Dismiss Notice
You are browsing this site as a guest. It takes 2 minutes to CREATE AN ACCOUNT and less than 1 minute to LOGIN

What is African Culture?

Discussion in 'International Forum' started by MaxShimba, Jan 5, 2010.

  1. MaxShimba

    MaxShimba JF-Expert Member

    #1
    Jan 5, 2010
    Joined: Apr 11, 2008
    Messages: 35,808
    Likes Received: 94
    Trophy Points: 145
    What is African Culture? I get so many question here in the Western World about African Culture. Is there a thing like African Culture?

    Let us look beyond the politics, one may argue that there was a common spirit that run through the activities of mainly Africans States. Even this does not hold water. Among Maasai, all a man needed to do was implant a spear in front of his brother's manyatta and he could acceptably have sex with his brother's wife. Trying telling that to an elderly Nyamwezi, Haya, Yoruba, Zulu, Fulani, Kalenjin, etc!!

    Some African societies were brutal monarchies (Mumias, Baganda), others were based on Africa-style democracy where things like justice were decided in open barazas by councils of elders attended by all villagers.

    My point is: There is so much wide diversity on the continent, you can't really decide that practice X is African and practice Y is un-African.

    WE ARE AFRICANS!! WE HAVE A CIVILIZED CULTURE!!


     
  2. Binti Maringo

    Binti Maringo JF-Expert Member

    #2
    Jan 5, 2010
    Joined: Jul 4, 2007
    Messages: 2,805
    Likes Received: 2
    Trophy Points: 0
    Maxshimba...Unaweza kubadili hiyo rangi aisee maana wengine tuna matatizo ya macho na hiyo rangi ni kali sana ina reflet macho yangu na yanaanza kutoa machozi...natamani kuisoma hii topic yako lakini nashindwa...could you please!
     
  3. MaxShimba

    MaxShimba JF-Expert Member

    #3
    Jan 6, 2010
    Joined: Apr 11, 2008
    Messages: 35,808
    Likes Received: 94
    Trophy Points: 145
    I THINK WE HAVE A CULTURE, ingawa inaweza kuwa tofauti kimakabila, but we do have one.

    Wagogo wana ndonya, wakati Wamakonde wamejaa chale. Wamasai kama ulivyo sema Kaka yako anaweza kula na kumfaidi mkeo, ilimradi tu achomeke mkuki nje ya tembe. Kaazi kweli kweli when you be come culturalised in Africa. Huku Africa ndipo kwenye Culture in culture.
     
  4. jmushi1

    jmushi1 JF-Expert Member

    #4
    Jan 6, 2010
    Joined: Nov 2, 2007
    Messages: 16,047
    Likes Received: 38
    Trophy Points: 145
    Samahani mkuu,bado sijakupata vizuri,unazungumzia kuhusu culture ama culters?Maana swali unaulizaje what is African culture halafu maelezo chini ni African cultures?
     
  5. Triplets

    Triplets JF-Expert Member

    #5
    Jan 6, 2010
    Joined: Sep 27, 2007
    Messages: 1,014
    Likes Received: 21
    Trophy Points: 135
    having in mind the diverse cultures we have in the continent, I don't think there is anything like "African culture"
    tunaongelea Africa nzima kuanzia Misri hadi south Africa na ndani yake kuna ethnic groups nyingi sana kuna nubians kule Egypt wenye uarabu fulani ndani yake, kuna amharas wa Ethiopia, bantus kama wengi wetu hapa, nilotics nk nk na ndani ya hayo makundi kuna makundi mengine na/au makabila kibao tu ambayo yana culture zinazotofautiana, hata wa Lemba wanaopractice jewish like culture wapo pia hapa hapa Africa na wale Austonesians wa Madagascar, Sheli sheli ,Mauritius etc

    the bottom line ni kwamba ni vigumu kusema kuna kitu kinachoitwa African culture
     
  6. MaxShimba

    MaxShimba JF-Expert Member

    #6
    Jan 6, 2010
    Joined: Apr 11, 2008
    Messages: 35,808
    Likes Received: 94
    Trophy Points: 145
    So it is a culture differences. I think that makes us more unique and is what makes the world go round. If we were all the same...how boring would that be?

    Please tell me your experience about going into other cultures and how you saw these experiences. Maybe we can all learn to appreciate and understand each other better.
     
  7. MaxShimba

    MaxShimba JF-Expert Member

    #7
    Jan 6, 2010
    Joined: Apr 11, 2008
    Messages: 35,808
    Likes Received: 94
    Trophy Points: 145
    You are correct. I just want to know if there is any uniqueness in these cultures that makes African culture?
     
