By the end of the topic, the student should be able to;

  • Identify positive and negative aspects of our cultural values.
  • Illustrate customs which lead to gender discrimination
  • Point out customs that lead to the spread of HIV/ AIDS and STIs.
  • Analyse the impact of the negative aspects of our customs
  • Propose ways and actions to be taken against negative aspects of our socio cultural values.
  • Explain the importance of promoting and preserving our worthy cultural values.
  • Assess the roles of different groups and institutions in promoting and preserving our cultural values.
  • Illustrate problems facing the promotion of our cultural values.
  • Propose solutions to problems arising in the process of promoting and preserving our cultural values.
  • Explain the meaning and the importance of culture of preventive care and maintenance of personal and public property.
  • Analyse the consequences of neglecting timely repair and maintenance.
  • Explain the meaning, aspects and elements of culture.
  • Illustrate the importance of each element of culture.


  • Culture – Totally ways of life of which includes customs, traditions, arts, religion to mention but a few.
  • Traditional culture – Totality of human ways of life which have been inherited from the past
  • Intellectual culture – This is total way of life of formally education
  • Modern culture – Is the totality of human ways of life of present generation especially youths.
  • Foreign culture – Is totally of human ways of life which originate from other people
  • Traditions – Comprises of inherited past practices which are difficult to change.
  • Customs – Consists of acceptable practices at a particular period of time.
  • Religion – Made up of people’s believes about God.
  • Norms – An element of culture which is made up of standard of behavior that are acceptable to society.
  • Value – Are things which people behave to be good in the society.


Culture – Is the totally of human ways of life which includes customs, traditions, arts and crafts, religion to mention but a few.

Culture can be defined as the totality of socially transmitted behaviors patterns, arts, beliefs, institutions (systems), products of human work (e.g. craft and other materials such as houses and thought.


Different writers argue that human culture started since creation of man developed language, customs and other ways of life enabled him to master his environment.


  1. Culture is dynamic – This means that culture changes from time to time because of different reasons example advancement of science and technologies.
  2. Culture is interactive – This means that one culture can borrow elements from other culture when people interact. Example African culture borrowed elements form European culture during colonialism.
  3. Culture is adaptive – This means that people with different cultural background can tolerate other people with different cultural background. Example during colonialism Africans adopted eating of tanned food from whites.
  4. Culture is a complex whole – This means that culture is a compound made up of different elements of culture. Example traditions, customs, language, arts and crafts.
  5. Culture is commercial – This means that cultural objects or elements can be used to produce profits. Example curving in curio shops.
  6. Culture is learned – This means that new generations get to know the ways of life example traditions in the society by learning from elders.
  7. Culture is symbolic – This means that culture includes different symbols example the national culture includes different symbols such as national flag and national currency.


  1. It facilitates communication among the people by using language as an element of culture.
  2. Culture brings people together. This means that culture promotes unity and solidarity among the people.
  3. It encourages good morals and behaviors. Culture promotes good morals and behaviors through norms of conduct and the positive aspect of cultural values. Example respect of leaders.
  4. Promotes physical and mental health through sports and games as well as promoting good relationship between people. Example the Olympic Games which promotes international cooperation.
  5. It provides important human needs through crafts as a part of cultural element. Example furniture form carpentry.
  6. It facilitates responsibilities in the society through initiation ceremonies as a part of culture because they prepare young men and girls to take up their responsibilities as elders in the society. Example girls are preparing to be a good mother.
  7. Some traditions and customs as a part of culture are very important because they bring people together. Example the tradition of marriage and the customs of wedding brings people together in the society.


There are four types of culture namely:-

a) Tradition culture

b) Intellectual culture

c) Modern culture

d) Foreign culture


Is the totality of human ways of life which have been inherited from the past. Examples of the societies where traditional culture can be seen easily are Maasai and Hadzabes.


Is the totality of human ways of life of formally educated people. Example the use of foreign languages, good time management, eating tanned foods to mention but few.


Is the totality of human ways of life of the present new generation especially youths example the use of computers, use of social mass media.


Is the totality of human ways of life which originate from other people. Example the European culture in Africa during colonialism.


Elements of culture are parts of culture which manifest them in physical (experience) and practical (demand) of human life.

There are eleven elements of culture namely.

  1. Languages – This is an element of culture which promotes communication among the people in the society. Example in Tanzania we have different languages such as Kiswahili.
  2. Sports and games – Sports and games compose on element of culture which promotes good physical health and good social relationship through different sports activities, example playing football.
  3. Traditions – This is an element of culture which is comprises of the inherited past practices which are difficult to change. Every society has traditions. Examples of traditions in Maasai society are circumcision, putting on “Rubega” and livestock keeping.
  4. Customs – This is an element of culture which consists of acceptable practices at a particular period of time. Example 3 days of marring for the dead, wedding ceremonies and clothes fashions.
  5. Art and craft – Art refers to the skills or the way of expressing feelings attitudes or ideas. Craft refers to all works done by hands. Example carpentry, pottery and basketry.
  6. Recreation – This is an element of culture whereby people refresh for doing work so as to regain energy through different ways. Example playing football.
  7. Religion – This is an element of culture which is made up of people’s beliefs to God. There are different religions in the world example Christianity and Islamic religion.
  8. Rules and laws. This is an element of culture which shapes people’s behaviors by showing them what is allowed and what is not allowed. Example, schools rules and land laws in Tanzania.
  9. Education – This is an element of culture also. Example there formal education and informal education where formal education is given at school while informal education not given at school.
  10. Cooperation – Is an element of culture where people do different activities together so as to achieve success. Example cooperating in funeral activities.
  11. Norms – This is an element of culture which is made up of standards of behaviors that are acceptable in the society. Example respect of elders.



  1. Values – Are things or that which people behave to be good in the society e.g. Circumcision, bride price, early marriage. Values can also be defines as practices that people believe to be good in the society e.g. Female Genital Mutilation (F.G.M)
  1. Aspects of cultural values refer to the parts of cultural values in the society.



Positive aspects of cultural values refers to the good parts of cultural values.

