You know the way somethings can jot one’s memory or get one thinking of stuffs, so it was as I sat through a class today from the lecture by the visiting Indigenous study Professor and elder, to the lectures in child and youth. I just could not help drifting off thinking about our African ways, what we have and what we have lost or we are losing.
Yes! our African ways from our custom to our culture, ways of dressing. Down to our languages which are fast in extinction, unfortunately the English language and Western culture taking over. We were not forced to give up our ways, we were not mandated to stop speaking our languages like the Indigenous people. Though we faced colonialism in the past but we were lucky. Though we had wars but we had no sixties scoops nor did we have residential schools or have our children taken away from us but out of ignorance we are losing our identity everyday.
I love watching an Indigenous kids enlightenment programme on TVO with my son, where Indigenous kids speak their language, introduce their Indian names and tell about the culture. What do we as Africans do in return, we change our names from beautiful African names with wonderful meanings to names we do not know their origins. Soon we will become maluu.
Hmmm! the time to retrace our steps is now, we are blessed that we have freedom but we are selling that freedom because of what we call civilization that is not better than what we have.
We are blessed by cultures and traditions that blows the mind but we want them to die off. To be replaced by strange ways and a culture that have no value when compared to ours.
Our cultural dances what have become of them? Many termed them as either fetish or demonic. Masquerade displays are fast going out of the lives of our communities and being replaced with what we think is modernity but really! What then are we leaving as custom or culture for our kids, where is this modernity taking and leaving us? The answer is deep inside ignorance, learning the ways of strange lands that tries to copy ours and pass it as theirs.
Culture is unique, lack of it becomes a state of void and no man wants to be there. how many of us can speak our language or speak it to our kids. Let us begin now its not too late. We can still make up for lost time.