THERE is need to intensify female initiation ceremonies if Zambian culture is to be upheld in the face of decaying moral values in Zambia.

This was the consensus among Lusaka’s Jack compound  residents who felt that it was time for parents to start remembering tradition and go back to the times when young men and women were taught how to be responsible and cultured in all areas of one’s life.

Women say that modern culture was slowly overshadowing the old ways and destroying traditional culture and values on which the Zambian nation was built.

They said it was important that young people were educated in Zambian traditions, culture and customs so that they grew up as responsible citizens.

Rebecca Kaluba, a resident of Jack compound, said that there was need for parents to start supporting initiation ceremonies because they would help mould their children into responsible and cultured people.

Ms. Kaluba said that people were now losing touch with tradition in the name of the so-called civilisation where tradition was ignored.

She said that initiation ceremonies play a significant role in raising responsible young men and women.

‘‘The responsible old men and women we see today are a product of initiation ceremonies, when young men and women were taught a lot of things that not only benefit them but their societies as well where they come from,’’ she said.

She added that initiation ceremonies worked well in the old days and could still work out well even in the modern world.

‘’Today we see young men and women misbehaving anyhow, their dressing is indecsent, they are involved in immoral activities on a daily basis and not having initiation ceremonies to teach them how they are supposed to conduct themselves in society is one of the major contributors to the bad behaviour in our young men and women today,’’ Ms Kaluba said.

Ms Mpundu Chilufya also of Jack compound said the youth of nowadays have no sense of responsibility because they do not know how to differential between right and wrong.

‘’Initiation ceremonies are very important not just in the villages but also in urban areas because they stand to benefit a lot of people. Moreover it’s not just the people in the villages that need morals and responsibility but even those that are in urban areas and that is why it is important that the initiation ceremonies for young men and women are revived,’’ she said.

But some women have charged that times have changed and there was no need for young people to undergo ceremonies when they could just be taught for a few hours.

Rose Mambwe, another Jack compound resident, said that young people go to  school while some are working and it would not be fair to seclude them for a long time attending initiation rituals. Ms. Mambwe said the behaviour of young people depended on how they have been brought up in their homes and it was not right to conclude that lack of parental training was responsible for their actions.

– Millennium Radio 90.5FM

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