The positive aspects of cultural values are:

  1. Respect among the people in the society. Example respect of children to their parents.
  2. Following good rules and laws in the society. Example laws for environmental preservation.
  3. Caring on the old, the sick people and disable. Example caring the grandparents.
  4. Hard working – This is a positive aspect of cultural value involves proper use of time in working. Example hard working in different economic activities such as agriculture.
  5. Accountability and transparency. Example accountability and transparency among the leaders.
  6. Communal self – reliance. This is a positive aspect of culture values in which the community becomes self reliance in different activities. Example in good decision making.
  7. Proper or decent dressing – This is a positive aspect of cultural values which involves good dressing. Example putting on clothes which do not expose the physical structure of the human body.
  8. Communal upbringing of children. This is a positive aspect of cultural values which involves all the members of community in caring and teaching children good values. Example respecting the elders.

Importance of Each Element of Culture

Illustrate the importance of each element of culture

Culture helps make young people familiarize themselves with social values notably language, beliefs and taboos.

  • It gives knowledge to people (young ones) on social transformation of different societies.
  • It helps people to know their past social settings and laws that have been governing nature in different societies.
  • It exposes youngsters to tasks that are similar to those of elders.
  • It is a medium for bringing up youth in order to cope in a society.
  • It enables people to transmit their skills, knowledge and wisdom from one generation to another.
  • It equips learners with insightful knowledge on bad and good cultural practices and therefore chooses the positive ones.

The values of culture help the future generations to know how to escape from bad practices and evils in the societies such as drug abuse, child abuse, stealing and any other kind of bad behaviour which is not proper to society. Ethics are passed by adult to young ones through informal education.

Language is used in a particular society to convey message. Language is also an identity of a nation. For example Swahili in Tanzania identifies the nation of Tanzania among other nations in the world who use different languages such as English, French and German. Language can be used to unite, educate and inculcate the sense of awareness to youth.

Sports and games promote unity, cooperation and friendship among the social members. This is because sport and games collect people together for sharing different ideas to build a better society.

Crafts in particular, provide the household with necessary materials such as furniture, pots and baskets which are used daily. Some of them can be sold and provide money to people, hence a source of income.

Traditions are also worthwhile for example; Initiation ceremonies prepare the young boys and girls to make part their responsibility in the society as adults. They promote people from childhood to adulthood. Some traditions and customs are worth –for example marriage and burial ceremonies because they collect and bind together at times of problems and pleasure and share different ideas.

Customs help societies to adopt briefly certain cultural values like dressing style, eating habits, hairstyles etc. which are sometimes worthwhile for acceptable in certain occasions e.g. in wedding ceremonies.

Art helps us to express our feelings, attitude and events in a very enjoyable way e.g. through songs, drama and pictures.

Recreations bring refreshment to a person after hard work. They help persons to relax and gather energy before they engage in production again. Hence recreations are important to man.Ideology is another important cultural element because it lays down the principles and conditions to be followed by a given society. Thus, it provides a guideline to how people should live in a given place and time.

Like ideology, rules and laws are very crucial as cultural elements because they defend social norms and determine what is right or wrong in the society. Thus, they shape the behaviour of people.

Co-operation is the next crucial element of culture, because it promotes interaction of people in a given society. Through interaction, people are able to perform collective and important activities like burials or pastoral activities which a single person cannot do.

Disadvantages of Culture Elements

  • There are some traditional ways of life which prohibit certain groups of people to eat some kind of food which is nutritious. For example, there are taboos in some societies which prohibit women from eating eggs when they are pregnant. Again some discourage family planning.
  • Polygamist tradition may also be a cause of poverty and spread of HIV /AIDS. Patriarchy system as cultural practices limits women rights and hence retards development in the society.
  • Traditional ceremonies, such as „ngoma” contribute much to the spread of diseases such as HIV/AIDS and STIs (Sexually Transmitted Infections). Initiation ceremonies which involve circumcision of birth female and male can also cause problems such as transmission of HIV/AIDS especially when they are unsafely done. Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) can cause high bleeding and difficulties during childbirth.Through visual arts such as video and television indigenous culture can be destructed by imposition of foreign culture. Foreign culture. Foreign culture is imposed through the media such as the radio, video and television. People learn different practices such as bad wearing styles, and other things like gay marriages.
  • Social institutions and religious beliefs can transmit negative attitudes to the people about the culture of a certain society. For example, colonial education and religion imparted ideas of despising Africa culture and glorifying western culture. Christian missionaries said Africa culture was “barbaric”.

Products of Culture

  • Beside the elements of culture, we also have products of culture. Culture is now a commodity to be sold in the form of made products, clothes, accessories, leisure opportunities, sportswear and other consumer goods. Products of culture should be understood in its past-present forms.
  • All cultures must produce both economic and social types of products. The nature of these products and their use depend on the cultural level of a given society.

Positive and Negative Aspects of our Cultural Values

(i) Positive aspects of cultural values

  • Among the most outstanding aspects of our cultural values are:
  • Respect among members of a given societies.Here, children are taught how to respect their parents and elders. Every person in the society has the right to be treated with respect.
  • Respect for the law is another positive cultural value, because t helps to maintain order and discipline in that given society. In a society with peace and order no one is above the law.
  • Care for the old, sick and disabled is a positive cultural value. It is the responsibility of the society to take care of them, since they are a product of the society. The old, for instance, were once strong people who gave birth to off springs who are now the strong able bodied people of the society.
  • The communal self help is a crucial culture value as it promotes performance of collective work in the society for the betterment of the people of the people themselves.Care for the young is a very vital cultural value and it is done not only by parents but all members of the community. In traditional societies, each adult person was a teacher and care taker to the young.
  • Community co-operation as a cultural value and it is done not only by parents but all members of the community. In traditional societies, each adult person was a teacher and care taker to the young.Community co-operation as a cultural value is important in that it is promoting interaction among members of the society. Such co-operation brings unity and increases the ability of the community in carrying out various communal activities.Proper or descent dressing according to local or national norms is another positive cultural value because it preserves ones good personality. It makes the wearer look descent and acceptable in different situations depending on the nature of one's occupation, occasion and time for the dressing and the place in question.
  • Participation in civil activities is a positive cultural value since it brings people together towards performing different constructive activities for the betterment of all the people e.g. constructing roads, building schools for our children or even building dispensaries and clinics in places where there is that demand.
  • Hard work is another positive cultural value certainly because through hard work a person is able to produce more and better goods and service for the betterment of oneself, the community and the nation.
  • Being informed is an important cultural value because; it makes an individual knowledgeable about one's duties, responsibilities and rights in his/her society.
  • Accountability and transparency: The society is supposed to perform its functions and duties with openness so that people know what the society understands of their society. Once this is done, peoples' expectations and wishes can be fulfilled. Transparency is very necessary for the development of people and the society at large.

