Influence of western civilization: slowly Burying Cameroon’s Culture
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Influence of western civilization: slowly Burying Cameroon’s Culture

CAMEROON – Since the introduction of western civilization in the African continent in the early colonial times and during exploration and missionary activities, it is believed by some Cameroonian’s researchers that it has done more harm in impacting Africa’s culture.

In the contemporary era, the culture of the African people has been greatly eroded due to Western Culture and influence. This is recently seen in clear facts. Before, especially in communities in Cameroon and other African countries, power belonged to the entire community though the power to govern is invested on a group of persons and a times, a worthy leader to act on behalf of the community. Due to cultural change, the political atmosphere in the African land is now a problem which has made the leaders fight over power forgetting their role to serve the people. This is proved with numerous inter-tribal wars, civil wars rocking the continent on a daily basis. Dr. Clifford Sibani from University of Benin a culture expert, in his book titled Impact of Western Culture on Traditional African Society says “Today people now fight; kill to get their way into power. This shows deviation and abandonment of power. High values should be reposed in African leaders”.   In the same light, it is clear that the traditional ways of worship has drastically changed as Oswald from the Nso tribe of the North West region of Cameroon a lover of culture says “the local and traditional drums that makes the music of our people very significant and meaningful has greatly been replaced with band-set and English or French songs.” He also solicits Cameroonians to change “Cameroonians should return to their heritage and revive the locally made drums and music which makes them distinct in their nature of worship”. For others, they think that the acrobatic dance of the Africans when drums are played is far richer than the western pattern of worship.

Impact on Family Policies

It is proven that children nowadays are adopting a habit of calling their parents by their first names rather than the common “mama” or “papa”. Some of them go as far as argue a certain decision of a parent to the point of revolt. This is all seen as a negative impact of westernization. Communication barrier is also an aspect as most people influenced speak English or French instead of their local languages. Tabufor a linguistic expert comments “The government should see to it that the medium of instruction in primary schools is initially the mother tongue, then at a late stage, English and French Language”.

Likewise, marriage is a significant part of life in all African traditions as it bestows respect and is the context within which the family lines are extended. This is one area where a substantial increase of western influence is seen. Weddings in Africa have always involved ceremonies and traditional engagements where a lot of importance is placed on family and culture, however, things have changed. “Nowadays, value is given more to church weddings than traditional weddings”, explains Madam Bridget .Closely related to this, there is a high rate of divorce between couples. Before in most cultures it was the duty of parents to look for spouses for their children, nowadays the children takes it upon themselves to look for their spouses which has often resulted to regrets, abandonment and even quarrel between the two places.

Indecent Sexual Behaviour

In Africa, sexual indecency is an unwanted conduct. According to Blaise, due to cultural change, women especially go along the roads, schools, and churches dresses half-naked. Putting on sexy cloth that reveals special parts of your body all in the name of fashion which negatively leads to sexual harassment. The advent of the abominable sexuality acts like homosexuality is becoming rampant. Sendze is a community leader, “where on earth could you hear that a man is sleeping with a man or a woman sleeping with a woman. This is unheard of. All hands should be put on deck to stop this deadly practice in our society”, he denounces.

In actual facts, experts warn that if care is not taken, Africa might wake up tomorrow only to notice that its cultural heritage has been over neglected to the point of its own disappearance.

Kuwan Chelsea Kernyuy (Trainee editor) ©
Illustrative picture : Ancestor figures door frame veranda posts chieftain