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Africans must hold on to their culture

Cultural imperialism has been a pivotal tapestry for the acculturation of Africans since the colonial era. It has facilitated the mental conditioning of Africans by…

Cultural imperialism has been a pivotal tapestry for the acculturation of Africans since the colonial era. It has facilitated the mental conditioning of Africans by making them accept the Western value system as superior and theirs as inferior.

Traditional African cultural practices paved the way for foreign ways of doing things as Africans became fully ‘Westernized’. Western culture now is regarded as frontline civilization. African way of doing things became primitive, archaic and regrettably unacceptable in the public domain.

There’s no doubt that Western culture has brought positive changes to Nigeria, like access to better education and health care. But it also has negative effects like eroding traditional values and encouraging materialism.

When you look at society today, most people, young and old, rich or poor no longer want to dress in our traditional African way. Western culture has been adopted so much that most Africans don’t even know what their cultural dresses are like.

Also, many Nigerians today speak English instead of their ancestral language thereby causing a barrier in communication between the young ones who migrated to the urban areas, and people living in the rural areas.

As native African societies continue to do this, most communities will be experiencing a corresponding loss of their traditional culture. There is a need for Africans to teach and educate their children in the midst of acculturation so that the local language of the people will not be completely lost.

It is even more frustrating that Western tradition accompanied by advanced technology stepped down the pace of African local technological development and oral tradition. We keep basking in the euphoria of Western technological achievements and forget to improve on our local technology,

We should appreciate the products of our local artworks of painting, sculptures and moulding for what they are as that will encourage development.

It is clear that we are in an accelerating culture change period all around the world regardless of whether we try to resist it or not. African culture should act as a means of checking, adopting and transmitting such changes as technological development, political development and social development.

In order to avoid cultural extinction, there is an urgent need for cultural restoration in Africa owing to the erroneous impression of Western indoctrination. This is very necessary because people without a culture are a people without an identity.

 

Idris Halirat, Department of Mass Communication, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria

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