In every culture the family provides the cultural framework for the effective graduation of an individual through the Rites of Passage. When the institution of the family breaks down, the rites of passage become difficult to conduct, and the transmission of cultural values across generations breaks down. Owing to pressure both external and internal, both the family and the Rites of Passage are under strain in tropical Africa. It is the responsibility of the present generation to reconstruct both these ingredients of African culture, as instruments for social integration in this continent.
The core message of this volume is that the family as the primary social group has a central role in the formation of responsible leadership. The individual begins life in the family, returns to the family after work, and retires to the family in old age or on retrenchment. Other social sectors are also important in shaping responsible leadership, but the family is indispensable. Each individual must take responsibility to cultivate responsible leadership, and ought never to blame others for any failure on his or her part. The family can be a strong anchor on which to lean when the burdens of leadership become too heavy to carry. The common good-will can be nurtured and sustained in the context of the family.