A culture and tradition bastardized and heavily wounded pt 2
- by Egbufoama Chike
- 14 years ago
- 0 comments
Where will I start to account for the deplorable state of the African vernacular languages that are dying the death of a thousand distinctions. Days before now important books were written in many African vernacular languages and dialects but it is very disheartening today to see that our libraries have been emptied of vernacular books, in many homes vernaculars forbidden what will I say of people like named late Doctor Nnamdi Azikiwe, Emeka Ojukwu, and their likes who not minding their basking in the ego of a golden fleece from Europe and America, Can still remained eloquent in their vernacular languages. Studies have shown that some of the good literature works which had been were translated into our local languages were translated by foreigners. Most African shy away from speaking their languages to avoid being identified with Africa. “The nature language preserves the identity to a people.
It is also an eloquent expression of the existence value of a people. I n an age played by evading cultural values and vanishing identity, the nature language remains the only thing which the new generation African hangs on in re-discovering their root” (This day newspaper: p18 wed 20/08/08)Africa’s thought-pattern can be seen as a rephrasing of the words of the philosopher Rene Descartes when he said cogito ergo sum i.e. I think therefore I am. The Africans hold cognatus sum ergo sum i.e. I am related therefore I am. The communal spirit of the Africans is fading away as the darkness of the night fades away at the down of a new day. This is a heritage that is synonymous to the name African, it forms the back ground from which Africans stand to improve and reconstruct their society. It gives African her sense of belonging. Doctor Azikiwe made it clearer when he described Africa as embodiment of hospitality, mutual symbiosis and brotherhood, or sisterhood for him “ the traditional community was a society founded on reciprocal assistance, organized in such a way that the fundamental needs of all the members were satisfied and so any form of individualism was discouraged … the spirit of social cohesion was so developed that the community constituted the centre of attention and not the eye of the individual with amenable results … in tribal societies the individual’s worth was not measured by what he has perennially been able to do but by very fact that he is a member of the tribe, his contribution to the material well- being of the village no matter how small the things, his presence and not his achievement were respected’’ The Igbo system describes it as Igwebuike- strength in the many and communities bear names like Ukwu Aziza ekwe mgbaji i.e. a bunch of broom cannot be broken. In trying to reassert the words of Aristotle that he who does not need association must be either a god or a beast.
It is an indubitable fact that the human person is essentially an integrated whole or say indelible and indissoluble entity such that he/ she is an entirety and this poised before him the use of words like co-operation, fellowship, solidarity, unity, communion and such approach as this has in tuned the African towards longing for community such thought pushed philosophers like Heidegger whom I believe had some African affiliation to propounded that man is a being with others.
Let me stop at this very issue because I shed tears as I write all these especially when the African child has lost the sense of the dignity of the human person. The high rate of killings in African, unending homicides and genocides in African countries like Dafur, Congo, Kenya, Somali, Liberia, Zimbabwe, Nigeria etc.What a heartrending situation in this present generation who are the original recipients and custodians “of a collection of name, proverb s, songs, folk tales, visual arts and customs whose philosophical motifs and wisdom asserting the sacredness and dignity of the human person and his /he overwhelming superiority over material goods.Who could believe that one day an African will advocate for some sex marriage, divorce, abortion and these poise a threat to the existence of the dignity of the human person and marriage. African child what wrongs have your ancestors done?At what point did our forefathers go wrong to hand us over these treasures?At what point did they offend us that their hard labors of creating an identity that is African?
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