Tribalism is a troubling enemy in most (if not all) parts of the African continent. Although tribalism may have been used in the past as a reflection of political difficulties and for it’s effectiveness (in terms of organising the people). However, today it seems as though tribalism is used to express hate, promote superiority, cause segregation, injustice and favour some people (often people of the same beliefs, characteristics and culture) more than others. Also, through further analysis, this cultural and social superiority continues to exist today and is seen within the different African nations and communities (particularly when it comes to matters relating to marriage and or political affairs).
I thought about this gigantic issue which had been in existence for as long as I can remember, nothing good has ever been birthed from encouraging, and praising tribalism; instead tribalism is responsible for some (if not many) civil wars in various African countries, injustice, and segregation; which as a consequence leaves some people within the country poor and of bad health–robbing them of equal opportunities and access to the countries resources. Yet we have continue to support tribalism.
I recall having lunch at a Sudanese restaurant in 2017, when South Sudan’s tribal war was taking place. Two men got into a heated discussion (on who will win the war and who was at fault before the beginning of the war). It was clear they were from the two different tribes (the two tribes involved in the civil war). It was a matter of minutes, the heated discussion escalated further. It amazed me how tribalism can keep us divided and bitter towards one another, even though we belong to the same motherland. It was than I saw how deep this issue of tribalism really is.
Also, particularly here in the western world, when it comes to marriage, many young people can testify to this–we have been cautioned to be vigilant on which tribe to marry into and which tribes we are to avoid. To add to this, rebelling to marry into your tribe has serious repercussion– your family may be ashamed, the community may look down on you and often the individual has to deal with paying high priced dowry to the opposite tribe.
A well spoke individual once asked me if I would have married Riyan (who just happened to be from my tribe), if she was from another tribe. My answer to that question was clear; without a shadow of a doubt, I would have fought for Riyan even if she was from a different country all together. It would have made no difference because what I felt for Riyan in the beginning was love. I did not fall in love with her because of where or which tribe she belonged.
Today there should be zero tolerance for prejudice, discrimination and segregation. We need to draw up the line of what is tolerable and what is clearly not acceptable–because a day will come where we’ll rise up to be leaders of Africa, of our communities, church’s, hospitals and perhaps other departments. Closing the tribalism gap would be of great significance–division will not help in anyway, shape or form to build and heal the African continent from all its brokenness.
The most important thing is that we need to come together and eradicate tribalism and any other form of ideas and concepts that segregate us as people. Instead lets strengthen one another and unit in marriage, communities, and as a continent–until than, Africa will never change in anyway. Lets support and praise what will bring unity amongst us–for Africa is great, but it requires united people to make it greater.