AFRICAN MORAL AND CULTURAL VALUES
(i) The meaning of life and its wholeness in the traditional African society
- In TAS, God is the source of life.
- Life is a rhythm which recycles itself.
- There are several dimensions of life i.e.
- Physical dimensions.
- Social dimension.
- Spiritual dimension.
- Environmental dimension.
- Physical dimension of life refers to the material state of human beings.
- Social dimensions comprises of relation of living with others in a community.
- Spiritual dimensions link human beings with spiritual power e.g. God, spirits andAncestors.
- Environmental dimension of life is the relation between the physical environment and humans.
- Life is enhanced through observance of rituals, taboos and regulations.
- Life is promoted through transitional stages e.g. birth, initiation, marriage and death.
- It is perpetuated through marriage for the continuation of the community.
- Death transforms an individual from physical life to the spiritual one.
(ii). The African concept of community and kinship system
(a) Meaning of a community
- A community is a group of people occupying one geographical location and guided by common values.
- An African community consists of the living, living-dead and the yet to be born.
- Each community is governed by specific rules, regulations and traditions.
- Survival of the community depends on God and other spiritual powers.
- A community believes that it is God who created the first human being.
- God gave them a place to settle in and responsibilities to fulfill.
- Leadership is provided by heads of families, elders and religious specialists.
- Social structure of the community comprises family units which form a clan, and several clans make a community.
- Members are expected to show concern for one another and foster the common good.
- The community promotes a sense of belonging and identity for its members thus making individuals feel secure.
(b) African concept of Kinship
- Kinship refers to relationship between people through blood, marriage or adoption.
- Kinship ties are strong bonds that exist among community members.
- Those related by blood have common ancestors. They feel a strong bond towards each other because they are tied by kinship relationships to one another.
Importance of kinship ties to TAS
- They determine how members relate to one another.
- They bond together the entire life of a community i.e. the living, the living dead, the unborn.
- They assist the people to live together in peace and harmony.
- They provide a sense of security to all members at all times.
- They regulate marital customs, rules and regulations.
- They give an individual a deep sense of belonging identity.
- They enable people to face hardship together.
- They safeguard the communities’ traditions and customs.
- They enhance unity among community members.
- They determine punishment for the offenders.