Some Basic Family Systems In Africa.

in #amanda6 years ago

The Family is the most important 

social institution I know of. It is the 

backbone of any individual.  Most

 times,  the success and or failure of 

people can be traced to the kind of 

family they come from.  From birth 

to death,  our families play crucial 

roles in our lives. 

At birth,  a child only knows 

immediate members of his family.  

His  her parents or guardians 

bring that child up in the best 

possible way and according  to 

their beliefs,  customs and traditions. 

There are different types, forms and 

patterns of families,  depending on 

where one cones from but for the 

purpose of this article,  I will limit 

my scope to the African continent  

where I come from.

In Africa,  we have Monogamy,  

polygamy,  Polyandry and other 

forms of family systems. However,  

the most common forms of family

 systems here are Polygamy and 

monogamy. Africans are usually 

polygamous in nature especially 

 wealthy people. Polygamy is a 

situation where a man has more 

than one wife.  Monogamy is a 

situation where a man has only one 

wife.  It all boils down to the beliefs,  

religion and family ties of people.  

In Nigeria for example,  Muslims 

and traditionalists are very 

polygamous in nature and their 

religious beliefs supports them. 

 Some of them can even take as 

much as  10 wives if they so wish 

and can cater for their family. 

Only Christians in Africa are 

committed to monogamy. However,  

in recent times and because of 

better education,  enlightenment  

and the harsh economic situation  

in Africa, people are fast embracing 


Thee re basically two broad  forms 

of family systems here in Africa.  

The Nuclear and the extended 

family systems. The nuclear family 

system involves just a man,  his wife 

and children. The extended family 

system on the other hand is a type 

of family system in which several 

nuclear families who have common 

blood ties fuse together as one 

family. In most cases,  they are 

usually descendants of one 

ancestral father usually called the 

patriarch of the family. 

Also,  We have the patrilineal and 

Matrilineal forms of family 

structures. Most families in Africa,  

are usually patrilineal. A Patrilineal  

family structure involves the 

devolution of authority in the 

family towards male members of 

the family only.  Women are 

excluded from decision making in 

the family and can never inherit 

properties. Everything in the family,  

flows through the male line of the 


However,  There are small cases 

where Matrilineal forms come into 

play.  In Matrilineal  form,  

authority and the right to inherit 

properties,  are only the preserve of 

the female line of the family. 

I have taken my time to briefly 

highlight the various systems,  

forms and types of families in 

Africa to help you all Steemits  in 

your decisions.  Many of you may 

be planning on project executions 

in Africa like purchase of lands, 

 establishments of companies,  and 

recruitment of staffs. It is therefore 

important you know and 

understand  the various family 

systems at play over there in Africa 

o as to know about the best 

approach to handle the natives 

therein in other to avoid problems 

for yourselves. 

I hope this has blessed someone.  

The best of the weekend. 


Dear @owhondabright, what is this amanda tag you are using? Thank you for the post, very educational and informative.

Amanda is a very good friend of mine. She values my posts so much that she told me to always tag her each time I make a post

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