The Culture of Sub Saharan African Folklore


sub saharan africa culture

If you ask a South African tourist about the most unique feature of South African culture, surely you would get some different answers. Some may say that it is the abundance of things to do in the country. Others may say that the diverse nature of the country’s landscape is one of the features that sets South Africa apart from other countries. Yet, others may cite the country’s wealth in terms of infrastructure as a major contributor to its cultural richness.

A detailed look into the rich cultural heritage of South Africa reveals the fact that all of these individual responses are correct. However, when it comes to the matter of infrastructure in South Africa, the situation differs significantly from that of other countries in the world. The reason is that most of the country’s problems, from the most common difficulties such as lack of basic infrastructure to more serious ones like HIV infection, are not as prevalent as in other countries. In addition, the level of development of the South African infrastructure has been stepped up in recent years with the advent of CEDA, or Compact Enhanced Research and Applications of Infrastructure.

An Overview

African animals

So, what precisely is it that makes sub saharan Africa so unique? The answer is simple the sub saharan is a place which is inhospitable to most tourists. For starters, there is very little wildlife to be seen around the main cities of Kgalagadi and Mombasa. You can’t walk for more than 200 meters without coming across some sort of animal. The same holds true for the flora and fauna of the area the only truly striking feature here is the lack of forests or wildlife.

Another important indicator of this unique culture is the language. Unlike most languages in the world, the South African language has evolved into a completely different form. It has become very distinct and is not even close to the regional languages of Mozambique, Swahili or Zulu. Most of the consonants and vowel points in this language are different too, which gives it a distinctly different feel and sound when compared to any other languages of the world. Thus, it’s no wonder that this African country has a thriving tourism industry as a result of this unique culture.

Sub Saharan African Folklore

African animals

Interestingly, this aspect of the sub saharan African culture has actually helped it retain its independence for a good part of its early history. This part was suppressed by invaders and foreign forces, but the people here managed to keep their freedom by electing their own leaders the same system they use to this day. The freedom of association also ensures that there are no political Parties in this country individuals are allowed to freely express themselves and participate in political struggles as they see fit.

And speaking of politics, the South African Constitution guarantees its citizens the rights to govern themselves peacefully. Unlike many African countries, where the government controls all aspects of the society, here, the rule of law is very strong, and civil disobedience is not permitted. As a result, many see this as a relatively stable country in terms of the long term. However, it must be noted that along with this peaceful transition, the likelihood of change is also quite high. As long as the basic values of a particular culture remain intact, then there is little to worry about.

Another interesting aspect of this cultural values is that they are quite harsh when it comes to women. In fact, this might be a surprise for many Westerners. In the society of sub Saharan Africa, men are considered to be the heads of the family, which also includes the wife and children. This means that the woman in the home is usually the only one that is educated. However, she is still expected to perform all the duties required by the family, such as taking care of the children, cooking and carrying out household chores.

Bottom Line

It’s an interesting dichotomy, but in the end you have to agree that this African culture is quite fascinating. When you’re studying abroad, you will come across many cultures and lifestyles completely different to yours. Sub Saharan African culture is certainly a great source of fascination. If you are feeling adventurous, then you should definitely make it a point to spend some time in this part of the world.

Subscribe to our monthly Newsletter
Subscribe to our monthly Newsletter