African Society and Western Civilisation

By Abubakar Jimoh

African society has a cherished culture and enviable values apart from its heroic past. The modern civilization is said to have emanated from the practices in the ancient Africa.

Looking critically at African society today since the emergence of the colonialism on our shore with the so-called Western civilization, it would be observed that the values put in place in the past by our forefathers seem to have been eroded.

In the past, individual without any form of education guided his activities by acceptable norms prevailing in the society. The society too had some norms and practices that the individual must strictly observed or faced some forms of punishments and sanction which might lead to banishment.

During those periods, the societal requirements varied from one society to another including code of dressing, customs, ethical behaviors and courtesies. Apart from these, other things that were highly cherished in African culture were the issue of responsibility, commitment and resilient that it was not just easy to marry without the groom demonstrating the ability to sustain the bride through his works and earning. The woman too should be chaste, untouched by any other man except her husband after the wedding. The society then easily disowned those who ran fouls of the traditional code of conducts.

The word “Civilization” is a universal term that has diverse meanings to different people. It is generally used to characterize a society that has high level of culture and social organization but which witnesses both positive and negative phenomena strange to African value. Of course western civilization is touted for eradication of cultic practices of past human sacrifice for rituals and killing of twins, there are more and more African values that need to be protected and preserved.

The western civilization promotes half-nakedness in the name of fashion, and near nudity in the name of modeling and beauty pageant. The craze to imitate these practices by African girls and women promoted cases of sexual assaults and rapes in the society. Our boys too are more concern about number of girls they have and designers’ clothes in their shelves instead of textbooks.

High institutions are now popular love nests where our students on campuses are mostly heartbroken by infidelity or rejection from their partners. Love affairs instead of academic pursuit have becoming the subject of attraction. This negative and dangerous trend has in one way or the other resulted to psychological trauma, lack of concentration and hence poor academic performance among students.

The high level of morality on our campus is an iceberg as reminiscent of the larger society. African men now marry not on socially acceptable behavior but on the physical beauty which at long resulted to non-satisfactions, and misunderstanding between several couples. The concrete example is the ongoing daily increase in extra-marital affairs, involving both men and women searching for happiness but, unknowingly end up in broken-homes.

African society which its humble beginning and cherished heritage, gives us an opportunity to promote our values, culture, in universally acceptable way. We should also try to be ourselves and not in any way be carried out by the awful imported cultures that could jeopardize or tarnish the good image of our beloved society. A reasonable effort should be made to understand and see the word “civilization”

Abubakar Jimoh


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