Modern-day society must uphold cultural values and heritage in order to lead successful lives, Professor Solwayo Ngwenya has said.
Once people ignore their traditions and history, communities are in danger of losing their identity and being plagued by spiritual challenges, he said.
A renowned Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Prof Ngwenya (51) is the acting Chief Executive Officer of Mpilo Central Hospital in Bulawayo, runs a private health facility – Royal Women’s Clinic in Hillside and is a proud traditionalist and polygamist.
Over the weekend, Prof Ngwenya hosted a cultural event at his home in remembrance of his departed great grandparents and ancestors.
“This remembrance is part of our culture which goes in time memorial where we link with our departed relatives. This link cannot be broken and one member of the family, once a year holds a gathering,” he said.
The cultural enthusiast emphasised that sticking to tradition was crucial and must be done whether one was highly educated or not.
“It is important because despite being educated you still have to keep your roots which we know are very good, they help a lot with spiritual issues. We find that our lives are very smooth, we don’t have any problems and we have lived very successful lives,” Prof Ngwenya said.
However, Prof Ngwenya lamented that many people have thrown away “this marvellous culture and run into a lot of problems.”
“They are unable to solve their challenges and culturally it’s not only family issues, it even goes up to the national level because every country is found on spiritual levels,” he highlighted.
“I encourage other people to try and rediscover their cultural roots. Everyone has roots they came from. As for us during this traditional event, we are happy and enjoying ourselves. We look forward to holding this function every year.”
Prof Ngwenya has said his roots date back to the time of King Mzilikazi, founder of the Ndebele Nation, who made the trek from neighbouring South Africa to Bulawayo during the 1830s with his great grandfather Phambilikwempondo, who was one of the king’s trusted advisors.
“As leaders in our respective places and as parents, we must use every opportunity to reinforce values and beliefs that we hold dear. Let’s not take these customs for granted because we may lose our way of life and ultimately lose our identity and who we are as a people,” he summed.