(ii) Negative aspects of cultural values

These are many but among the most outstanding are;

1. Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)This is a collective name which describes procedures or practices that involve partial or total removal of the clitoris in the female genitalia or other parts of the female genital organ whether for cultural or other non-medical reasons. The female genital mutilation is a violation of basic human rights. Areas affected with this practice in Tanzania are Kilimanjaro, Dodoma, Arusha, Manyara, and Morogoro regions. In Dodoma, for example, 12, 613 out of 16, 789 (75%) of the women who went for delivery between 1988 – 2000 were mutilated.

Reasons which force people to engage in (FGM)

There are several reasons which force some of the societies to adopt FGM. Most reasons are based on the nature of the society. Among these are as follows:

  • To control women's sexuality. Societies which adopt this practice (FGM) know that biologically there are some parts of the body which are very sensitive during sexual intercourse. One of them is the clitoris. So to prevent a girl from developing interest in sexuality and become loose they mutilate it.
  • It is propounded that FGM goes with initiation ceremonies that promote young girls to women hood. Thus it is considered by some prestige traditional societies as a prestige and a sign of maturity among girls.

Effects of Female Genital Mutilation

  • Marital conflicts due to sexual dissatisfaction. This situation can result from two reasons. Some men dislike women who are mutilated. On the hand, circumcised women don‟t enjoy the sexual activity. Thus, they lack satisfaction in sexuality and may dislike sexuality altogether.
  • Women who are mutilated develop a feeling of anxiety and depression. This can be a result of the pain they feel during circumcision or due to the deformation of their pain they feel during circumcision or due to the deformation of their genitalia. This can cause psychological disturbance.
  • The practice can lead to the loss of one's life. Some girls and women loss of blood from the cut part.
  • The last effect is possibility of getting the HIV/AIDS infection as this practice is done under unsafe conditions. Sometimes a single knife is used to circumcise several girls/women without being sterilized. For this case, those who are mutilated have the risk of being infected with HIV/ and may also get other diseases.

2. Wife inheritance :Wife inheritance is the process of taking one's wife after the death of her husband. Inheritance of wives can also be termed as inheritance of widows.This has been a major problem to the societies which practice this system of life these days. This is because those who tend to inherit widows can die due to the effects of HIV/AIDS because widows may be victims of HIV/AIDS and a person who inherits them will be infected. This endangers one's life. Inheritance of widows should be discouraged in the society in order to avoid the rate of transmission of different diseases such as HIV and AIDS. Also inheritance of widows seems to be a violation of human rights because it has turned women into objects of leisure form men. Widows appear to be there to be inherited to satisfy men who inherit them. Inheritance of widows should be discouraged strongly in the nation.

3. Early marriage; This is the process/situation whereby a person gets married before his/her right age. Normally the suggested right age for marriage is 18 years and above. Nowadays marriages among people under the right age have been common. This has been happening especially to young girls who are married while they are still in tender age. These types of marriages are sometimes accompanied by forced marriages.

4. Forced marriage; Sometimes young girls have been forced to get married to men whom they do not want. Parents or guardian propound this situation perhaps for the aim of reducing the burden of children at home. Young girls are thus forced to be married rather than being forced to attend school.The reason is, some parents depend on the dowry or bride price they get as capital for production. This situation leads to forced marriages. These are some of the driving forces for early marriage because some societies think that bride price and dowry can help them to run different social and economic activities

Customs which Lead to Gender Discrimination

These customs can best be analyzed by different institutions which perpetuate them. Such institutions are:

  1. The family: The family-level, it is a belief that boys will continue the lineage and support the family, while girls will get married. Thus most families prefer to educate boys or spend more money on them at the expenses of girls, when a choice has to be made between the two.
  2. Traditional institutions: Initiation ceremonies play a major role in perpetuating bias. Girls who have undergone initiation ceremonies become passive in school. Traditional counselors and elders initiate, girls with emphasis on submissiveness to men. Because of that, women do not take part in decision making at home.
  3. Learning Institutions: In these institutions it is a common practice that boys are offered science subjects and mathematics, while girls are made to study the traditional girls subjects29such as home economics and typing. More often there is also discrimination from some teachers, who expect boys to be more intelligent than girls. Girls are not encouraged to work hard.
  4. Religious institutions: Church or Mosque leaders make references to the Bible or Quran on the submissive nature of women. Women are denied opportunities to hold positions of leadership and decision making in those institutions. In some mosques land churches, decisions made usually discriminate women.
  5. Work place: The socialization process in the community has effects on the community has effects on the gender division of labour for boys and girls. Girls are marginalized from participating in education and decision making activities.

Major effects of gender discrimination

The values and attitudes that society holds for boys and girls have adverse effects on women. Generally gender discrimination in national development has serious implications as follows:

  1. With reference to sex there is unequal distribution of powers in all spheres of social life as in politics, economics, military and social sector.
  2. Women continue to be left out in areas of development.
  3. Women continue to face violence and aggression as they do not have any economic power base to support themselves.
  4. Girls lack the spirit of competition in class, leading to poor performance in school work.
  5. There are very few women at the managerial and decision –making levels.


There are relationship between culture and reproductive health of the given society. The cultural systems of life can be used to relate how far a society upholds reproductive health as a vital term or issue to every society. This is because people are naturally engaged in production. So reproduction needs a great care and attention so as to make it go smoothly. Reproductive health can be boosted or undermined by a society depending on the nature of culture. There are some cultural practices which are always degrading provision of social health services which are professional such as the local medicines which are not professional such as the local medicines which are not professionally proved.

Reproduction means the process of giving out a newly born-off spring which resembles their parents. Reproductive health ensures people satisfactory and safe sexual life with capability of reproducing deciding when, how, why and also the ability to decide how many children to be obtained and the ability to be free from sexual transmitted disease like gonorrhea, HIV, Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PIV) which damages the reproductive system.