  8. MaxShimba

    MaxShimba JF-Expert Member

    #8
    Jan 6, 2010
    Joined: Apr 11, 2008
    Messages: 35,808
    Likes Received: 94
    Trophy Points: 145
    Have you ever noticed this guys: In our African culture, I notice it is more polite to serve an out of town visitor a home cooked meal. It would be rude to take this person to a restaurant to eat out. My friends and I came to the conclusion that taking someone to a restaurant would mean you are not worth the effort to cook for them.

    White-American culture, it is more polite to take the guests out to eat at a nice restaurant. Making a home cooked meal would mean you are cheap. You would show the family you appreciate the visit by spending money and taking them somewhere nice.


    My point is this, there is one or more than one thing we africans share in life. Would that "thing" be our culture?
     
  9. Companero

    Companero Platinum Member

    #9
    Jan 6, 2010
    Joined: Jul 12, 2008
    Messages: 5,392
    Likes Received: 56
    Trophy Points: 145
    African Culture, in contrast to African cultures, is that shared experience of the people of African descent that has resulted from years of subjection to common oppressions in the forms of slavery, racism and colonialism. It elicits that common feeling that makes persons of African descent nod in acknowledgement of shared experience when they meet far away from their beloved continent of Africa. As Chinua Achebe once said, African Culture is in the making - it has indeed always been in the making as a joint Pan-Africanist response to the ongoing oppression and exploitation of African people in the continent and the diaspora!
     
  10. Companero

    Companero Platinum Member

    #10
    Jan 6, 2010
    Joined: Jul 12, 2008
    Messages: 5,392
    Likes Received: 56
    Trophy Points: 145
    Kuna tafsiri nyingi kuhusu neno ‘utamaduni'. Wakati wa ukoloni wa bara la Afrika uliofanywa na wa mataifa ya Ulaya kulikuwa na tafsiri moja ambayo ilishamiri sana. Kwa mujibu wa Souleymane Bachir Diagne & Henri Ossebi (1996), tafsiri hii ilimchukulia mtu mwenye utamaduni kuwa ni yule ambaye ameelimika na kustaarabika. Kipimo cha elimu na ustaarabu kilichotumiwa na wakoloni hawa ni mfumo wa maisha yao ya huko Ulaya . Hivyo basi, waafrika ambao hawakuwa na elimu au ustaarabu wa aina hiyo walionekana kuwa hawana utamaduni. Wakoloni waliwachukulia kuwa waafrika hawa wana mapokeo au mila na desturi (customs and traditions) tu na si utamaduni (culture).

    Tafsiri hii ya kibaguzi ilichangia sana kuathiri uhuru wa utamaduni hapa Tanzania na Afrika kwa ujumla. Kwa mfano kabla ya ukoloni katika jamii ya Wapare kulikuwa na uhuru wa kuabudu kwenye misitu ya asili iliyojulikana kama "mpungi" au "mshitu". Kwa mujibu wa Rogate Mshana (1992) ibada hizi ziliendana na utunzaji wa misitu hiyo na mazingira yake. Kwa maana nyingine, ibada hizi zilizingatia umuhimu wa mimea ya asili iliyokuwa chanzo cha mvua na rutuba.

    Wakoloni na wamishionari wa Kijerumani walivyoingia walichukulia kuwa kila kitu kilichohusiana na ibada hizi za Wapare kilikuwa ni cha kishenzi, yaani sio cha kiutamaduni. Kumbuka wageni walitumia vigezo vya Ulaya kutafsiri maana ya utamaduni. Wamishionari waliamua kuleta miti migeni, kama vile mikalitusi, ambayo iliharibu mfumo wa uhusiano wa viumbe na mazingira huko kwenye milima ya Upare. Mpaka leo miti hii inachangia sana kukausha maji, kuisonga miti ya asili na kuharibu rutuba. Hii yote inatokana na kudharau ufahamu wa Wapare kuhusu mazingira yao na uhuru wao wa kuitunza ardhi yao kwa mujibu wa utamaduni wao.

