A critical analysis on tribalism

Nothing is as retrogressive as entertaining ideas on tribalism. Strangely, to some people, this includes those assumed to be victims of tribalism. Being affected on tribal lines implies having a proclivity to also be associated with tribalism. By definition, tribalism is derived from a person’s feeling of identity and loyalty to his own tribe. Without a tribe, a person feels insecure.

Tribalism is notoriously a product of primitive cultural societies. As designed by colonialists, this is commonly characterized in conglomerate communal villages, programmed in simple languages, as opposed to complex structures. The primitive nature of tribalism is based on the inability to provide a qualitative estimation of survival objectives.

The dignity of humanity is found in giving, rather than receiving. Language is not tribal but is often mistaken for tribal identity. What is in a language, necessitating preservation? There are those who maintain that language is as important as culture is important.

However rarely has anyone been able to provide some quantifiable value, derived from cultural preservation. Why preserve culture, if not providing what is necessary for survival purposes? Language is assumed to be necessary for preserving culture. But what is it that drives one towards feeling deprived, when culture is suppressed?

The tribal identity separates a group from the rest of the population. The important question to ask ought to be, who benefits, and what benefit, out of cultural preservation? Without proper evaluation, the proponent of tribalism is headed towards insanity.

If there is less survival estimation in living as solitary entities, what is the logic of separating from the rest of the population? When focusing on things that happened in the past, one finds himself deeply embracing discarded primitive living. How primitive can one be? One is as primitive as inward-looking.

Tribalism is self-centred, leading to the decimation of those concerned. Survival is derived from outward consideration of others, more than focusing on personal survival. The business of living is derived from what one gives to others. The degraded scale, in terms of survival objectives, is premised on introversion.

One cannot survive longer when focusing on personal interests, before thinking about the interests of others. A person’s survival potential stretches far and wide when considering other people’s interests. The tribal identity is concerned about self-centredness, more than the concern of the survival of others. It is more non-survival than providing ideas of survival.

Like racism, tribalism is premised on a false identity. A human being was created in God’s image, not likened to anything physical. The tribal viewpoints give the impression that different tribes are less important than themselves. Tribalism consideration is even more illogical as using the language for tribal identity.

The language spoken by a person may not necessarily be his tribal identity. Although using the language by which he is identified, the person might be of the tribe he denounces. Something needs urgent addressing, before falling into the trap of decimating one another, over tribal falsehoods. The assumption that a person’s tribe is better than those of different tribes is as wicked as Satan is wicked.

In that reasoning, we find a lie that has viciously divided various humanities, since creation. The truth lies in that another human being requires caring, just as the tribal person needs care. Even the proponent of tribalism represents a true reflection of the other person. What is seen in another person summarizes the identity of the one concerned about tribal identity.

The source of human problems stems from the consideration of identity, ahead of other identities. The current undesirable war, in Ukraine, is a result of consideration of value in an identity. In this world, nothing happens without a cause. Hence, the war in Ukraine is caused by Russia’s desire to maintain its own interests. That has got nothing to do with the interests of Ukraine.

The reason why personal identity is problematic is that it is fallacious. Those gripped in the consideration of identity are ignorant of their identity. Only if those Russians knew that they were God’s children, they would not engage in war with anyone. This is another result of assuming to know when one is ignorant.

Just as there can be no significance in tribal identity, except soothing one’s ego, there is no significance in tribal wars. This is especially so, in Zimbabwe, where tribal identities have been rescinded by intermarriages. The only dividing lines, among Zimbabweans, are languages, rather than tribal identities. A careful analysis reveals that languages carry no significant bearing on tribal identities.

Any of our African languages could be as important as any other if carrying survival significance. After the Roman Empire had assumed leadership of Europe, the Greek language remained in usage for a very long time. The value of the Greeks had been education, which the Romans could not discard, after assuming power.

This is just as I write in English, when not being English, myself. Any language gets adopted as commonly spoken in any geographical location, but without affecting tribal identities. The value of any language is measured by its survival content to those concerned. Civilized nations do not necessarily fight over language usage.

As a former colony of Britain, Zimbabwe adopted English as a common language, ahead of vernacular languages. English is considered as carrying more survival values than vernacular languages. The value of the English language is in that it is one of the major languages of the world.

Teaching one’s children how to read and write English, is necessary for purposes of accessing information. As widely spoken across the world, English is more advantageous, than vernacular languages. Those able to speak in English can access more information than those unable to read and write English.

English people may feel proud that their language is used by others. But that does not make them more advantageous, in terms of accessing survival information. A proud English speaker can be as primitive as any tribal villager, assuming value in a language without doing anything to serve others.

Accessing information is possible when communicating. The focal idea is to conveniently use the language for purposes of transmitting valuable information. Giving and receiving information is called communication, found necessary to enhance human survival.

The source of information is God, whose communication provides life to willing listeners. All life emanates from God, whose communication gets rejected by traditionalists, like those embracing tribalism. Communication carries survival attributes as implied by John.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him, nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:1-5 NIV).

