TRADITION AND CULTURE ARE ANCIENT HISTORY
By: Golden Nkululeko Ngubane
With the adaption of foreign dress codes, our mother tongue is now a milestone to speaking with no delays. Slang has infected even simple things such as our traditional music, social networking, vibrancy and the spirit of humanity; everything that weaves our thoughts and influences our upbringing.
Tewnty years into our democracy and it seems like our roots have been dug to dry up in this mental colonial consumption and they are thirsty for the soil; our origins. Bruce Gamede, a traditional expert, says that the youth of today does not understand the importance of who they are and where they come from.
“Another problem is that many people have this tendency to claim Christianity and salvation. They do not take part in any cultural activities as they stand by their faith. The only mistake they make is referring to our ancestors as demons and end up quoting verses from the bible which they claim substantiates their argument,” said Gamede.
He believes that another form of disturbance that makes culture irrelevant to the young is the recurring fashion of cultural defiance when it comes to parenthood.
“See when a father denies his child and the child either grows up to be a nameless wanderer or utilise the wrong surname, the child ends up receiving wrong cultural rituals which will result to bad luck and numerous misfortunes that will creep into the child’s life,” said Gamede.
Philani Nkosi, an African young student at one of the colleges called ICESA, says that tradition and culture according to the norms of Africans isn’t exactly what his life revolves around.
“For me I think tradition and culture still exist to a certain type of people because to tell (the truth) I’m not a traditional type and I don’t have a cultural background. I grew up here in the flat all my life; I have never been exposed to another different life other than the one from the flats. I use to visit my mother’s side of the family and I couldn’t cope because there are so many unnecessary things you have to do in the name of “culture” now I chose to live a simple life in the flat,” said Nkosi.
Gamede says that he blames democracy for such beliefs as those of Nkosi’s.
“When democracy came into power in South Africa, we were all happy and our expectations were high. Our leaders did not exercise democracy in a correct way, because you will remember the day when our former president Thabo Mbeki implementing the laws that permit abortion to be legal in our country and homosexuals to marry each other. I believe that is where we lost it and we’re never going to be a cultural state again in South Africa,” said Gamede.
Democracy still remains a word that is said by many but only understood by a few.