Culture is an artifact that requires a tremendous amount of preservation. In culture, there is pride, in it there is identity and, of course, in culture lies authority. Culture holds a great deal of a discourse and ideology that command volumes of value attached to a society within a particular context.
Music and fashion are a universal language that generally requires repetitive persuasive visibility to gain ground and stand out.
It is an open secret that urban music in Malawi has grown wide and wild. But in as much as this growth is worth a pat, it is also suicide in as far as survival of domestic culture is concerned.
Yes, there is no single culture in Malawi, but artistry at times, requires that creativity and innovations blend local cultures to come up with one comprehensive pack that advantages a national identity.
Much of the urban music relies on borrowed foreign cultures and fashion. Certainly there is globalisation, but how come this concept of urban music in Malawi glorifies foreign cultures and sweeps our domestic culture under the carpet?
Youth are a progressive generation, our culture needs to stand the test of time and be passed on to the generations to come.
Malawi has become a breeding ground for foreign cultures through the so-called urban music and fashion. But this only advances the dominance of those from whom we borrow their cultural values and scorn our own domestic culture.
Essentially, urban music with endorsement of the media is establishing a formidable system of ideas that blinds one from the truth of social reality, identity and cultural pride.
Hate it or love it, but if we do not share our culture, it only means we are significantly making our cultural values dysfunctional. We need to bear in mind that cultures are constructed out of numerous and competing discourses.
Perhaps, this generation needs some massive cultural knowledge to wake up from this predator in the name of urbanisation. Or is it that urban music is powered by vast exposure of knowledge about foreign cultures through broadcast, print and digital media?
Surely, in the event that we do not have knowledge, our belief will be corrupt, our art will be incompetent and morals questionable.
Music and fashion are an incredible cultural artifact Malawi needs the most to emphasise national identity, pride as well as preservation of domestic culture against the ever advancing invasion of foreign cultures in the name of urbanisation and globalisation trends.
Music and fashion carry significant influence we cannot choose to undermine.
The harm made by urban music to our domestic culture shall in the long run affect our attitude to issues of national interest. No wonder, therefore, that this generation of youths is able to argue competently about other countries and is horribly clueless when it comes to domestic affairs. Yes, a generation that knows the Queen of England and not its own traditional authority.
Urban music has subjected many young people in this generation to cultural imperialism. Through this music, the consumption and reception of foreign cultures has been advanced greatly and consequently most youths have embraced and adopted foreign values and practices knowingly or unknowingly. Predominantly, urban music is an instrument of cultural hegemony.
It is high time our classification of urbanisation in music is culturally sensitive and should reinforce existing attitudes and behaviours.
Urban music ought to be a symbol of reality, an identity of cultural pride in youths. n