Culture must be respected

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1927

A KEY weapon used by whites as they colonised us was to make us believe our cultural norms and beliefs were primitive.
This was so because they knew that culture bound a people together by giving them a shared identity and therefore enhanced their unity.
Minus this cultural bondage, we became a people who looked to our colonisers to find a way of doing things that were ‘civilised’.
In previous issues we have gone to great lengths to show how the colonialists used education to make us part of them by instilling in us Western values.
We have shown how those we consider the highly educated among us have taken leading roles in fighting on the side of our colonisers in denying us genuine self rule.
The vast array of lawyers from the University of Zimbabwe, who, support a British project like the MDC is a good example of how colonial upbringing has made some of us reject our identity.
It won’t be easy to convince an outsider that the leaders of the various civil society organisations who were massed against the idea of indigenisation and empowerment were indigenous blacks.
This is the net effect of grooming someone to dislike their own cultural orientation
But the tragedy does not end there.
Since our culture accepts the extended family that is why it is considered taboo among us to send our parents in old age to people’s homes.
Indeed among us personal care of our parents is regarded very highly in our culture.
Elsewhere in this edition, we carry the sad story of how the beleaguered leader of the MDC-T, Morgan Tsvangirai ill-treated his father.
Tsvangirai is a typical example of someone who has been completely stripped of all his African cultural content by the colonialists.
It is a recognised cultural norm among blacks that it is no business of children to intervene and take sides when parents are in dispute.
Let alone even encouraging one of the spouses to move away.
It is the responsibility of family elders to handle such problems as Tsvangirai realised when he went back home at the death of his father and he was asked to go back with his expensive coffin.
Our culture is quite in line with the holy scriptures which require us to honour both our parents.
No wonder Tsvangirai and his party have over the years been soundly rejected by the Buhera electorate, his home constituency.
It is baffling how Tsvangirai hoped to eventually occupy the highest seat of authority in a country whose elementary cultural norms he had no respect for.
He is a man who has decided to identify with the cause of our erstwhile colonisers who were determined to condition us to hate not only our culture, but also our very being Africans.
This explains why Tsvangirai is unashamedly a leader of a supposedly black party, which supports the imposition of sanctions on his own people.
Lack of understanding of his own cultural background explains why a whole Prime Minister started a drip irrigation project for his mother, while the entire neighbourhood had no water or electricity.
In fact he diverted electricity from a neighbouring school and drilled his mother’s borehole so deep that all the others nearby dried up.
And after July 31 Tsvangirai must by now be realising that it is not only Buhera, which has rejected an ardent disciple of the West, but also the whole country.

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