18th century Africa is so different from the 21st century Africa, in many ways. While we may have an upper hand in technology and the so called ‘civilization’, our forefathers at that time were way better than us. Am sure if they happened to come back to life now and see what has become of their people, they’d happily offer themselves to be killed. This is how bad it is. They’d be appalled by the rate at which our culture has been eroded. We all have been culturally influenced by the western culture at some point in our lives. Some have been virtually assimilated by these cultures without they themselves even knowing.
“Who told you to hate the colour of your skin, who told you to hate the shape of your nose, who told you to hate the texture of your hair, who told you to hate what God made you to be?”These are the words of Black civil rights activist Malcolm X in a thought-provoking speech in the 1960s. It couldn’t be any different from the situation we Africans have got ourselves into. The only difference is that back then it was race, now, it is culture. They rate at which we are adopting the western culture and abandoning ours is quite astonishing.
What would make us want to abandon our own culture, our own identity? One of the tools the west has been using mainly to spread their “superior” culture is the media. The problem with aping someone else’s culture is that you will never get it fully. You’ll always look fake. It makes you look like a fool in the westerners’ eyes. Cultural domination is the height of neo-colonialism. The western governments have seen that it is working and they’re quite pleased with their efforts. They are doing this purely for commercial reasons. In this century when you have the upper hand in commerce you are actually more powerful.
Considering the fact that most African Countries belong to the Third World makes it even worse. Our endeavours to become a middle-income nation in the future are marred by such culture problems. Let us not allow them to culturally dominate us. Our mode of dressing (for the younger generation, mostly) is dictated by them. Most of my peers are hooked to Hollywood. They literally lose sleep waiting for the premier of a movie trailer. It makes it seem like we have been hypnotized. The most popular brands are not from Africa. We even help strengthen their economies. What would make us prefer Imagine Dragons over Elani (Kenyan music band)?
What happened to our sense of pride? We are suffering from self-induced inferiority complex. Most of us are not even aware of it. Why would we take in everything from the west without even questioning? It’s like we’re sheep being taken to the slaughter house. Can we make our own Hollywood? Could we make local brands global? The only way to promote us is love us. Let us get this in our subconscious minds. It is the only remedy that will save us from the fangs of the western world.