The life ways of a perpetually denigrated society in the African context is the loss of the rich roots that were so valued as the lifestyles of our ancestors. Some primitive yes, but now commercialized in an ideology that sends sparks of a westernized society.
Modernization in our country is a glory filled fan fare that deserves applaud as we head to a vision2030 era, it is also an overhauling of the Kenyan economy with the incursion of the west. Yes colonization did us great, and among the best achievements was airlift africa an initiative propagated by the late Tom Mboya with an aim of funding for Kenyan students to go study abroad in prestigious universities and come back to Kenya as leaders of substance: Some of the many beneficiaries were The Late George Saitoti and The late Wangari Maathai, and the late Barack Obama snr etc. Yes the west did us great…
Over the past few months there have been a couple of issues that many claim to be the influence of the west; homosexuality, bestiality, cannibalism and the recent one which topped our news headlines, the secondary ‘miniskirt’ issue! Many complain and say that we have become a westernized society…may be true, or not, depending on how you assess the whole situation. Issues like homosexuality have become ‘part’ of us and ‘accepted’ as a way of life, that we even have human rights groups to defend the rights of such a ‘drained’ community, have raised alarms over the fact that our society is slowly being graved into a culture that if our ancestors were around would be a whole martyr scare to those who seemed to be ‘westernized’. Cannibalism and bestiality may a little bit be rare in Kenya but whenever these matters arise it is all blamed to the west, because in our society such vices were un-heard of. We all had different opinions when the Minister of Education stood his ground in defending for the length of the high school skirt for the girls and yet again we still blamed the west, because our culture is one of discipline and decency… but the west ruined it for us…
We have been imbibed by consumerism that seems to set the precedence and standards for how we should live and even think, the exposure of west levity through the various media has captured our brains such that we have seemingly forgotten who we are and our way of life as Africans which is quite distinct from the west given that we have cultures and traditions whereas they don’t. We are just victims of our own device most of us are in simple terms ‘African Americanized’ and being consumers we receive with open arms what they give us indiscriminate of whether it’s beneficial to us or not, we don’t bother to separate the wheat from the chaff.
When the west captures our minds it is easier for them to manipulate us in all aspects, they make us sick and the malady is called ‘dependency syndrome’ we are not westernized whatsoever! We might not be commercialized in the sense of the financial gain but we are consumers of a culture that sucks our brain into living a particular way of life. If we were fully westernized as we claim to be, complaining and ranting all over we would be a reading a nation that arrows to keep its roots and cultures, at the same time be intellectual enough to do away with primitiveness and illiteracy…which in a way would quality us to be westernized…so far we are just commercialized.
Koffi Anan once quoted ‘Literacy is a bridge from misery to hope. It is a tool for daily life in modern society. It is a bulwark against poverty, and a building block of development, an essential complement to investments in roads, dams, clinics and factories. Literacy is a platform for democratization, and a vehicle for the promotion of cultural and national identity. Especially for girls and women, it is an agent of family health and nutrition. For everyone, everywhere, literacy is, along with education in general, a basic human right…. Literacy is, finally, the road to human progress and the means through which every man, woman and child can realize his or her full potential.”
I would say we are westernized the day we erase illiteracy from our society, so that we can be able to deal with issues that in our opinion seem to deem the rich culture that makes us what we call ‘African’. So far, we are just commercialized, consumers greedy for a ‘modern’ society while picking whatever culture so as embrace an upgrade of our lives, which in turn is a fail to development! But hey this is just my opinion.