The definition of reproductive health includes:

  1. Knowledge of reproductive system, its functions and processes.
  2. Men and Women are informed of and have access to safe effective, affordable and acceptable methods of regulating fertility.
  3. People have access to health care services which include prevention and treatment of infertility reproductive tract infection and sexually transmitted infections and sexually transmitted infections.
  4. Promotion of mutual, respectful and fair gender relations.
  5. People are free to practice family planning.

Necessary reproductive health services

The following are some of the reproductive health services necessary to the individual in the family and community:

  • Maternal clinics, child vaccinations and immunization.
  • Birth control by using contraceptive methods such as drugs devices and operations.Lack of reproductive health services can lead to severe consequences. For example, many children could die due to lack of immunity against curable diseases. Moreover, many women could die during pregnancy or soon after giving birth. Tanzania is one of those countries in the world whose birth rates are very high. It is currently estimated to be growing at the rate of 2 -8 percent. A high birth rate affects the development of the country negatively. Non-proportional increase of people to the rate of economic growth hinders meaningful development.

This is because there will be more months to feed than what is produced. Similarly, there will be more children to take to school.

Advantages of Reproductive health education

Reproductive health is very essential to everyone in the society. The following are some advantages of reproductive health education:

  1. Prevention of sexually transmitted infections (STI's) including
  2. Prevention of HIV/AIDS. Unwanted pregnancies.
  3. Promotion of gender rights and equality.
  4. Improvement of women's safety during pregnancy and childbirth.
  5. Regulation of one's fertility.
  6. Prevention of major child diseases.
  7. Strengthening the management of infertility.
  8. Identification of reproductive tract infection and seeking their appropriate treatment.
  9. It ensures healthy motherhood, steady ad controlled population growth.

Initiation ceremonies

Initiation ceremonies include “Jando and Unyago” female genital mutilation and initiation ceremonies. These have been hindering reproductive health due to the fact that they are carried unsafely; like using one knife for circumcising the entire population. For the case of female genital mutilation several disasters can arise, such as lose of much blood and development of scars which may lead to severe pains during delivery.

Cultural values that encourage bearing many children

Family planning in most societies is not observed due to some cultural norms like belief system which is based on religion and prestige. For the case of religion some societies believe that each child is born with its luck, and that is the blessings from God. Also they stand on the notion that God commanded people to bear children and fill the world. Thus, family planning is seen as the sin against God and the one who does so is sinning. Other societies believed that to have many children is the sign of great abilities in reproduction and are more fit in reproducing. Due to that case reproductive health is limited and obstacle and the society concerned.

Female genital mutilation: this causes prolonged bleeding during and after the mutilation. It also disturbs the natural vaginal elasticity during delivery due to the scar left after mutilation. It also reduces sexual pleasure during mating.

Cultural practices affecting women and reproductive health

We made some explanation on how women have been treated in our societies. Women have been at a disadvantage almost in all societies in the past. Many developing countries in Africa and Tanzania in particular have been affected negatively by had cultural practices. These include those habits of marriage, foods eating, and the practice of women mutilation, dowry payment, inheritance and excluding women from the consumption of certain foods.

We made a detected account of these practices in Book One and Book Three of this series. We need not say much about them in this book. However, we can touch some of them briefly in this text.

  1. Habits of marriage: In most African societies, there has been the practice of getting married to a woman by first fulfilling the condition of paying what is called bride- price. This price has stood as a payment paid for buying a commodity. Bride price paying has therefore acted as an enslaving factor for women. Two examples can help us to get a good picture of this cultural practice. A Sukuma woman married to a man with dowry of say twenty cattle, when she gives birth to a baby she compensates for the cattle given as bride price from her husband. If it is a baby girl the amount of cattle as compensation is a bit higher than a baby boy. Usually it was at the ratio of 5:4 until the amount of cattle paid is exhausted then the woman is counted liberated. If she wants to divorce for unbearable causes, she would be needed to repay the cattle in spite of her time spent with the husband and her labour in producing whatever agricultural products or any other material gains that she has contributed to the well being of her family. In other tribes particularly pastoral communities they have no regard to whatever the wife has contributed to the well being of her family. If she is divorced, she will have to repay whatever amount of cattle was given to her father.Habit of food eating: In some tribes women are forbidden to eat certain types of food. The Wakerewe tribe in Mwanza puts a taboo forbidding woman to eat goat meat, eggs and dogfish. Such cultural customs were contributing to the poor health of women especially during pregnancy or nursing a baby.
  2. Decision Making: There has always been the cultural practice of excluding women in decision making in important domestic, economic and political issues. Women have been regarded as being unable to give good ideas on certain socioeconomic issues like marriage, education and the domestic budget.

The government of Tanzania in realizing the social status of women and on the basis of the Declaration of the Human Rights Charter together with the Beijing Declaration of 1955 has made some attempts to improve the status of women. Parliament has enacted laws to give women right to own property in land. It is now possible for women to own land during marriage or inherit land after her husband's death.

In addition, to the above explanations, the following are the problems facing women in Tanzania.

  1. Poor health. This is due to the focus of the society that women should bear many children something that tends to weaken their health.
  2. Poor diet and little food.
  3. Lack of education.
  4. Too much work. Women work harder and for many hours than men.
  5. Maltreatment from their husbands. Some societies administer punishment over women. This cause physical injuries and psychological hopelessness.

Customs that Lead to the HIV/AIDS and STIs

HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus and AIDS stands for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. Getting HIV infection leads to a weakened immune system. This makes a person with HIV to a group of illnesses that a healthy person without a virus would be unlikely to be affected by opportunistic infections HIV/AIDS is a killer disease which has no cure or vaccine.

The following are cultural practices that lead to the spread of HIV/AIDS and STI's.

