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Keletso Thobega

"I am a little bit of everything all rolled into one.I am a lover,I am a child, I am a mother,I am a sinner, I am a saint. I do not feel ashamed.I am your hell, I am your dream, I am nothing in between." "I am the past you know nothing bout. The future you cannot ignore."

Social malfunctions should be traced back to the family

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The family, in African culture is a respected institution held in high esteem. This is understandable, considering the core values it was meant to be cemented on; to provide emotional and mental security, social stimulation and be a solid support structure within a community and nation.
Time has evolved and the role of the family has crumbled down due to various reasons, including urbanization, migration, moral re-construction and traditional transition. There is no denying that where we stand, things have changed drastically and the family as an institution seems to be in tatters, though it has a vital contribution to the growth of healthy, well rounded individuals and communities worth thriving in.

I am fascinated that in the current societal malfunctions we live with, blame is usually seen as external. Many Africans have adopted an attitude of “victim”, to the point that they will blame an outsider for what happens in their homes or personal lives. A person’s attitude and outlook will usually reflect the kind of home they come from and the values instilled within them. The challenge is that adults get so pre-occupied in their selfish endeavors that children are let to grow and are not raised. Anything else they know is left to the streets, church or school. Negligence is a problem in African societies.

Provision of basic needs: food, clothing, shelter is not where it ends. There are also emotional, intellectual and spiritual needs to be satisfied. Some families have failed their children and it creates a vicious cycle for people tend to do things because they have been done before, not because they seem correct or provide the desired results in shaping characters. We should not forget that we are human beings and should constantly strive to elevate and challenge ourselves and not be trapped in narrow-minded thinking of “how things should be” for it’s such mentalities that limit us from exhausting our abilities and talents and enjoying the fruits of life, true genuine joy.

Parenting is not exclusive to the people who bore that child. It’s not always the case that the man and woman can be together or carry the wisdom to be able to raise another person. A parent role is someone who satisfies a child’s needs. Love and attention are the core things that a child needs, irrespective of biological parents being there.

Abuse, misconduct, conflict are characteristics carried from home. Some adults complain about children and how they turn out…but who raised them? Surely they should lay blame to themselves. African communities have developed many loopholes because there’s little inspiration and a limited pool of resources to expose children to a brighter perspective of the world and life. How do you expect a child to excel when he or she comes from an environment where the people have no particular ambitions or set goals?
Communities and homes need more role models, especially male role models. They need men and women who will be exemplary to younger people and show them the nobleness of humanity.

We are currently facing a dead end. Politicians and leaders offer little inspiration to Africans. These are people who come from our communities. The frustrating thing is that politics reflect the social, vice versa. Some people in the management of the country, communities, churches and schools carry distorted attitudes and mentalities-they influence and propagate their close-ended outlooks for there are some who listen to them or respect their opinion. It’s a sore story to tell but that is the reality. We are slowly losing the fibres that hold us as human beings yet we can be instrumental in reversing it. I have already been blessed to try and teach my queendom better-not to preach right or wrong but the beauty of fine qualities. What’s your take?

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