Anthropology; the future of humanity
By Anne Achieng
| October 5th 2016
As far as my memory can
go, I remember when I was a little girl just joining form one, I took 11
subjects including History, a more specific continuation of Social Studies
which is taught in primary schools. In the introduction, Anthropology was
mentioned as the study of human beings; nothing more, there was also some vague
description of archaeology and some stuff of the sort. I forgot about the page
and all pertaining Anthropology as soon as I closed the textbook page and
completed my end of term exams.
During my four years of
study in high school, the only careers that were mind boggling were professions
such as Medicine and Surgery, Teaching, Journalism and some other common stuff.
This was so because of the misconception of direct employment especially by
government agencies. The unfortunate truth is that the direct opposite is
the reality; not even all journalists are employed. What were we looking for?
Employment. I grew up with the mindset of taking fewer risks, playing
safe, with a clouded mind in a tiny little box of thought.
Against my will, I took
Anthropology as an undergraduate degree. That is when I realized that there is
quite a big gap in the society. It is when I developed a third eye from which I
understand situations from different perspectives. Anthropology equips
one with the ability to understand humanity, human behavior and
perhaps misbehavior that is when I knew there is a whole new world to
explore right behind people's faces.
My fellow Kenyans, never
say Anthropology is the study of insects before someone lest your ancestors
wake up and give you a hot slap. It is crucial that more students get involved
in this area of study because that is when we'll grow as Africans. How do you
expect Africa to grow when western knowledge is imposed on us? Africa has a
rich, I mean rich cultures, we have fertile soil, young brains, intelligent
children what we really miss is Africans who can develop Africa.
Through Anthropology, I
have been able to appreciate our indigenous knowledge, African
languages, African games and African food. I am here to encourage Africans
to be Africans. Anthropology is a very wide discipline that accounts for
all dimensions of man. For example, Kenya is now pushing for the two thirds
gender rule, how are different cultures embracing it? Will it just be a law on
paper which people have no interest in? Looking at gender and land tenure
processes, are women allowed to inherit land or there are cultural hindrances?
Looking at climate change and global warming, how do different cultural
practices affect such events? As people are removed from forests for
logging at water towers, what is the fate of communities such as the Ogieks who
have a symbiotic relationship with the forest? How effective are the anti-FGM
campaigns? How effective is the law on communities that practice female
circumcision? Do they even know there is a law in place?
So whatever thing that
involved human beings involved anthropology. This is the future.
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