Must we forfeit our right so animals can live?

2009-11-21 00:00

IT irks me when people prescribe how other people should live their lives, especially when it does not affect them. It is easy to tell people what it good for them and what they should or should not do, more so when one is not in their shoes.

God created us to be different on purpose, and if he wanted us to be the same, he would have made us so.

What I do not understand is why people who were created by God feel this need to make us all the same, live the same lives and be uniform in our practices.

Africa was colonised by people from different corners of the Earth.

In the process, Africans were stripped of their dignity and possessions in the form of land and livestock, among other things. As if this was not enough, the colonisers also stripped Africans of their cultures, at least some aspects of it.

As Africans, we have been told that paying lobolo is primitive and that this practice needs to be ditched. How can a custom that brings two families together be primitive?

It beats me.

Africans have also been told that slaughtering beasts and making offerings to the ancestors should come to an end as the practice does not make sense.

It does not make sense to whom, I ask?

Africans would not do it if it did not make sense to them.

Now we have been told that Umkhosi wokweshwama (the first fruits festival) should also be done away with as it is cruel to animals.

So-called animal lovers have even gone to the extent of getting a High Court order to stop the Zulu king and his subjects from taking part in the custom.

Some people have too much time on their hands.

Talk show host Oprah Winfrey has also been brought into the fray, but, being as smart as she is, she saw right through the animal lovers in terms of what they were trying to do. Winfrey clearly knows which battles she must fight and which ones she must not.

This is a declaration of war, not only against King Goodwill Zwelithini, but his people. Where do izifikanamthwalo get off telling us what to do in our own back yard?

As Zulus, we do not take kindly to being told what to do.

How are young Zulu men supposed to come of age?

By being thrown a 21st birthday party?

I support initiatives to look after animals in general, but not to the detriment of our culture. We will not stop practising our culture, even if it means going against a High Court order, as the Constitution of the land gives us that right.

So we must forfeit our rights so that animals can live?

I thought we are all animals and, as the saying goes, it is the survival of the fittest.

This saying is rather “fitting”.

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