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Sunday word: Need to rediscover and restore culture

There is a deep-rooted connection between some of the practices of our forefathers and what the Almighty has prescribed humanity to do in most aspects of life.

A country without a culture is like a people without a soul. Culture is moulded around a society’s belief system.

Religion forms part of culture. I have observed and experienced with a deep sense of sorrow and regret that our Christian fraternity looks down with scorn and disdain on anyone who dares to talk about the promotion of some of our African traditions and culture.

My heart bleeds at that kind of misconception. It is a manifestation of pure ignorance, and a result of some brainwashing through misplaced Christian indoctrination.

I have written numerous articles to prove how most of our traditions were in tandem with the statutes given to us by the Lord our God over many generations of mankind.

There is a deep-rooted connection between some of the practices of our forefathers and what the Almighty has prescribed humanity to do in most aspects of life.

Most aspects of our culture have a solid foundation based on religious instructions from the Lord.

Regrettably, we have now buried most of our holy traditions and cultures, in preference of some ungodly foreign cultures or in the name of Christianity.

When Cecil Rhodes came to Africa his dream was to build a Cape-to-Cairo road, across Africa. What really slowed down that dream of his was our country, Zimbabwe. En route to Cairo, he then discovered that the lands of our nation were very rich in minerals and other resources, far greater than those at the Kimberley Mines of South Africa.

It is no wonder he decided to settle in and apportion to himself and his folks our motherland. It is also no wonder that he decided to be buried in the Matopos.

His bones are still buried here in Zimbabwe to this day. It shows Zimbabwe is Africa’s jewel. Geographically, I understand Zimbabwe sits at the highest point from sea level, with Marondera close to the country’s capital of Harare sitting at the summit.

Thus, Zimbabwe stands out at the peak of all nations of Africa. God, thus, created Zimbabwe to be the beacon of Africa and of the world. It is meant to be the shining star to all nations.

Rhodes was no fool to abandon his plans and then to settle in this country. He saw its significance. 

Have you also ever wondered why Zimbabwe always features very prominently in world news?

With Rhodes, also came the Christian missionaries who systematically stripped our culture of its dignity, labelling it as paganism.

We dearly embraced that notion. That thinking is still cultivated and prevails to this day. Although our practices were closely linked to the instructions of our Heavenly Father, we are always persuaded to throw them into the dustbins.

What remains of our culture is heavily contaminated with impurities of foreign origin, thus needing a reinvention and a separation process. If small grain fell on to the ground and got mixed with sand, how then would you separate the two, if the two were of equal weight?

If you have an answer to this problem, then maybe we can use the same solution to restore our lost traditions, some of which obeyed God’s instruction for mankind.

I know people are eager for me to give specific examples of how some of the traditional practices we did or still practice in our culture are linked to the instructions from the Almighty. I will recap and give a few examples from a host of other practices that are God-given.

 I always use the scriptures for most of my preferences. After God created mankind through Adam and Eve, man began to indulge in sinful acts such that He regretted of our creation and decided to wipe us out by floods in anger, save for one righteous man, Noah and his family.

He also saved each species of all living things, male and female, to perpetuate reproduction of new generations. Henceforth, He began to give humanity specific instructions for particular purposes.

In Genesis 9:4, God instructed us through Noah: “You shall not eat flesh with its blood.” He went on to explain: “For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it for you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the life that makes atonement, by reason of the life” (Leviticus 17:11). Life belongs to God and hence all animals slaughtered for food in our Zimbabwean culture are slit by the throat to let out the blood. It’s a practice that has stood the test of time, although very few people know the origin of it. It is a tradition based on the instructions from the Lord. “Any of my people, or the strangers that live among them, who slaughters any beast or fowl that may be eaten, shall pour out its blood and cover it with dust.”

From dust our lives were created and to dust all life (which is in the blood) shall go.

Our tradition on slitting the throats of animals for food is thus based solidly on this instruction from the Lord our God.

In line with the Lord our God’s specific instruction that mankind should observe the seventh day of the working week as a day of rest, Sabbath, our tradition has always set aside a non-working weekly day known in our Shona as “Chisi”, well before the advent of Christians into our region.

We were already subscribing to this instruction. Unfortunately when the European missionaries came, they did not recognise our rest day.

We are now saddled with two days of the week on which our rural folks do not work in our fields, as a consequence of “the grain mixing with the sand”. We are thus losing a lot of productive time as a nation because of it.

The payment of lobola is our tradition. To quote part of the scriptures to support payment of money for a bride, Deuteronomy 22:28-29 reads: “If a man meets a virgin who is unattached and lies with her, then the man who lay with her shall give to the father of the young woman fifty shekels of silver and she shall be his wife all his days.”

Our culture has also a solid tradition of honouring the parents and the elders, as per God’s commandment: “Honour your father and your mother that your days may be long in which the Lord our God gives you.”

 The commandment doesn’t state that you should give them honour only during their lifetime. Our newfound Christianity bars us from giving them any honour after death.

The foreigners came to our region calling their own parents by their first names, and a lot of other parental disrespect which we are adopting. What a shame.

  •  Prosper Tingini is the Scribe of the Children of God Missionary Assembly - God’s messengers. Contact details: Mobile & whatsapp – 0771 260 195. Email address: ptingini@gmail.com

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