Mphahlele, Ezekiel
July 1964
Foreign Affairs;Jul1964, Vol. 42 Issue 4, p614
Academic Journal
The article discusses cultural and social condition of people in Africa. Among the 4,000,000 Africans who are now urbanized, there are several who maintain links with their people in the country, because they are relative newcomers in the towns. There is also a large population of female domestics who live on employers' premises and are in constant touch with their country folk. They are highly sophisticated, dress smartly in pay-while-you-wear clothes. There are the 3,000,000 Africans working on white people's farms as labor tenants. Here cultural life seems to turn around in circles, finding no nourishment from either rural or urban life. The wedding ceremony itself is a mixture of civil, Christian and African customs. Receptions are held in dance halls and a jazz band is hired for the occasion. At funerals family relationships also follow certain African code. Worship in the so-called established churches, but particularly in the "separatist" or independent churches, has taken on a theatrical-revivalist character, and it is now clearly a pleasurable rather than a painful experience.


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