Nothing is more valuable than information. Without information, it is impossible to survive. The above Scripture reveals that information is the light of the world. Darkness is symbolized in ignorance, which the tribal people cannot comprehend. A person is as ignorant as unable to communicate.

The survival value in the English language is not, necessarily, attached to the white community. It benefits those using it for accessing and transmitting information, some of which might not, necessarily, be accessed by those whites. As used internationally, English helps in communicating survival information.

The enlightenment in Africa came through the advancement of Christianity. It is possible for Africans to benefit more than those whose language facilitated the spread of Christianity. The first language to spread Christianity was Greek. But Christianity evolved from the Jews, whose native language had been Hebrew.

From this can be deduced that language carries no value, except facilitating the required communication for purposes of survival. The value remains attached to the information being transmitted. The usage of any language should not be attached to personalities. Survival information comes directly from God.

With the advent of the internet, information is now accessible online. Language is, therefore, just a tool to facilitate the transmission of information among humans. But the original source of survival information is God. Without God, there is no survival information.

Those remaining stuck with their vernacular languages cannot learn new ideas, necessary for survival purposes. The life span of a tribal villager is shorter than those with access to modern information. A tribal person, as inward-looking, cannot be aware of such realities.

Tribal personalities might also hold some beneficial information. But because of the language barrier, such tribal personalities cannot be able to share, as to be understood and also understand others. This portrays how non-survival self-centeredness can be to humanity.

The most important information is in knowing that value is in giving, more than in receiving. The idea of giving, ahead of receiving drastically eliminates peripheral languages. For purposes of advancing information, each person uses common languages that easily advance his communication with other people.

All languages are as good as other languages. But the value of any language is determined by the beneficial information transmitted through such languages. The common goal of every individual is to survive longer. Anything of this world, including languages, can be used as a tool for obtaining survival information.

The internet continues to bring new dimensions to languages. Most languages, although held with esteem, will soon be discarded. In Zimbabwe, it can be easily observed that our African languages would soon be no more. For anyone to prefer using any language, there has to be a reason for doing so.

The only way to preserve African languages is by our young people offering workable information to the world at large, in African languages. What is it that Africans can offer, in their respective communal languages for others to also benefit? This removes the tag of being dependent on others. But offering valuable information from which others can benefit, to then promote one’s own language.

Therefore, common sense detects that survival is not enhanced by being stuck in one’s particular language. Learning other languages strengthens, rather than weakens the person’s survival potential. The demonic Gukurahundi was driven by tribalism, more than the perpetrators could have envisaged the quest for survival. Anything primitive is more non-survival than ought to be survival

A man is as useful as he can share information with others, and that requires language. But what is the use of language, if it remains protected in the tribal enclave, without benefitting others. The more one wants to be respected in his tribal identity, the more he separates from others, as to be unable to grow.

The starting point is by appreciating being God’s child. If one appreciates being God’s child, the next question would be for what purpose the person seeks to survive. If the purpose is to add value, what value is the person adding to other people? When correctly answering those questions, one can observe that the language of the individual is immaterial, let alone his tribal identity.

There can be no human being, created in God’s image, who lives without desiring to offer something to humanity. Even for those living in psychiatric asylums, something can be done, for their possible recovery. This is possible if the society was as carrying as expected, according to God’s viewpoint.

The grimmest reality on the ground is that societies are sustained in insanity, without knowing. Tribalism is involved in complicating such causes of insanity. The proponents of tribalism do not even know what they talk about, as they mistake language for a tribe.

Reminiscent of insanity, tribalism assumes that there would be value in one’s tribal identity. But without showing any trace of such value. A normal person uses the presently available resources to prepare for the future. It is only a psychotic who uses the presently available resources to maintain the past, sustained in tribal traditions.

A normal person has the capacity to reason that the past cannot be brought to the present. But being psychotic, one refuses to be drawn from his psychotic condition. To him, living in the past is real. Such behavioural conditions are sustained by ignorance, which can be eliminated by the proper dissemination of information.

The existent challenges in humanity are in tribal considerations, among other barriers. As long as stuck on the idea that one’s origin is physical, it is impossible to learn anything. This is why Jesus said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:3).

Anyone aware that his origin is from God, cannot be stuck on tribal identity. Anything physical does not describe those whose origin is God. They think similarly to how God thinks. This is what describes Godly information, as highlighted by John (John 1:1-5). Without Godly information, any person is as good as dead.

Andrew Masuku is the author of Dimensions of a New Civilization, laying down standards for uplifting Zimbabwe from the current state of economic depression into a model for other nations worldwide. A decaying tree provides an opportunity for a blossoming sprout. Written from a Christian perspective, the book is a product of inspiration, bringing relief to those having witnessed the strings of unworkable solutions––leading to the current economic and social decay. In a simple conversational tone, most Zimbabweans should find the book as a long-awaited providential oasis of hope.

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