  • Female genital mutilation (women circumcision) can lead to the spread of HIV because the instruments used are nit sterilized and are used by the whole group being circumcised. Most of the instruments used are knives, razor blades, and pairs of scissors or any other sharp tools.
  • Some tribes cut tribal marks on parts of the body of their kids claiming that they want to shed off the dirty blood. Also the instruments used are not changed so they can spread HIV to the kids.
  • Inherited widows may contact or spread HIV from to men who inherit them.
  • Certain traditional dances are accompanied by alcohol drinking which can draw men and women into sexual intercourse. Such practices may cause the spread of HIV.
  • Local traditional midwives who are not well trained may spread HIV/AIDS to both mother and the newly born baby due to using unsterilized instruments.
  • Polygamy may also be a potential cause of HIV/AIDS. Once one of the wives get HIV/AIDS all of them will also get it.
  • Forced marriage can also create problems where someone is forced to be married to certain man or woman who may have unfortunately been infected with one of HIV/AIDS.

Impact of the Negative Aspects of our Customs

(i) Female genital mutilation (women Circumcision) can lead to:

  1. Prolonged breeding during and after the mutilation.
  2. Disturbance of the natural vaginal elasticity during delivery due to the scar left after the mutilation.
  3. Reduction of sexual pleasure during sexual intercourse.
  4. Spread of sexual transmitted infections (STI's) because the instruments used are not sterilized and are used by the whole group being circumcised.
  5. Death because of excessive bleeding and STI's such as HIV/AIDS.

(ii) Gender biases can lead to:

  1. Unequal distribution of powers in a community.
  2. Women being left out in areas of development.
  3. Lack of sprint of competition hence poor performance.
  4. Few women in managerial and decision making levels.
  5. Violence and aggression.

(iii) Beliefs and practice of witchcrafts can lead to:

  1. Transmission of STI's especially when male witch doctors demand to hold sexual intercourse with their clients their clients as a cure for some diseases.
  2. Despise modern health services and rely on local herbs some of which do not cure.
  3. Family conflict.
  4. Unnecessary deaths, etc.

(iv) Polygamy can lead to:

  1. Rapid population increase.
  2. Transmission of STI's.
  3. Increase of street children.

(v) Inheritance of wives (widow) can lead to:

  1. Contact of STI's including the HIV/AIDS.
  2. Conflicts between the inherited wife and the former/original wife of the husband.

(vi) Early manages can lead to:

  1. Long difficult labour because of immaturity of the reproductive organs.
  2. Sometimes babies are born too early (premature).
  3. Blocked births which may damage the uterus and rapture the bladder and can even cause death to the victim.

(vii) Forced marriages may lead to:

  1. Family conflicts
  2. Contact of sexually transmitted Infections (STI's).

(viii) Bride price can lead to:

  1. Violation of human rights to women who are sometimes treated as bought objects.
  2. Forced marriages conducted by parents after receiving dowry from the man intending to marry their daughter.
  3. Crimes, like beating of the bride when she refuses to obey.

Ways and Actions to be Taken against Negative Aspects of our Socio-Cultural Values

(i) Female genital mutilation (women Circumcision) can lead to:

  1. Prolonged breeding during and after the mutilation.
  2. Disturbance of the natural vaginal elasticity during delivery due to the scar left after the mutilation.
  3. Reduction of sexual pleasure during sexual intercourse.
  4. Spread of sexual transmitted infections (STI's) because the instruments used are not sterilized and are used by the whole group being circumcised.
  5. Death because of excessive bleeding and STI's such as HIV/AIDS.

(ii) Gender biases can lead to:

  1. Unequal distribution of powers in a community.
  2. Women being left out in areas of development.
  3. Lack of sprint of competition hence poor performance.
  4. Few women in managerial and decision making levels.
  5. Violence and aggression.

(iii) Beliefs and practice of witch crafts can lead.

  1. Transmission of STI's especially when male witch doctors demand to hold sexual intercourse with their clients their clients as a cure for some diseases.
  2. Despise modern health services and rely on local herbs some of which do not cure.
  3. Family conflict.
  4. Unnecessary deaths, etc.

(iv) Polygamy can lead to:

  1. Rapid population increase.
  2. Transmission of STI's.
  3. Increase of street children.

(v) Inheritance of wives (widow) can lead to:

  1. Contact of STI's including the HIV/AIDS.
  2. Conflicts between the inherited wife and the former/original wife of the husband.

(vi) Early manages can lead to:

  1. Long difficult labour because of immaturity of the reproductive organs.
  2. Sometimes babies are born too early (premature).
  3. Blocked births which may damage the uterus and rapture the bladder and can even cause death to the victim.

(vii) Forced marriages may lead to:

  1. Family conflicts
  2. Contact of sexually transmitted Infections (STI's).

(viii) Bride price can lead to:

  1. Violation of human rights to women who are sometimes treated as bought objects.
  2. Forced marriages conducted by parents after receiving dowry from the man intending to marry their daughter.
  3. Crimes, like beating of the bride when she refuses to obey.


These ways and actions can be discussed all two levels namely, strategies to liberate the whole society.

(a) Strategies to liberate women in Tanzania

  1. The formation of women's social organizations. This will help them to have a collective bargaining power for their deprived rights. Through these organizations, women can ask for assistance from the government or donors in order to enable them to open various projects. Women‟s social organizations in Tanzania are like; WAMA (Wanawake na Maendeleo), TAWLA, TAMWA, etc.
  2. The governments have to ensure that women receive equal opportunities as men in all social, political and economic issues.
  3. The government should commit itself to the prohibition of all cultural practices and customs that oppress women like the female genital mutilation, polygamy, forced and early marriage etc.
  4. Educating men to put off the idea that they are created superior to women.
  5. To establish special programs for improving life standards of women especially in the rural areas.
  6. Improve the rural technology. To provide women with modern working facilities ploughs, milling machines.
  7. To inculcate a sense of awareness to all members of society that, women are able people and can do everything like men. Therefore, they have capabilities of thinking and performing like men. This will stop old perceptions of looking women as enabled people.
  8. To improve and increase the education opportunities to women. If education opportunities will be improved to women, the development of the country will increase. Also the whole society will be almost educated if we refer to the slogan that says “When you educate women, you educated the whole society” To date, education opportunities to all in Tanzania is positively implementation , since the government has increased the chances for girls and women in education sector. For example there is a programme of enrolling more women students at the University of Dar es salaam who have been learning science subject when they were at secondary school (Advanced level).
  9. To improves access to the resources such as land, the situation which is still difficult to some societies in which women have no right to inherit resources such as land? However some societies have managed to reduce this problem. For example, in many tribes of Tanzania women have now rights to own property and equal access to natural resources.
  10. To participation in political matters and other economic activities. To justify this, the government has added more than 15% special seats in parliament for women in order to bring about gender balance and equal control of resources.
  11. To make people aware with all things which cause gender inequality. In general, the world is still emphasizing much on women empowerment through different forums and organization which try to defend the rights of people such as human rights.

