SA Ambassador Champions ‘Respect for Culture’

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South Africa’s Ambassador to Liberia, Mr. Masilo Mabeta, is calling on Africans, including Liberians, to join his country in building respect for the African Culture.

Alerting Africans on the importance of their culture is an initiative undertaken by the South African Government, to make people of the continent show solidarity to one another and to reflect their significance to other peoples of the world.

 Ambassador Mabeta spoke to journalists recently at the South African Embassy near Congo Town, Monrovia.

The South African diplomat underscored the importance to avoid the form and manner in which African cultural values are overlooked in most countries.

 He made specific references to dress code, food, songs, amongst others.

According to Amb. Mabeta, belief that traditional ideas and industrial commodities from Africa are not beneficial to contemporary development, keeps Africans in bondage on their own continent.

He said locally made products in most African countries do not have attractive values anymore, “because people do not give preference to them as to how they would be improved.”

He noted that if Africans with knowledge in certain professional areas are allowed to teach in universities their knowledge, Africans will know the value of their locally produced commodities and culture.

Ambassador Mabeta then frowned on the idea of investing in foreign materials when Africans are competent to produce same, stressing that the lack of empowerment for locals makes it hard for African products to be given value.

He said that Africans who design and produce African cloth did not learn the art in school such a brilliant idea, but can produce materials using their local equipment; an act, which he commended.

Ambassador Mabeta said using such people to teach their ideas in school will get students to specialize in textile and other areas and as well produce African materials that will make most countries on the continent industrious.

In addition to problems affecting Africans, the South African diplomat noted that because cultural values are not respected, Africans are divided on tribal and sectional lines, thus making it difficult to be united.

Prior to briefing journalists, Ambassador Mabeta said, he had travelled to some parts of Liberia including Maryland, Grand Gedeh, River Gee and Nimba Counties to have an insight of the country.

“My travel to these counties entails that I did not only come to Liberia to reside in the capital Monrovia, but to reach other parts to make South Africa’s presence felt among all Liberians.

According to him, the tour to the counties made him to learn about the people living there and their culture likewise.

He described the visit as worthy, because it opened the corridor for the local people in those parts of Liberia to realize that South Africa was not only here for central government, but for all Liberians without discrimination.

South Africa is expected to celebrate its national and freedom days the latest part of this month.  The freedom day marks freedom from Apartheid rule with the first black African leader, Nelson Mandela, taking over as President of that country in 1994.

The national day is in commemoration of the country’s independence that can be marked by many cultural activities, and words of inspiration for national and foreign leaders.

The celebrations would have been held last April, but was postponed because of election currently underway in that part of Africa.

A credible diplomatic source told this paper that parliamentarians are elected by the people of South Africa, and the parliamentarians subsequently elect the president.

“The country will soon have a new president therefore, South Africans want to celebrate these days with the new president,” our source said.

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