Volume 8, Issue 1, 2011
Francis Xavier Gichuru
Creating a New Society, New Nation and New Leadership Quality in Kenya through African Traditional Education Principles
The article is a bold extraction of the intangible cultural heritage (ICH) value of traditional African education, attempting to capture the essence of what education made a young person be when he/she qualified for marriage. At the marriage stage an adult was given the green light to become the head of a family and manager of a home, and permitted make all the decisions touching on the family and, at the same time, take care of the community and country at large. In that situation, Prof. F.X. Gichuru has identified the qualifications as five pillars, viz. self-discipline, self-drive, integrity, harmony and patriotism, qualities that have been eroded in Kenya today by modernization and westernization, rendering the people generally irresponsible and non-accountable. The author proposes the five pillars as a solution to this problem, thereby creating a new accountable and responsible people, a new nation and a new leadership quality, targeting the young as the people to culturally transform in the space of twenty years. The African Cultural Regeneration Institute the author founded, now accredited by UNESCO to advise on ICH in Africa, has been proposed as the institution to champion this transformation of the national ethos of Kenya, starting with an initial action of two years. The success of the model will serve other countries of Africa and, indeed, the global community, in showing how ICH can be used to solve the challenges of modern society.