(b) Strategies to liberate the entire society

  1. The entire society should be enlightened on the bad impacts of the negative aspects of our socio-cultural values.
  2. The government should enact strict laws against those who entertain the negative cultural values like the practice of witchcraft, the killing of twins, the handicapped and albinos.38
  3. The government should promote and encourage good leadership especially at the village government level, where problem related to the socio-cultural values are mostly experienced.

Promotion and Preservation of our Worthy Cultural Values


After their independence, African countries took steps to promote and preserve their culture at national level. Efforts were taken by African governments, churches and communities to reach this goal. Why national culture? This has been so because a national culture is a symbol or identity of a nation. It comprises things such as language, art, science, technology, education, economy, politics, beliefs and values. The values are expressed in songs, dances and ceremonies.

In addition, culture s dynamic. That is, it changes with time t suit the current social, political and economic situation of a nation. No two nations can have an identical culture. In order to promote the Tanzanian national culture soon after getting independence the Ministry of National Culture and youth was established in 1962. Over the years, it changed names and departments although its basic objectives remained unchanged. Its major departments are:

  • The National Swahili Council
  • The National Sports Council.
  • The National Festivals and State Celebrations Councils;
  • The National Department of Museums, Antiquities and national Archives;
  • The National Film Censorship Board and;
  • The Department of Arts and Crafts.

Promotion and preservation of national culture is a combination of efforts made by people under their government to enhance growth and existence of the culture which has to be practiced in the nation. Efforts towards the Promotion and preservation of culture have been going on in Tanzania since 1962. In 1962 the Ministry of National Culture and Youth was formed. The objectives remained unchanged. Cultural promotion has resulted into the following:

  • Swahili to become the national language.
  • In 1967 the government introduced Education for Self-reliance policy which used education to transmit African values.
  • Local/ national styles of dressing were officially adopted.

Importance of Promoting and Preserving our Worthy Cultural Values

  1. To maintain our national identity.
  2. To provide a foundation for stable governance.
  3. To maintain our useful value and systems of life.
  4. To protect our country from cultural colonization through cultural globalization.
  5. To maintain our cultural heritage.
  6. To create a sense of nation hood and promote cohesion in the daily life of Tanzanians.

The Roles of Different Groups and Institutions in Promoting and Preserving our Cultural Values

The National Swahili Council

The National Swahili Council was established on August 9, 1967. The council has many roles; for example it;

  1. Promotes and develops Swahili as a national language. The Council enables Swahili to be sued for all national communication. Today, Swahili is spoken and understood by almost all Tanzanians. The First President of Tanzania Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere used Kiswahili to unite the whole of Tanzania as a nation.
  2. Coins new words from local languages as well as foreign languages to make Swahili keep pace with the changes, which keep occurring, in the Tanzanian society.
  3. Encourages educated Africans to participate in Swahili literature and writing to remove the major weaknesses of colonial education. The latter emphasized foreign languages such as English and French but despised or downplayed Swahili and other local languages.
  4. Works with other bodies in the country that are devoted to the promotion and preservation of Swahili.
  5. Encourages high standards of Swahili and establishes standard Swahili for educational and technical purposes.

The National Sports Council

The National Sports Council was established in 1967. The roles of this council are:

To develop, promote and control all amateur sports in the country. The Council does this in co-operation with voluntary amateur sports organizations. Amateur sports are sports played for enjoyment, not for monetary gains.

In order to carry out this, the National Sports Council does the following:

  1. Provides training to staff members.
  2. Grants or gives aid to national sports associations or organizations.
  3. Provides play fields and other sports facilities.
  4. Provides sports equipment and other sports items necessary for international sports competitions and festivals. In so doing, national sportsmen and sportswomen gain experience. The council through sports stimulates and fosters friendly relations with other nations. The Council stimulates interest in all sports at all levels in the nation. And finally, the council plans general policy for the promotion of sports.
  5. Provides medals, diplomas, certificates, or any other rewards to competent people who deserve them.
  6. Provides scholarship for the training of coaches and sports administrators.Advises the responsible minister on all matters related to ports.

The National Festival and State Celebrations Council

The Council facilities celebration of important national occasions. The council ensures that the nation does not engage in meaningless and unending celebrations. The council deals with national public holidays. These national occasions are celebrated with demonstrations, speeches, songs, dances, feasts, sports and games. There are religious holidays as well, which are public holidays but are not under this Council. The holidays include Christmas for the Christians and Idd for the Muslins. Prayers, sports, games, dance and feasts mark these religious holidays.

Department of Museum, Antiquities and National Achieves

These departments preserve the national heritage in the form of cultural treasures and writings. Hence, they strongly stimulate cultural enthusiasm among the people.

  1. Museums; There are national as well as regional museums in Tanzania. They provide a safe and permanent place for preserving national traditions, customs and works of art. They serve as cultural and recreational centres for the people of the United Republic of Tanzania. They are also important as attractions for visitors or tourists. They serve as educational institutions for current and future generations. The national museums are supposed to be research centres. Information from such centres can be used for educational purposes and in publishing books and pamphlets.
  2. Antiquities are important objects that have existed for a very long time. They include remains of ancient buildings such as mosques, churches, place and tombs. Tanzania is very rich in antiquities, for example, the ruins of old buildings found at Kaole (near Bagamoyo), Kilwa and Mtwara – Mikindani. The ancient bomas found in Dar es Salaam and some district and regional headquarters. The department was formed to preserve these objects, which are called antiquities.
  3. The national Archives; This organ has one main role that is, to censor films before they are shown. To censor a film means to examine it and decide whether it is not effective. This has been very difficult with the introduction of TV stations and videos. Hence the Tanzanian society at large and every person should have moral obligation of seeing that scandalous films are not shown. Films are required to promote national culture, education and development. Therefore this organ and every Tanzanian is supposed to ban films, videos, or pornographic pictures, which promote bad behaviour such as murder, violence, robbery, gangsterism, prostitution, drug-abuse and racial segregation.42
  4. The Council of Arts and Crafts African countries through their government and communities encourage creativity in art and crafts. Each country identifies its cultural needs. Then, art and crafts are applied to serve those needs. The main purpose is to make art and crafts servants of man. They are supposed to be tools to help. Africans understand and shape their societies according to their collective needs. That is the meaning of creativity.