    Utamaduni wetu wa nyimbo na ngoma nao ulishambuliwa sana na wakoloni japo ulikuwa na umuhimu sana kwa jamii zetu. Kwa mujibu wa Terrence O. Ranger (1969) katika karne ya 19 ilibidi jamii za Kisukuma na Kinyamwezi zianzishe jumuiya za ngoma/nyimbo za siri. Walitumia jumuiya hizi kusaidiana kimaisha. Sehemu ambazo wamishionari waliingia ngoma zilipigwa marufuku miongoni mwa waumini wapya kwa kisingizio kuwa zinapingana na dini ya Kikristo. Kuna ushahidi wa kutosha kuwa wakoloni walipinga utamaduni wa nyimbo na ngoma kwa sababu ulikuwa ukichochea fikra za ukombozi na si kwa sababu tu waliona kuimba na kucheza ngoma ni kutostaarabika. Hii inathibitishwa na historia ya moja ya nyimbo maarufu za kudai uhuru. Kwa mujibu wa Mfuko wa Utamaduni (2007), mwaka 1958 kule Tabora wimbo wa Kinyamwezi ‘Oho Sasi Chabela Mitwe' uliotumiwa wakati wa ukinzani dhidi ya utawala wa Kijerumani uligeuzwa na kuwa"Oh TANU Yajenga Nchi."

    Mfano mwingine ni kuhusu namna ambavyo jamii kadhaa zilijijengea utamaduni wa kumlinda mama mjamzito na mtoto mchanga. Kwa mujibu wa C. K Omari & D.A.S Mbilinyi (1997), tamaduni hizi zilikuwa na miiko na desturi zilizozingatia ustawi wa mama na mtoto. Kwa mfano jamii za Wachaga na Wapare zilimpa likizo ya miezi mitatu mama aliyejifungua. Katika kipindi hicho mama alipewa matunzo pamoja na chakula. Pia zipo jamii ambazo ziliwazuia wajawazito kutokula vitu fulani au kuvila kwa wastani. Kwa mfano, jamii za Wachaga na Wahaya zilikuwa makini kuepuka matumizi ya mayai si kwa sababu zilikuwa zimedhamiria kumyima mama haki yake ya kula chakula kizuri bali zililikuwa zinajaribu kumlinda na uwezakano wa kupata mtoto mwenye uzito mkubwa kupita kiasi na hivyo kupata matatizo wakati wa uzazi.

    Ikumbukwe kuwa katika jamii hizi kulikuwa pia na vifo vingi wakati wa uzazi. Hivyo wanajamii walikuwa wanajaribu kutumia ufahamu wao kupambana na vifo hivi kwa kutumia miiko na hata mambo ambayo yalionekana ni ya kubuniwa (myths). Kwa mfano, kwa mujibu wa C. K. Omari & D.A.. S Mbilinyi (1997), jamii za Wahaya, Wangazija, Wamakua, Wayao, Wamatengo na Wazaramo ziliamini kuwa mwanamke akila mayai basi atazaa mtoto mwenye upara. Inawezekana kabisa hizi zilikuwa ni imani za kubuniwa ambazo zililenga jambo lilelile, yaani kumlinda mama na matatizo ya uzazi ili kupunguza vifo vinavyotokana na matatizo hayo.

    Japokuwa katika mtazamo wa ustaarabu wa kikoloni baadhi ya miiko na desturi hizi zilionekana kuwa ni za kishenzi na zenye kumkandamiza mwanamke, ukweli ni kuwa zilikuwa na mantiki yake ambayo ilizingatia ufahamu wa jamii husika. Kutokana na urithi wetu wa ufahamu wa kikoloni ni rahisi kuhitimisha kuwa kila desturi na mwiko ulitokana na mfumo dume ulioazimia kukandamiza haki ya mama na ya mtoto. Lakini, tukumbuke kuwa tunapaswa tuziangalia upya tamaduni hizi kwa kuzingatia kiwango cha maendeleo ya jamii husika ambapo wanawake hawa waliishi au wanaishi. Kulitazama upya suala hili ni muhimu kwa maana "sababu ya msingi ya baadhi ya taratibu hizi na shughuli zingine za kiimani walizofanyiwa wanawake wajawazito zinaweza kuonekana kuwa hazina maana au ni za kipumbavu katika macho ya mtu wa kisasa japokuwa zilikuwa na umuhimu mkubwa katika ustawi na uwepo wa wazazi" (C. K. Omari & D. A.S Mbilinyi, 1997, uk 19)

    Ni kweli kabisa kuwa baadhi ya tamaduni hizi pamoja na kuwa na azma nzuri ziliishia kumkandamiza mwanamke. Kwa mfano, baada ya kupewa likizo ya uzazi wa miezi mitatu utakuta mwanamke alifanya kazi kupita kiasi. Vilevile kuzuia matumizi ya baadhi ya vyakula bila kuwa na njia mbadala kuliathiri afya ya mama na mtoto. Athari hizi zinapaswa kuzingatiwa na hatuna budi kupambana nazo kama ambavyo baadhi ya mabibi na mababu zetu walivyopambana nazo. Lakini hii haimaanishi kuwa tufanye hivyo kwa kutupa jongoo na mti wake.

