Morality among the Akamba: a case study of youth in Central division of Kitui district
Thyaka, Katola Michael
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Morality is one of the human pillars that guarantee the survival of any community. However, when the youth lose a sense of morality the community becomes threatened since part of the present and the future is dependent on them. The major concern of this study was, therefore, to investigate morality among the Akamba with a focus on youth. The study area was the Central Division of Kitui District where primary data were collected mainly through oral interviews. Secondary sources were equally perused to gather more information which eventually clarified some of the issues under discussion. The overall data were then fused, analysed and interpreted. In view of the data presented and discussed, it was found that moral values in the indigenous Akamba community were largely based on forces outside an individual's mind. Accordingly, a conformist culture developed to force and/or persuade both the youth and adults to follow the customary moral values without questions. This explains why the community had virtues and vices. Admittedly, virtues helped to maintain the well being of the community by promoting harmonious co-existence while vices completely negated this effort of promoting genial relationships. The study nevertheless established that some vices continue to be practised in the study area even today. Even community is assumed to change with time. The study, therefore, established that the Akamba indigenous setup has been systematically torn down by agents of change such as: Christianity, Western form of education and technology. These forces have, in turn, freed the youth from the stringent indigenous social and religious controls. The youth have instead adopted new behaviour patterns which include pre-marital sex, drug abuse and reluctance to obeying traditional commands which lack empirical convictions. The social disorganization theory which was adapted as the frame of reference for this study, therefore, seemed not only relevant but also adequate and justified. The study has investigated as well the roles of the family, and the church in influencing the morality of the Akamba youth. Consequently, it has been concluded that the family and the church community especially the church leaders can utilize various methods effectively to prevent immoral practices like pre-marital sex and drug abuse through properly planned and informal counseling. Unfortunately, our field experience has revealed that some of the parents and the church leaders have not been able to consciously carry out this primary obligation and responsibility. The study has, therefore, challenged them to be more aggressive in counseling so that the youth may acquire useful moral values in the community. Based on the findings of the study, certain recommendations, which would presumably help the youth to abstain from pre-marital sex and drug abuse, have been suggested.