Educational institutions

Role of education in Cultural Transmission, After independence, African governments, church and African communities improved the educational system, inherited from colonial masters, to suit African national culture. There were various reasons why the education system African culture. There were various reasons why the education system inherited at independence needed improvement. These are:

  1. The aims and content of the colonial education promoted the values and intersects of the colonizers.
  2. The colonial education system was intended only to train the Africans for clerical and junior distractive posts.
  3. T education system emphasized theoretical leaning. It ignored practical learning hence African students lacked skills and creativity.

Therefore, African governments, churches and African communities took various steps to improve education such as:

  1. To integrate existing educational facilities;
  2. To expand education at primary, secondary, college and university level;
  3. To adopt African and Euro-African national languages as the languages of instruction in schools, colleges, and universities. In primary schools and Teachers Colleges , while English is the medium of instruction in the English medium primary schools, all secondary schools, colleges and universities.
  4. To reshape the content of the curriculum to make it more relevant to the needs of the growing African nations. Educational policies were established in most of the African countries so as to:
  • Enable Africans understand their responsibilities in Africa societies.
  • Design and implement suitable educational programmes , that is, Africans should be able to identify their problems and solve them intelligently.
  • Train Africans to get and preserve knowledge, wisdom and experiences.
  • Get the Africans to pass on the knowledge, wisdom and experiences to future generations.
  • Get and teach the best from other educational systems which influence African lives; these are the traditional African systems and the foreign ones.
  • Merge or combine theoretical and practical knowledge; in Tanzania, for example, the policy of socialism and self-reliance was introduced by Mwalimu Julius Nyerere and to make it practicable, education for self-reliance was introduced in schools.
  • This is the way to maximize the impact of knowledge on the present and future societies of Africa.

Mass Media

African countries use the radio as a way of transmitting their culture. To date in Tanzania, there are a good number of radio stations which presents programmes with cultural matters.

Problems Facing the Promotion of our Cultural Values

Despite all attempts made by the government to build/promote and preserve national culture, still there are some problems which act as hindrance. These which act as hindrances these factors include the following:

  1. Colonial legacy: Because of colonial legacy many Tanzanians are not confident in creating things. They are still having the mental attitude of assimilation and association together with the administrative and the education systems. Through all these colonial systems, Africans were forced to inferior.
  2. Low level of science and technology: The capacity of production material and morally is doomed in Tanzania because much of technology is brought from abroad i.e. Science and technology dependence.
  3. Ignorance: A great number of people do not know how to read and write. Thus the people are limited to their environment. They can hardly effectively control their environment.Hence, they are trapped by the environment which hinders the promotion of their culture and civilization.
  4. Bad leadership: Most colonialism hence they have a low standard of leadership. They cannot establish concrete police to promote our cultural values. And even for those who can do so fail to make follow - - ups. In this policies remain on shelves.
  5. Lack of enough funds.This issue hinders proper and adequate facilitation to leaders and other people who decided to do research or engage in promoting national culture.
  6. Globalization: The growing of social interaction among people of different culture history, the growing of social interaction among people of different culture history , origin and different beliefs has contributed much on hindering the promotion of national culture. An example can be experienced on Tanzania traditional songs and ceremonies like the wedding song burial songs, the mode of these ceremonies the nature of the religions belief system and the like.

Solution to Problems Arising in the Process of Promoting and Preserving our Cultural Values

Tanzania since independence has been struggling to her level best to promote and preserve the national culture. The following are some of proposed solutions to problems arising in the process of promoting and preserving our cultural values.

  1. Reduce excessive dependency on foreign science and technology and instead implement the local technology available.
  2. Observing national festivals.
  3. To provide educated on the importance of importance of culture.
  4. Allocate sufficient funds in research development for national culture.
  5. Forming youth /peer social sporting and civic groups and organizations to promote our culture.
  6. Integrate culture with work.
  7. Formulating good policies that promote culture.
  8. Impose strict laws, rules and regulation for those who despise our culture
  9. Formulating good policies that that promotes culture.
  10. Impose strict laws, rules and regulation for those who despise our culture
  11. Electing good leaders with cultural sense.

Culture of Preventive Care and Maintenance of Personal and Public Property

It is important to keep the environment and buildings very clean and in good order. In this last part we shall see the progress and importance of up keeping of environment.

Meaning and Importance of Culture of Preventive Care and Maintenance of Personal and Public Property

Explain the meaning and the importance of culture of preventive care and maintenance of personal and public property

Preventive Maintenance

Preventive maintenance can be defined as a system of planning maintenance and monitoring social cultural settings in a community, which involves inspection, followed by maintenance and modification which is necessary to make items and properties to use for a longer period.

Causes of Deterioration

The following are the main causes;

  1. Lack of knowledge,
  2. People's attitudes,
  3. Habits,
  4. Disregard of public property,
  5. Lack of use of common sense
  6. Laissez faire attitude

The Procedure for Preventive care and Maintenance

People should be aware of their surroundings. Preventive care should be considered under the following:

  • Cleanliness.
  • The frequency of checkup and inspection.
  • Regional maintenance that minimizes the costs of up
  • keeping of buildings, furniture and mixtures.46
  • Regular maintenance that creates a conductive environment to users.
  • Institutions or public places should have a time table to ensure preventive care because people need it.
  • Regular care maintenance of existing buildings and facilities, so as to ensure and prolong the life span of buildings and equipment.

Factors for promotion and preservation of National Culture Matters which can promote the growth and existence of culture are:

  • National language that should be spoken by the people and used for instruction in schools.
  • Protection of handcrafts industries against foreign goods competition such as importation of unnecessary goods.
  • African artists like singers, dancers, poets should be assisted in composing and recording.
  • Popularization of local culture in mass media using-radio, television, videos, etc. The Tanzania media is doing a good job to promote our culture.
  • Commitment of leadership to promotion of national culture i.e. leaders should encourage people to practice the national cultural ways of life.

