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Cultural Expressions in the Daily Life of Africans


Culture has a way of infiltrating into families and societies and forming bonds of engagement. They become the norms that are acceptable. The beliefs, customs, and ways of life of particular individuals or groups of families help to identify such units as being family, race, or ethnicity. The study will identify these beliefs, customs, and ways of life and how they affect my thinking, life decisions, and lifestyle. I will address religion, sports, and music.

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Originally, the Africans came from small tribal units that had kings and an organized system of governance. The Kings gained most of their respect because of having equal status as the gods of the land or closer relations to the same (Antons, 2009). The practice is slowly fading away as a result of the westernization of mechanizations. But they still affect the daily issues.

A majority of the people cannot trust the courts. They believe that legal processes are for the wealthy and the enlightened few in the society (Zografos, 2010). They would rather call elders for advice and help in settling disputes. The African governments have also adopted some village headmen who assist in resolving land matters. They also solve family and problems. It is these elders who would invoke the gods to punish any offender who is unwilling to bow to their demands. These communities have the supreme god who also has assistant gods dealing with different societal problems.


The African people love sports very much. From time immemorial, sporting activities have kept them busy and active. There have been traditional competitions pitting one community or clan against the other. Some of the community games begin from the smallest units of the family settings up to the level of one tribe against another (Zografos, 2010).

The young men in the society were supposed to engage in matchmaking fights against each other. They were the main exercises for any impending war against the community. They could face each other in competitions to gauge their masculinity in war. They were the primary protectors of the community during wars. Some of these games have developed into today’s sporting activities. For instance, there is boxing as a sport, wrestling, and judo. Today people use these sporting activities as a way of keeping fit, hobbies, and as a career (Kono & Van Uytsel, 2012).

The African setting also allows children to play games. For instance, Mancala is one of the oldest games in the world. It kept the children busy and occupied. In Kenya, it is called Kigogo. The plays need to have a mancala board with holes arranged in two or four rows. In the olden days, the players used stones or seeds. But today, they use the marbles. Mancala is an Arabic name that means to move or transfer (Schorlemer & Stoll, 2012). The idea is to move as many stones or marbles as possible so that one captures more than the opponent. Children and adults play it as a way of learning to strategize in life. Even today, it is still very common among many communities.


Music is also a way of life. The African people are known to be very active musicians. Most African music involves a lot of activities. They sing while dancing. They also jump and run around in most of their songs. Songs revolve around all the community’s activities. They have dirges during the funeral, the victory songs after a war, the new baby songs, and even wedding songs. The songs create the emotions of the events. Most of the songs are ancestral (Schorlemer & Stoll, 2012).

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The Cultural Expressions as a Group

The cultural expressions are very sensitive to the emotions of the events. The music provides a mechanism for communicating ideas and passing emotions. Sporting activities provide me with an opportunity to engage with other people positively. Religion helps to explain my existence and the need for direction from the deity. The three cultural expressions give me a hand to work with others in an amicable way. I find time to associate with others. I also discover that I always need to value the contribution that others have towards societal growth.

Other people view me as a very creative person. I take the cultural expressions as a way of life and use them to advance community ideas (Schorlemer & Stoll, 2012). I have also made many friends through these activities. The games, music, and religion have helped me to become a social person. If someone would think that I engage in these activities to pass the time or to waste time, then it would be an incorrect assumption about me. The only truth is that they help me to think creatively and motivate me to create more social networks.


Culture as a way of life contributes to defining the way people appreciate life. My attributes towards these expressions have shown that people need to embrace their culture. I have managed to use these activities to advance a common approach towards issues. Everyone needs to accept them as a means of promoting critical ideas.


Antons, C. (2009). Traditional knowledge, traditional cultural expressions, and intellectual property law in the Asia-Pacific region. Alphen Aan Den Rijn, Netherlands: Kluwer Law International.

Kono, T. & Van Uytsel, S. (2012). The UNESCO Convention on the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. Cambridge, UK: Intersentia.

Schorlemer, S. & Stoll, P. (2012). The UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. Berlin, Germany: Springer.

Zografos, D. (2010). Intellectual property and traditional cultural expressions. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar.

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