African Cultural Values and Inter-communal Relations: The Case with Nigeria

Ogbujah Columbus


People all over the world have values which at one time or the other could either be appreciated or abhorred depending on their usefulness.  Such values, when they pertain to the individual, are termed individual values; to the family – family values; and to the society, they are properly termed societal/social values.  In spite of the heterogeneity of Africa, there are still identifiable social standards indigenous to it, like the sense of communality; the sense of the sacredness of life; hospitality; time; respect for authority and the elders, etc. Cardinal among these is the sense of communality - the awareness which identifies an individual not as an isolated ego, but as an entity whose being and survival is consequent upon its union with other human beings within an identified locality.  In the end, all the other cultural values were recognized as postscripts to this basic value. Aspects of these standards which are found to be useful for growth and development of Africa were identified; others which actually hamper inter-communal relations, and in consequence, obstruct peaceful coexistence between peoples were highlighted.  Based on these, the author called for more discussions on the relevance of these values in this 21st century.

Keywords: communality, cultural values, inter-communal relations, monochronous, polychronous.

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