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Diaspora shocked by cultural erosion in Zimbabwe

15 Mar 2018 at 21:46hrs | Views
Diaspora shocked by cultural erosion in Zimbabwe.

by Dr Masimba Mavaza

Zimbabwe had its culture as its identity as it affords it due recognition. it should be mentioned that there is a positive relationship between social forces such as colonialism, westernization and erosion of cultural values. Also, it is true that there is a positive relationship between the local family structure and the foreign culture. people and culture are inseparable since there is no denial of the fact that what makes any human society is its culture; For a society to be societal it must be cultural; therefore, society and culture are also intertwined. In the same vein, going by the theory of environmental determinism, the culture of any society is largely dictated by its geography. Put another way, there is conspicuous sociological interplay among the concepts of culture, nurture, and nature.

Zimbabwe finds itself in a serious quagmire were its citizens are splattered all over the world and they bring home foreign cultures which indeed destroy the fabric of the once beautiful Zimbabwean culture. The Zimbabweans left at home most of them have developed a culture of the strange worlds, in zeal to meet the diaspora halfway the Zimbabwean youth take it a step further.

It is shocking that the number of gays in Zimbabwe is high more than the Zimbabweans abroad. Where gayism is allowed in the UK you find few Zimbabweans in the forbidden gay culture than the brothers at home where the culture is tight. People are prepared to lose their culture in order to fit in with uncles when they come for holiday. The accent from Mt Pleasant is not heard anywhere in the world. The sociological framework of our Zimbabwean society is so corrupted that going home for holiday there are places you have to avoid going with children. Red light zones which are rare in residential UK areas are found flickering in Chitungwiza and all other places. The rot stinks to the heaven up above.

A funeral in Zimbabwe is no longer sombre; it becomes A PLACE OF FUN AND SHOW OFF. John Dzikiti was shocked when his mother passed on. He was told by his brother to hire a beautiful car to show that he was coming from the UK and that he must dress very well. he said I asked whether it was funeral or a parade. Zimbabwe has lost its cultural value as the spirit of show off envelopes society.

Further when mirrored with sociological panorama, both the macro- and micro-sociological tentacles, which subsume the entirety of social institutions, are determined by culture; an all-including sociological and anthropological concept that is ineluctable for the existence and functionality of any social group. The picture shown by the Zimbabwean society is dim and needs to be brought back to point zero.

The culture of a people is their identity as it affords them due recognition. It is their underlying distinguishing factor from other peoples and cultures. In fact, all societies across the globe have various and divergent cultures which they cherish and practice. Nevertheless, no two cultures, when juxtaposed are absolutely identical as attested to by ethnographers. In order for a society to operate functionally and effectively, they must ensure and maintain strict and constant adherence to the various components of their culture. In Zambia they have a ministry dedicated to culture and religion. It makes it necessary to ban the nak*d Zodwa from South Africa where the mister's in Zimbabwe bring her in as a tourist attraction. To tell our children that a nak*d woman is a point of attraction in Zimbabwe is a shame.

culture is that complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, arts, morals, customs, laws and other capabilities which are learned, shared by men as members of society, and transmitted from one generation to another. What are we transmitting top our next generation. Any laxity, lassitude, and levity exhibited by its custodians would result in rapid erosion and disappearance of the uniqueness of the people and their culture. Since the genesis of culture, is as old as man himself, without it, man is reduced to an animal. Culture therefore has two essential qualities: first, it is learned and second, it is shared. The culture now being shared in Zimbabwe is not Zimbabwean.

Peter Sangare from Birmingham said "I was shocked when I was asked to pay a fee for the professional mourners. People that come and cry loudly are not even related to us, they are paid to mourn. It seems like funerals are now marked and put up as competitions. The funerals are competitive. Zimbabwean culture has been eroded.

If Mbuya Nehanda is to wake up today and attend a funeral of a Kombie driver she will collapse back to the grave.

Sociologically, many activities of members of any society such as eating, music, dancing, occupation, education (formal, informal, and nonformal), visiting friends, courtship, marriage (its forms and types), beliefs (festivals and liturgies), naming and burial ceremonies, entertaining friends and guests, greetings, and system of government, are all found within the confine of nonmaterial culture which is the exclusive preserve and concern of a right thinking Zimbabwean.

Culture is essential to our humanness. It contains a set of readymade definitions each of us reshapes very little in dealing with social situations. In other words, culture provides a kind of blueprint or map for relating with others. Consider how you find your way in social life. How do you know how to act in a gathering, with a stranger, in a funeral, naming ceremony, toward a person who smiles, leers or swears at you? Your culture supplies you with broad, standardized, prefabricated answers, and formulas or recipes for dealing with each of these situations. Not surprisingly, if we know a person's culture, we can understand and even predict a good deal of his or her behaviour. Based on this, theory of social change was used to explain the rapid erosion of cultural values.

But for the purpose of the status quo, we are concerned about the changes that transform the fabric of our culture occasion our forgotten values day in day out. The applicability of this theory is that it has strongly affected the ways of doing things in Zimbabwe.

In a nutshell, the factors responsible for social change have brought about major changes in the traditional-to-modern society. Since change is inevitable, cultural dynamics of any society cannot be foreclosed be it in form of cultural accumulation, that is, addition of new traits to the already existing ones or cultural reduction, or cultural diffusion which is infusion of new cultural traits.

This implies that the majority still believe that despite the observed adverse effects wrought by the social forces that are telling on our cultural values, all hope is not lost if individuals and concerned agencies can discharge their accorded responsibilities.

Adherence to the pristine purity and unadulterated cultural traits, values and virtues of peoples and places are not the same. It is rapidly constant in the urban setups, while the plague of cultural values erosion is somewhat vehemently resisted, and the values consciously internalized in purely rural areas. However, this does not suggest that there are no communities that are paired by urbanism and ruralism. The changes in our Zimbabwean culture is knee shaking and totally flabbergasting.

What we have lost is the organic community with the living culture it embodied. Folk songs, folk dances, Cotswold cottages, handicraft products, and virgin*ty among others are signs of something more; an art of life, a way of living, ordered and patterned involving social arts, codes of intercourse and a responsive adjustment, growing art of immemorial experience, to the natural environment and the rhythm of the year.

Things which used to be sacred are now nothing, respect is not in any one's vocabulary, the country is floating in cultural confusion and total loss. The diaspora does not know where to take their children for a cultural lesson. The fear of Ngozi is rubbished as a result murder is now a thing to play with.

Lastly, the cultural values scenario in Zimbabwe is not far from the theatre, where western education is a tool that is constantly and consistently reshaping the psyche and mentality of the people, especially the so called educated fellows.

One reason people differ in their behaviour is that they have different cultures. Culture reflects the ideas and meanings we share and everything that is human made. In evolutionary terms, culture gives us a tremendous vantage over all other organism. It is our social legacy.

The cultural vanguards, will, recommend that, on the level of individuals, everyone who is attached to any culture be culturally conscious and alerted to his or her identity and its uniqueness. In other words, culture is inseparable from people and should therefore be cherished and relished. The cultural erosion in Zimbabwe is appalling and the diaspora is totally shocked.

vazet2000@yahoo.co.uk


Source - Dr Masimba Mavaza
All articles and letters published on Bulawayo24 have been independently written by members of Bulawayo24's community. The views of users published on Bulawayo24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Bulawayo24. Bulawayo24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

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