The Role Art Plays in Uniting Communities

Art has always played a huge role in African societies. From the ancient ages, art has been used
for a variety of reasons and some of them still apply to date. While a few of the uses of art have
been rendered obsolete with time, some have evolved and gained new purposes in the modern
day.
In the ancient days for instance, education was almost completely done through art. Some means
of passing down knowledge was through folk tales and songs. Tongue twisters were also used
not just for entertainment but to teach children proper articulation of terms. It also made them
better speakers who could share information confidently with other members of the society
. Today, there are new forms of education that employ less use of art as compared to before.
However, the role of art has evolved and is used as one of the innovative ways to facilitate
education.
Art and artists are always influenced by the environment and the society. As such, art work
always portray various aspects of the society, be it directly or indirectly. It therefore acts as a
mirror or conscience to the society. This allows individuals within the society to have a deeper
analysis of themselves or their surrounding and consequently helps them understand themselves
better.
Africa is a continent with so many different indigenous tribes and communities. Despite several
of them falling within the same national borders created during the colonial times, some still
harbor animosity amongst themselves and at times even have violent clashes. However, Africa
being a very artistic continent, these communities have been brought together through art on
various occasions.
Every year there are so many art festivals which attract people from different corners of the
continent. This has helped foster relationships and peace.
With art being a mirror to the society, the self-reflection that comes with it has created an urge
for change amongst individuals or entire communities at large. Other than just being a mirror to
the society, art has also portray simulations of the future and these have acted as warning tools to
the society. Furthermore, art has also portrayed ideas that people have borrowed from and all
these have led to change within the society.
In an imperfect world where some individuals have been oppressed and denied certain liberties,
art has come in very handy and has been used as a tool for self-expression. In this way, art has
created movements for righteous causes. It has also allowed individuals with communication
difficulties to express themselves better hence making their voices heard.
Another very important role art has played in African societies and the world at large is the
creation of jobs and generation of income. There are very many sectors in art and each has very
many individuals who rely upon it as an economic activity. This has helped reduce the level of
unemployment within the continent. Being an income generator, it has also helped improve the
living standards of individuals and the economic standings of a nation as a whole.

Art has many other roles within the African societies. As such, art should always be promoted
and celebrated because it is an important aspect of the African culture.