AFRICAN ETHICS AND THE FAMILY LIFE: ATTESTATIONS OF THE SOCIO- RELIGIOUS ETHICS IN THE SHONA SOCIETY, ZIMBABWE

Nisbert T Taringa, Richard S Maposa

Abstract


 

In many parts of the world, family life is fragile as its structures continue to weaken and get broken down. The study explores the nature of the Shona family in Zimbabwe. It observes that the family is fragmenting due to several factors. Some of the factors are a result of the impact of globalization, the weakening of the indigenous religion and culture, escalating poverty and the devastating impact of HIV/AIDS on the contemporary Shona society in Zimbabwe. Though many of the Shona people profess to be Christians or Moslems, the teachings of these religions on family life have not prevented it from fast disintegrating into the abyss. The paper argues that if the stable and durable structures of the Shona family life are to be addressed properly, it is important to engage the indigenous African ethics on the basis of the beliefs, culture and concepts of the Shona people. This paper therefore aims to explore what insights can be gained from the indigenous socio-religious ethics of the Shona people as panacea of (re)strengthening family structures, and specifically with consequential benefits for women and children who constitute the most vulnerable classes of people in Zimbabwe.


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