    Wito huu wa kutotupa jongoo wa utamaduni na mti wa maendeleo yake una maana ya kuwa hatuwezi kupambana na athari hasi za utamaduni wowote kwa kuutupilia mbali utamaduni na uhai wa jamii nzima tena bila hata ya kuzingatia mantiki zake na namna ya kuzitumia mantiki hizohizo kuja na njia mbadala ya kulinda haki za wanawake na watoto. Hebu jiulize kwa nini jamii nzima ya Wazaramo wa Pwani na Wangazija wa Zanzibar ziliamini kuwa mama mjamzito hatakiwi asimame mbele ya mlango? Je, ni kwa sababu tu ilitaka kuzuia haki na uhuru wake wa kukaa au kwenda popote atakapo (freedom of movement)? Au ilikuwa ni njia ya kumlinda na tafrani yoyote ambayo inaweza kutokea watu wanapokimbia kuingia au kutoka ndani ya nyumba na kuathiri ujauzito wake? Haya ndio aina ya maswali ambayo wakoloni hawakuyazingatia na ambayo warithi wengi wa ukoloni hawayazingatii wanapoungalia utamaduni wetu.

    Mfano mwingine unaosisitizia zaidi hitaji la kuangalia umuhimu wa mantiki ya jambo lolote ambalo jamii fulani inalifanya unatoka kwenye utafiti wa D. K. Ndagala (1992) Mtafiti huyu aligundua kuwa kitendo cha Serikali cha kupiga marufuku jamii ya Wamasai kuvaa nguo walizozichovya kwenye rangi nyekundu (red ochre) kwenye miaka ya 70 hakikuzingatia kwa nini walikuwa wanafanya hivyo au kutoa njia yoyote mbadala inayozingatia mantiki yao. Katika mahojiano yake na kiongozi wa Wamasai, mtafiti huyo aligundua kuwa walikuwa wanafanya hivyo ili kuzuia chawa maana hawakuwa na maji. Ikumbukwe kuwa ukosefu huu wa maji ulitokana na mipango mingi ambayo haikuzingatia mfumo wa utunzaji wa maji na matumiz ya Wamasai (Tazama Dorothy L. Hodgson, 2001)

    Historia hii ya ukoloni na ubeberu wa kiutamaduni (cultural imperialism) na urithi iliotuachia ndio ilimfanya Mwalimu Julius K. Nyerere asisitize mnamo 10 Desemba 1962, katika hotuba yake ya kwanza ya Urais katika Bunge, kuwa katika makosa yote ya ukoloni hakuna lililo baya kupita jaribio lao la kutufanya watanzania tuamini kuwa hatutakuwa na utamaduni wetu au kile tulichokuwa nacho hakikuwa na thamani yoyote (Linganisha Shani Omari, 2006, uk, 20; Kelly M. Askew, 2002, uk. 268; na Wizara ya Utamaduni wa Taifa na Vijana, 1979, uk. vii)

    Japokuwa tulikuwa tumepata uhuru wa kisiasa, au uhuru wa bendera kama watu kadhaa wanavyouita, bado tulikuwa hatujapata uhuru wa utamaduni achilia mbali uhuru wa kiuchumi. Utabiri wa mwanamapinduzi Kwame Nkhrumah, kuwa tuutafute kwanza ufalme wa kisiasa kisha mengine yote tutaongezewa, ulishindwa kutimia. Hivyo, ilibidi na bado inabidi tuendelea kuutafuta uhuru kamili wa utamaduni. Hata tafsiri au maana ya utamaduni inabidi iwe yetu wenyewe na inayozingatia vigezo vyetu na sio vya wakoloni au wakoloni mamboleo.

    Tafsiri mojawapo ya kimapinduzi ni iliyotolewa na yule mchambuzi maarufu wa utamaduni na ubeberu, Hayati Edward Said, katika Edward W. Said & David Barsamian (2003). Alisema kuwa katika jamii yoyote ambayo uhai wake wa kisiasa unatishiwa utamaduni ni njia ya kupambana dhidi ya kuuwawa au kutokomezwa kabisa kwa jamii hiyo. Utamaduni ni kumbukumbu ya jamii hiyo dhidi ya jitihada za kuitokemeza alisisitiza. Kwa mantiki hii ndio maana katika jamii nyingi ambazo uhai wake ulitishiwa na ukoloni, ubeberu na mifumo mingine kandamizi, utamaduni wa jamii hizo umeendelea kutumika kuendeleza uhai wa jamii hizo.

