By Gifty Pearl Abenaab-
I was recently in a young people's meeting when the question 'What excites you most for being young Africans? was asked.
I was thrilled by some of the answers we gave as young people in Africa: 'knowing that Africa is a unique continent, rich in culture and some natural resources''; 'knowing that i am young and have the opportunity to contribute to the development of my continent'; 'Aspects of the African culture such as the extended family system and our values as a continent'. These and many other answers were given.
As i sit to reflect on some of these responses, it dawned on me the need for one
to know, accept and appreciate one's culture and heritage and the link between
culture, and development.
So many of us are interested in seeing positive change and development in Africa. So many of us dream for an Africa fit for young people and many more of us are working towards bring excellence in future political leadership etc.
As young Africans who passionately desire and who are working around the clock to bring the change and development we want to see in our continent, there is the need to first of all to discover who we are, to explore our culture and to appreciate our heritage.
Development begins with self identity, understanding, accepting and appreciating ones culture, identity and heritage. Some young Africans do not appreciate the African culture and so copy blindly other people's culture which often leads to conflict between the old and the young in our African society.
Exploring our culture means researching and questioning some aspects of our culture that defines us and that we can build upon. Accepting our culture means being proud of our culture and appreciating our culture means desiring to improve upon it.
For we cannot say that we are developed when we do not really know our culture and when we cannot accept and appreciate our culture. It would be easy to blame authorities in the educational system for failure of developing a cultural curriculum for schools but i think it is time to stop the blame game.
It would be more fruitful to think of ways to personally finding ways and means of exploring and and CELEBRATING our rich African culture! so dear 'Maadwen' reader, what will you do today or this week to discover something new and unique about your culture and how do you think your discovery would help in the area of development you want to see in Africa?
I throw a challenge to you now.