The Undiluted African Community: Values, The Family, Orphanage and Wellness in Traditional Africa

Racheal Mafumbate - Information and Knowledge Management


This paper interrogates traditional African community values; the family; wellness; and the impact of westernization on African family value systems. The paper is based on literature and studies by the academic community. It reviews related literature on the African extended family system and how it caters for orphans in their communities. The central argument in the paper is that in traditional African culture, there were ‘no orphans’ as parentless children were cared for within the kin system. This paper shows how the extended family heads were involved in the promotion of African community values. Orphans were expected to abide by the norms and values of the community in order for them not to be considered as outcasts. Therefore, it was the duty of the extended family value systems to ensure that expected norms and values were imparted to children including orphans.