For most people, spending holiday with the family at the village, gathering to listen to grandma or grandpaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s interesting stories while sitting around a roaring fire has become a distant memory. Nowadays, it is rare to find a child who will clearly tell you where they are from. Mwereti Kanjo spoke to T/A Kachindamoto on the benefits on visiting the village.
Times have changed. Parents no longer see the importance of sending children to the village that they learn a thing or two. Today, the village is a place of ceremonies, funerals, weddings and the like but no longer a place to bond.
Perhaps this has been the case due to a number of factors. One of these factors is that the grannies are comingÃ‚Â to town to stay with their children, as are the cousins, aunts and uncles. Also, a lot of todayÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s grandparents are still energetic, making a living in town.
However, T/A Kachindamoto says it is quite sad that parents no longer make the initiative to take their children back home. She says knowing your roots gives you some sort of identity. Parents are denying their children a chance to learn things, something which they themselves had an opportunity of experiencing. This is one of the reasons that the country seems to be losing its traditions.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Parents must remember that they grew up in the villages and only went to town after their education. They have an experience of two different lives which has helped them make the best decisions in life. A child that has been in the village can be easily told apart from one that has not. This child that has experienced both lives is respectful, she knows her place around grown ups and addresses elders differently.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Today, when you go to visit in town, a child greets you while standing or seated on a chair as they watch TV, they want to speak to you in English and you tend to wonder if parents are no longer instilling tradition in our children,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Kachindamoto.
She says the absence of immediate family from the village must not keep them away. There are aunties and uncles that are capable of taking care of the children just the same.
Solon Justen Pahuwa, a town based parent agrees with Kachindamoto. He says when the child goes to the village, they learn a lot when they sit down for an evening chat with their grandparents. This helps the children become attachedÃ‚Â to the village and the people back home is. It easier therefore for the kids to help out family members.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“It is difficult to just show up one day at someoneÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s house and demand help, claiming to be their uncle when they do not know you. Cousins are growing estranged from each other because they hardly spend time together. During ourÃ‚Â time, we bonded with our relatives in the village and learnt a few things. If I were fired today, I can survive on farming, but how many children have the same privilege today?Ã¢â‚¬Â asked Pahuwa.
Catherine Mbekeani, a young mother of one says her parents and most of her relatives live in town. Her own village is quite close to town, Ntonda. Visiting her grandmother is a one day thing. However this does not mean that she has not learnt a lot because from time to time the grandmother comes to stay with the family for a little while.
Tradition is slowly dying in our children such that the only life they know is that they see on television. Let us take the initiative and take our children to the village. An experience of both lives will make them better persons.