HomeLocal NewsAre Zim teens mimicking American culture?

Are Zim teens mimicking American culture?


THE widespread use of new media has brought about cultural imperialism. It has created an American hip-hop subculture dominant among teens.

Report by Winstone Antonio

Teens are mimicking Western cultures, abandoning their tradition. They are adopting values from various mass media platforms.

About a decade ago, the term “musalad” was coined to describe teens who adopted American culture, with their mode of expression being rap music.

Musalad described stylish and restless teens, mostly from well-to-do families, who wouldn’t settle for local music genre such as sungura.

The male teens wore oversized pants, sleeveless shirts, big boots big chains and the headband, while the females distinguished themselves in hipsters, tight tops, high-heeled shoes and, of course, they adopted the American accent.

The imitation of the Western culture by teenagers through music, language and fashion has been received with mixed feelings by elders who accuse teens of shunning their culture.

However, teens who spoke to NewsDay dismissed the claims and defended their acts as a way of expressing themselves.

Trymore Chapwanya (18) of Highfield, Harare, said: “I don’t agree with allegations levelled against teens. Television and Internet have simply enhanced our way of life. We are now living in a digital era were every teen is embracing change.”

Another teen, 17-year-old Roy Kunjanja of Westgate, Harare, said: “As much as I can dress like international celebrities 50 Cent or Akon — the fashion style I like — I haven’t changed anything in terms of my moral and cultural values. It doesn’t mean I’m shunning my culture.”

Natalie James of Avondale, Harare, said: “We are now living in the world of technology and fashion, with the media imparting knowledge to everybody.

“Let’s not blame technology, but individuals who are believed to have abandoned their way of life,” she added.

“As teens, we are not shunning our culture. We are just using music and fashion to express our individual tastes. We are simply blending into this digital environment.”

Tadiwa Mutangi of Hatfield, Harare, said: “The type of music that we as teens are into makes it look like we have changed. We enjoy the music, but that doesn’t mean our behaviour has changed,” said.
Research has shown that several teens, in their quest to fit into the new culture, have become artificial.

They are trying to look like famous American artistes and actors.
These teens, besides of imitating Western culture, are also alleged to be borrowing obscene fashion trends, immoral dances and other vices such as drug and alcohol abuse associated with Western celebrity culture.

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