Consequences of Neglecting Timely Repair and Maintenance

Refer the following consequences;

  1. Man-made objectives like building, roads, railways and property like books and domestic items need to be repaired immediately when damage occurs or when they wear out. Otherwise they will cost much if they are neglected.
  2. Environmental degradation is mostly caused by deforestation, soil erosion, and water and air pollution. Land degradation caused by man should be avoided in order to conserve our environment.
  3. Rampant destruction of private and public properties should not be encouraged officials should maintain them from time to time.

Promotion of Life Skills

Life skills refers to ways in which an individual applies mental ability to control or deal with oneself environment. It involves things like thinking, planning and implementation in order to solve life problems such as social, political, economic and cultural.

In dealing with cultural values and its associated problems, various life skills are highly needed for promoting and preserving culture. Examples of those skills are the skills of knowing and living with oneself, skills of knowing and living with others, and skills of making effective decisions. Social skills like relationship and friendship skills are very important in shaping an individual‟s behaviour and make one accepted in the community. These skills help an individual to relate well with others and become a responsible citizen.

Any society has establish a foundation for its members to acquire various life skills which would lead them to. This is only possible if culture is integrated with education system, and work in the country. The big role players for promotion and preservation of national cultural values are the government, parents, schools, religion and NGOs.

Life skills education

Education is necessary is order to improve the quality of labour force. Though education, knowledge and skills are obtained to enable one produce more and better quality products. In agriculture for instance, one can produce more and better crop by using knowledge and skills obtained in agricultural lesson. Such knowledge and skills include proper use of fertilize irrigation methods, pest control condition methods, pest control, condition necessary for the growth of crops and weeding.

Education also offers life skills related to employment and income opportunities Technical or vocational training is provided so as to offer such knowledge and skills. People with such knowledge and skills can start their own businesses and in this way gain income.

Through health skills, one learns the different types of diseases and how to prevent them; one learns children care and family management, nutrition health and hygiene. This will improve the health of the learner and the society as a whole. Mother‟s knowledge on reproductive health and literacy in general has effects on fertility, infant and child mortality.

In short, life skills education can change an individual and the community to meet personal and national needs. This is because life skills education increases the individual‟s ability to be more productive.

Problem Solving

Life skills constitute a knowledge and aptitude that are necessary with maximum efficiency and accuracy. One of the categories of life skills is critical thinking it uses skills such as reasoning inquiry, analysis, processing, flexibility and evaluation.

In problem solving, it is crucial to adhere problem solving techniques because are helpful as follows:

  1. They help to tackle problems which seem to be complex.
  2. They minimize conflicts, frustration and misunderstandings.
  3. They help people to overcome limitations in human mental machinery for perception memory and inference.
  4. They overcome constraints and inhibitions that limit the range of ones thinking.
  5. They help analysts achieve their full potential.Problems vary from potential.Problems can be those concerns with adolescents, reproductive health, family life issues socio-economic issues or environmental issue steps in production solving process.

The process of problem components subjected to the type of problem in place. Steps for problem solving process include:

  1. Definition of problem.
  2. Problem analysis endevour
  3. Generating possible solutions
  4. Analyzation of the solutions and;
  5. Selecting the best solution

How to Use Different Life Skills

In any society there are leaders who lead other people in a given community. These leaders can be measured on how confident and self-worth are they confidence and self-worth may help a leader build good relationship with other community members that result to team work spirit successful leadership trustfulness amongst members in community hence development.


1. Briefly explain the meaning of the following terms.

  1. Life skills
  2. Material culture
  3. Tradition
  4. Custom
  5. Culture

2. Outline four factors of the importance of culture

3. Identify the importance of promotion and prevention of our culture values

4. Name three customs and taboos which the health of women during and before delivery

5. Discuss how culture and gender relations in society undermine women

6. Discuss the strength and weakness of culture change

7. Describe why Tanzanian people as in other countries worship in religious

8. How political, economic and education referred to as roots of culture?

9. Briefly discuss the methods and techniques used by Europeans to establish colonial culture I n Tanzania mainland

10. It is argued that there is no culture without laws. In the light of this statement, take one indicator of culture and discuss in relation to its implementation being enforced by law.

11. What would be the measures for promotion and preservation of national culture?

12. Give two examples for both hidden and open behaviour patterns.






(i)  Norms of conduct which differ from one society to another and change from time to time is called?

  1. Traditions
  2. Customs
  3. Rituals
  4. Values

(ii) The experience of past life which are inherited by society and are unchangeable are called?

  1. Tradition
  2. Norms
  3. Customs
  4. Moral values

(iii) Culture can borrow elements from other people, means that culture is:

  1. Adoptive
  2. Interactive
  3. Dynamic
  4. Complex

(iv) Which is not a characteristic of culture, culture is

  1. Borrowed
  2. Symbolic
  3. Adaptive
  4. Interactive

(v) Culture is commercial means culture is:

  1. Can be sold
  2. Its elements can be used to produce profit
  3. Can be tolerated
  4. Changes from time to time

(vi) Which is not importance of culture?

  1. Source of income
  2. Encourage good morals
  3. Create animosity
  4. Bring people together

(vii) The following are types of culture except?

  1. Traditional culture
  2. Intellectual culture
  3. Bipartisan culture
  4. Foreign culture

(viii) Use of computers, social media, and smart phones is example of:

  1. Intellectual culture
  2. Modern culture
  3. Foreign culture
  4. Traditional culture

(ix) Which is not an element of culture?

  1. Poetry
  2. Customs
  3. Recreation
  4. Religion.

(x) Which of these is not a positive aspect of culture?

  1. Hard work
  2. Obeying laws
  3. Care for the aged
  4. Assertive behavior



2. Define the following terms.

a)     Values

b)     Positive aspect of culture

c)      Negative aspect of culture

d)     Culture


3. Enumerate examples of positive aspects of culture.


4. Explain six characteristics of culture


5. Why is it important to study culture? Give five reasons.


6. Explain the following forms of culture

a)     Modern culture

b)     Intellectual culture

c)      Foreign culture

d)     Tradition culture



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