rural or urban areas.

"There is a general decline in morality in our country and this is a major concern to us, and all elders," said Prof Musiyiwa.

"There is a lot of pressure from external influence, especially western popular culture. Our children are imbibing those values, the western values.

"Their behaviour is being moulded in a way that is becoming a serious concern so there is a need to come up with ways and means to teach our children and our youths the importance of their values, their African values which are expressed as Unhu/Ubuntu," he said.

A culture expert, Mrs Panashe Ruzvidzo, implored other women to utilise the ongoing lockdown period to reconnect with culture and seek words of wisdom from elders.

"To all young women, during this lockdown, let us have time to talk to our aunts. Let us teach each other the ways of good living.

"We are having a lot of time on social media but we need time to reconnect with our culture," said Mrs Ruzvidzo.

Mr Samuel Dhliwayo from Zanu PF's culture department blamed colonialism, which he said affected the way of living in modern youths, who were borrowing external cultures.

"Our children have now inculcated foreign culture and have ignored our way of living, the norms of values associated with our culture.

"I can say it's colonialism that has affected us. We are putting emphasis on foreign and borrowed values. We must teach our children the proper way," said Mr Dhliwayo.

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