Africans over the years have suffered cultural identity due to the clash of culture in their dealing with European and the world in general. " Anvil and the Hammer" poetry by Kofi Awoonor is a reflection of Africa struggles withholding their culture as well as travail embracing the colonial master's way of life under the guise of being civilized.
As the poem has it "Anvil and the Hammer" with anvil representing the Africans way of life and the hammer portraying the modern way of life. though I really don't see anything wrong for us to embrace our own culture and stop running after vanity which won't really solve our problem. we are only trying to be like the Europeans which won't really help the situation just like a duplicate copy of which will never come closer to be like the original no matter what.
The poet stresses the need for us to embrace the old way which is the anvil and makes us see the reason why we ought to follow their step, our ancestors since they are the only ones that can deliver us from the dilemma and confused personality.
I love this part of the poem where the poet portrays the old African way of life and traditional practices in stanza one where he said ‘The trapping of the past, tender and tenuous/ Woven with fibre of sisal and/Washed in the blood of the goat in the fetish hut’ that is African old way of life is innocent, primitive, only to influence and shape by the western way of life which we call civilization. He compares these with the Western culture foisted on Africans through religion and a new system of government. He laments that African values and traditions have been largely eroded –Are laced with the flimsy glories of paved streets/The jargon of a new dialectic comes with the/ Charisma of the perpetual search on the outlaw’s hill. I definitely agree with the poet on this because the western way is just being attractive but full of shortcomings, evil over evils as the poem has it flimsy glory.
Another interesting stanza of the poem was an appeal to our ancestors to please restore to the day for us. " Sew the old days for us, our fathers/That we can wear them under our new garment". though the poet admits that Western culture has indeed come to stay and would continuously influence African culture without any doubt but the need for us to embrace our old way should not be overemphasized that is we must seriously take a drastic step toward securing our culture since that is what defines us. source
Can we really call ourselves Africans or Afro-European? This is because we are deeply rooted in their way of life and i don't see us liberating ourselves till eternity since we really don't see anything wrong with our present situation if we look at it closely, we are going to realize that the Africans way of life is almost gone into extinction if care is not taken.
if you care to read the poem which i will recommend you to do so then follow this link