Why Are Some Cultures Vanishing?

Culture is defined as the ideas, customs, and social behaviour of a particular people. Alternatively, culture is a manifestation of a people’s worldview that is encompassed in their language, marriage, music, their food, or how they wear their clothes. Culture thus links us to our identity which is a critical piece of one’s worldview that develops as we take in, interpret, and adopt (sometimes reject) the beliefs, behaviours, values, and norms of the communities in our life. Based on this premise, it is very unfortunate that within the context of Africa or the Bantu people, some cultures are slowly disappearing from the face of this earth.

Some might also argue that cultures are merely evolving and not vanishing. What we’ve realised, however, is that culture is alive so long as some people are practicing it, and the moment the last person practicing it dies so does the culture. Many factors thus affect cultures to vanish and this is shown within cultural diversity, indigenous languages, food, regalia, spirituality, and the ever-changing demographics. To counter these threats, we need to bring about the many things hidden in our villages – things that whisper of Africa’s not-yet-forgotten past. We need to bring these ‘things’ past the sound of just a whisper, to the point of an effectively audible Bantu voice that announces a recognisable, accepted, and respected African cultural identity.

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