There are basic truths and facts in life and among such truths and facts is the fact that we as human beings are social beings. Thus, no human is created to live as an island or in isolation. We are created by God as social beings meant to interact and relate with others around us. This process of interaction and relation is what we can arguably say metamorphosed into what we refer to today as culture. It suffices to say therefore that no human being on earth can truly be human without interaction with other beings around.
Culture I believe is not a phenomenon strange to anyone of us and in its simplest understanding it is defined as a way of life. It on the other hand encompasses all human activities throughout life; the way we live, the way we eat food, the way we speak, the way we interact with others, the way we walk, to mention but a few. In a nutshell, culture encompasses our whole entirety as humans and since it is a fruit of interaction, we must also bear in mind that it is transmitted from generation to generation.
Young and old, poor and rich, fat and thin, weak and strong, black and white, are born into one culture or the other, even though culture differs from society to society and from tribe to tribe. Our culture therefore gives us our identity and it becomes a factor that we must be proud of. We must be ready to show case and exhibit our culture at any place and at any time. I may not be too wrong to posit that one without a culture is tantamount to a dead individual.
The root gives nourishment to the tree to the tree and holds it up as without it, the tree has no foundation. The easiest way to kill a tree is to attack its root; hence, the root remains a pivotal part of a tree. Without nourishment from the roots, trees neither grow healthy nor maintain prosperity. In like manner, our health as a people requires serious recourse to our culture for a better understanding of life.
The past is so important to us and that is why we must always cherish our root. Little wonder, then, the Romanian- born German poet, Herta Muller, once said that,”You can’t build a future if you don’t have a past”. Our culture thus connects us to our root for a better understanding of life. Many are those dying and willing today to be reconnected with their roots. They have long lost touch with their roots, wandering far away, yet the affection with their root remains undying. It is very much un-debatable that the root of all black Americans is Africa, thus, the name African-American. If there are so much as some of these persons who seek to know their root and take pride in it, how much more those of us who have a close affinity with our root, are we proud of our roots?
Can we beat our chests and boast of cherishing our roots? Many of us are born as Nigerians and Africans but we are not truly so when we take into cognizance that we know little or nothing about our culture much less of cherishing or taking pride in it. Many of us have lost our cultural heritage. We can hardly speak in our native language let alone read or write our language. We need to take a cue from the many failures being recorded by examination bodies such as WAEC and NECO in our own native languages.
To many of us, our native language is archaic and useless. Do the foreign language for example English language express the depths of everything we want to communicate in English? NO!
We most times seek to dress in the foreign attires that are often devoid of sanity and morality, yet we call it fashion when our women can barely tie a simple African head gear. Where then is the pride of our culture?
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