Negative Impacts of Western Telenovela on the Moral Development of The African Youth

With the advancement in technology, the mass media has soared up greatly in its programs. The television industry in Africa is now featuring numerous programs and airing series of films. Some of these films are very educative, offering the youth with requisite skills and knowledge to face the present and projected future challenges of life. However, other western-oriented films, such as the ever-ascending telenovela shows are negatively impacting on the moral development of the youth in Africa and as such must be monitored or banned entirely.

Prior to embracing colonialism and westernization, Africans had a very rich oasis of entertainment that did not just fill the recreational needs of the youth but also impacted positively on their moral development. Those forms of entertainment sensitized them of relevant cultural values and norms that enhance good communal living. Storytelling or folklores narrated and performed at evenings during family gatherings instructed the youth on social vices like stealing, disrespect, greediness, laziness and so forth. Good and exemplary moral behaviors were glorified in the narrated folklores that were performed for public viewing. These performances were void of degrading and loose moral acts very rampant in western telenovelas aired on African television networks such as unbridled kissing, fondling of sexual parts of the body, sexual intercourse and other disgraceful acts. These are portrayed in the films as normal, without any blemish or whatsoever. This is highly disparaging! The culture of the African perpetrates dignity and sanity for sexual life reserving it for the matured and married in the society. Thus, the youth in indigenous Africa would not dare engage in the talking or fantasizing of sexual acts. Honesty and moral integrity were promoted in the story lines of recreational performances.

Even in the early phase of technological advancement and the ushering in of the television industry in Africa, the same performances were filmed and aired on televisions. Thus, the cultural values and socially esteemed lifestyle were glorified while loose moral life was mocked at in the performances. It is very sad that morally degrading western telenovelas are telecasted on various television channels in Africa today. This is negatively affecting the moral behaviors of the youth negatively. It is no surprise that cases of teenage pregnancy, armed robbery, lying, laziness and other forms of social vices featured in the gory and sexually-incensed western telenovelas are rampant in modern Africa. The youth in Africa spends astronomical hours daily watching television. If the airing of these western telenovelas and other forms of morally degrading films are not censored or banned completely, modern Africa would witness a breed of carefree, morally sick youths who would make life unbearable for all humanity. Exaggerating this projection may seem, it is indeed a likely reality that is about hitting the African continent.

Leaders of the entertainment industries in Africa must act swiftly to ban the watching of these morally degrading western telenovelas. These western telenovelas are alien to the rich cultural heritage of Africa and tutors African youth anti-development social vices. Granted, some western films are charged with positive moral traits that impact favorably on the moral development of African youths. These can be promoted and aired for public viewing. However, strict monitoring and supervision of the story lines of western telenovelas must be carried out by directors of the entertainment industries and television channels before they are allowed to be aired. This would regulate the kind of telenovelas that the youth of Africa watch and thereby impacting positively on their moral development. The various governments and ministries in charge of the entertainment industries in Africa must deem it a priority to constantly monitor the entertainment industries and the kind of programs and films especially the western telenovelas that are aired on television channels. Strict sanctions such as heavy fines and/or a total ban on the airing of any program by television channels that promotes western telenovelas or any other film that is morally degrading and weakens the moral upbringing of the youth must be instituted and enforced.

The youth are the holders of the pipe of the future. Therefore, their moral development must be dear to the hearts of governments, policy makers and the entire public, especially the elderly class who would leave the mantle of leadership in their care. If the moral fibers of the youth become weak as a result of the negative impacts of western telenovelas and/or other television shows and programs, the future of human societies would be doomed. It would be an everlasting sting and shame on the present elderly generation even after their physical passing and a bad account to the Supreme Being and the ancestors who left these feeble youth in their care!

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