    Naye bell hooks (1994), mchambuzi mbobezi wa utamaduni na ukombozi, anatoa tafsiri ambayo inauchukulia utamaduni kama uwanja wa kuhoji siasa za utaifa, rangi na jinsia. Na si kuhoji kwa ajili raha ya kuhoji bali ni kuhoji katika namna ambayo inakomboa fikra zetu kutoka katika makucha ya kasumba na fikra za kikoloni (decolonization of the mind). Pia ni kuhoji kama njia ya kupambana na mifumo kandamizi kama vile mfumo dume ambao nao unapenda kutumia utamaduni kujikita katika jamii.

    Kwa upande wake, Susan Geiger (1997) anatukumbusha kuhusu tafsiri inayouangalia utamaduni kisiasa. Kwa mujibu wa tafsiri hii, siasa ya kiutamaduni (politics of culture) inachangia kujenga, kudhihirisha na kuendeleza utaifa. Kelly Askew (2002) naye kwa kiasi kikubwa anakubaliana na tafsiri hii. Anaona kuwa utamaduni wa kitaifa nchini Tanzania unabadilikabadilika au unakuwa na maana nyingi kutokana na mitazamo, migongano au maelewano ya kisiasa au kiitikadi. Tejumala Olaniyan (2003) yeye anasisitiza kuwa mapambano yetu ya uhuru wa urithi wa utamaduni wetu yajikite katika siasa ya utamaduni na si katika utamaduni wa siasa. Anasisitiza hivi kwa kuwa anaamini kuwa msingi wa namna jamii inavyojiendesha ni siasa na utamaduni ni matokeo ya namna ambavyo uendeshaji huo unafanyika.

    Katika muktadha wa utandawazi, Ngugi wa Thiong'o (1993) anasisitiza umuhimu wa kubatilisha dhana ya kwamba Ulaya au nchi za Magharibi ndio kitovu au kituo kikuu cha utamaduni duniani. Mchambuzi huyu wa uondoaji wa fikra za kikoloni (decolonization of the mind) anauangalia utamaduni katika wingi wake, yaani anaona kuwa kilichopo duniani ni tamaduni nyingi hivyo kuna umuhimu wa tamaduni hizi kuingiliana kwa usawa bila kukandamizana. Hivyo, dira yake inatazamia dunia ambayo tamaduni zitakuwa huru kukopeshana yale yaliyo mazuri na kupinga yale yaliyo mabaya.

    Chanzo: Hifadhi ya Companero
     
  11. MaxShimba

    MaxShimba JF-Expert Member

    #11
    Jan 6, 2010
    Joined: Apr 11, 2008
    Messages: 35,808
    Likes Received: 94
    Trophy Points: 145
    Companero, hifadhi yako imenena. Imeonyesha kiundani na kiushaidi jinsi gani tuna utamaduni.
     
  12. jmushi1

    jmushi1 JF-Expert Member

    #12
    Jan 6, 2010
    Joined: Nov 2, 2007
    Messages: 16,047
    Likes Received: 38
    Trophy Points: 145
    Ofcourse there is uniqueness,kumbuka bado unazungumzia culture na si cultures..History ndio hu determine,and shape the cultures kwasababu history ndiyo imeshape mipaka tuliyonayo and who we actually are.

    Kwamfano marekani wana cultures nyingi tu,kuanzia za Native Indians etc.Unaweza ukapick yoyote tu na ikarepresent marekani licha ya kwamba haiko shared na every community....Bado inabaki kuwa an American culture.

    Sambamba na Afrika,sio lazima culture iwe shared na Afrika nzima ili iwe Afrikan culture,Maasai culture inaweza kurepresent nk.

    Hata hivyo kutokana na maendeleo ya bara husika ya kihistoria yakiwemo,utakuta kuna culture ambayo iko shared na bara zima,kama alivyosema Companero hapo juu,kuna tamaduni ambazo pia ni impacts za mambo kama slavery,colonialism nk.

    Na kwahivyo jibu kwa ujumla ni yes kuna culuture inayoliwakilisha bara zima la Afrika ambayo iko shared specifically derived from history.
    Pia vile vile kumbuka kuwa tafsiri ya culuture ni very complex,kwa mfano rushwa inaweza kuwa ni African Culture.
     
  13. MaxShimba

    MaxShimba JF-Expert Member

    #13
    Jan 7, 2010
    Joined: Apr 11, 2008
    Messages: 35,808
    Likes Received: 94
    Trophy Points: 145
    So, what is that uniqueness in calture, that is where my focus is? As you said a Masaai culture can be an african culture!
     
Loading...