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Golden Infrastructures of African Cultures and Civilization (Part1)
- By Franklin Otorofani

Published  September 13th, 2015


I profess no particular expertise in cultural matters even as I proceed herein rather adventurously, I would add, to lay down my cultural vision for the continent of my birth from a foreign land in which I’m a lowly sojourner. Even so, every human being, dead or alive, has at least some rudimentary knowledge and appreciation of culture, for life itself runs on culture, its guiding light as though, in techno-speak it were its operating system of sorts. It is indeed its operating system.

While culture bears little mention in everyday conversations and discussions in our tech-crazed world, however, other than its ready association with rituals and festivals and the likes, it is important to understand that it is the foundational ideological infrastructure of industry, science and technology, social, legal, educational, health and economic systems, arts and entertainment; in short, all that life itself has to offer. And that is why culture is usually described simply as “a way of life,” because it is in truth everything and all things rolled into one earthly experience of a given people and civilization.

Culture is the compass of life without which humanity is nothing but a floating mass of flesh and blood drifting aimlessly about the sea of life. The guardrails provided by culture enable humanity to navigate the complex labyrinth of human existential experiences from cradle to grave in interpersonal and institutional relationships. It’s the fountain and ultimate source of social approval, legality and legitimacy. It is the ultimate branding authority from which peoples and nations of every clime derive their individual identities separate and distinct from all others as expressed in languages, customs and traditions, arts, literature and the rest of cultural incidents and artefacts of given peoples and civilizations. All-pervasive and hardly localized in a single institution, it delineates the boundaries of morality and right conduct; defines man’s relationship with the gods and man, and regulates his economic, social, religious and other existential needs individually and collectively.



 

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