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Calls to Revive Extended Family Structure at Articulate Africa
Prominent speakers and delegates at the first day of the ongoing 2019 Articulate Africa book and art fair have added their voice to calls for Africans to revive the traditional extended family structure in order to preserve culture, language and deal with rampant social ills like prostitution, drug abuse and street squatting.

In a panel discussion Azibuye Emasisweni that included heavyweights like Professor Pikita KaNtuli, Ukhozi FM's programmes manager, Zandile Tembe, Zulu traditions advocate, Mandla KaNozulu and Zulu traditional artist, Mbuso Khoza, agreed that in order to arrest the societal moral decline mainly in black communities, a lot has to be done and it has to be done urgently.

Zulu, together with other delegates, was emphatic that the sudden surge in the number of young people abusing drugs and later flooding the streets of the province's cities was an indictment on the democratic government as it's a problem that started during the reign of the democratic government which came to power in 1994.

"Where did things go wrong? It all started when the traditional family structure of an extended family was dismantled and everything collapsed. We now have foreign family concepts like child-headed families and even the government is promoting that as it has got even a policy for that. That's shocking," Zulu lamented, adding that this an African family has got uncles and others who should like after these children.

A Zulu tradition advocate, Zulu also told delegates that liking isiZulu language and the Zulu culture should not be seen as being a tribalist who feels that the Zulu tribe is nobler to other tribes. "Loving the Zulu culture and language doesn't equal to being a tribalist, so is being proud of being a Zulu person, it doesn't mean you are a tribalist. This thing has held us back as people," Zulu said.

Adding his voice to the call for the African way of life preservation, John Ramota, a Clermont township citizen who is known for advocating and promoting cultural tourism, said it would even be better for the government to establish African information and cultural centre that can help in preserving and passing of cultural practices to younger generations.

"We need to establish our own information centres where our culture and languages will be preserved and passed on to the next generation. This will help us to end the tragedy of young ones who don't know their families history and clans names," Ramota urged. 

With its prominent role in the preservation of the Zulu language, Ukhozi FM was urged to encourage its radio presenters to speak the proper Zulu language and avoid dropping foreign names while on air as most listeners then speak that language, thinking it is the correct one.
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