It takes a village

In a world pushing towards an individualist culture, it is really heartwarming to see Zambian morals at play. Dr Henry Musoma, a lecturer at Texas A&M University, has the world’s attention for he is reminding us what true kindness is all about.

Ashton Robinson, one of Musoma’s students, was ready to withdraw from Texas A&M University because she needed to take care of her ten month old baby, Emit James. She is a single mother and she did not have anyone to babysit Emit, so it seemed like the right decision. When she reached out to Musoma to inform him on her decision, he simply told her to attend classes with her son. Musoma, went as far as teaching with Emit in his arms, simply to make it easier for Ashton to gain the needed knowledge.

This act of kindness truly did not go unheard of. Social media took note of this heartwarming story. Images and videos of his lectures received thousands of likes, shares and comments. It went as far as getting Musoma and Ashton an interview with Ellen Degeneres on the Ellen Show. Ellen used this story to kick-start the programme’s Do Good campaign to help put more positivity in the world.

It does take a village to raise a child. There are benefits from living in an individualistic society. In such a society people tend to be more independent and from a young age will choose to fend for themselves. But no man is an island. The interdependency found in many African cultures is such a beautiful sight. Even just from the terminology used in many African societies; every lady older than you is your aunt and every older man is your uncle; from the outside looking in, it paints the picture of extended families branching out as far as strangers being relatives. And that is usually the case. People are willing to treat, friends, coworkers, neighbours and even strangers just like family.

Musoma’s act of kindness highlights the direction we need to be taking. Lending a helping hand does not only mean spending money on a charity or serving in a soup kitchen. Lending a hand is simply going out of your way to help the next person.

Luyando Nyoni

Twitter @luwi_vc