We are in an era when home is everywhere but there is an ancestral hamlet where everyone’s hails from regardless of the place where they currently reside on the globe. Having experienced the frenzy that attended the Okeho Centenary celebration. Many people, who grew up in the town, from all spectrum of life remembered with nostalgia the good old years; archives were opened up for pictures and their journey till they arrived at city centers and their exploits globally. There were great comments; great reminiscences and great thanks to those who made kept various media platforms informed.
However, it was noted that there was disconnection between the older generation and the current generation. And the question came to the fore, what becomes of our homeland after our parents? It sounds like a one-billion dollar question! A short informal survey of many young parents who are less than 40 years old was done and it was discovered that many of them do not know their hamlets, not to mention the name of their family compound. People no more take their children to their hamlets and it is an issue that needs to be tackled just like that of our local dialects.
Having discovered this challenge, some identified steps needs to be taken and it must start from the home, just like charity. Today’s children needs to be engaged with the history of their fathers’ town and fathers’ compound, the good stories of people who have risen from grass to grace from the place and other beautiful things about their ancestral home. Some of these are not difficult to get, the internet has a lot of files that can be used to develop these contents that can even be commercialized.
There is a need for the elders to revive family history and genealogy which has been abandoned because of our search for daily bread. Children no more have a reason to imbibe great virtues associated with their families, there are a lot of crafts that would go into extinction because there are no children to pass it unto, and the inert strength demonstrated by some people in the face of tyranny is borne out of a resolve to replicate the exploits of the forefathers. On another side, some mistakes of previous generations will be unconsciously repeated if it children are not properly educated.
There is a need to share our stories, many times it is presumed these children would not understand, recount the tales. Catch them young through your personal efforts through documentation, build their interest by sharing these information with them and when questions arise, research and answer them. There is also another twist to it, they might not be concerned, but they will commit your words to memory subconsciously. It will be shocking to see them attempting to do the same.
There is a limited time in achieving this cultural immersion-these children will soon go to boarding schools, become undergraduates and eventually young parents. Even if both parents are from different cultures, turn it to an advantage, everyone loves to confidently say something about their unified diversity. Let’s not allow the upcoming generation to be referred to their fatherland before they know their origin. These children will not be blamed if we fail to educate them. Remember, if we do not tell them the right cultural tales, who will do it for us?