This well known proverb exists in different forms in many African languages. The basic meaning is that child upbringing is a communal effort. The responsibility for raising a child is shared with the larger family (sometimes called the extended family). Everyone in the family participates especially the older children, aunts and uncles, grandparents, and even cousins. It is not unusual for African children to stay for long periods with their grandparents or aunts or uncles. Even the wider community gets involved such as neighbors and friends.
So why is that in the western world, in what are held to be the more the developed economies, that we have lost sight of these responsibilities, often preferring to delegate the responsibilities to school teachers and social workers particularly when things get tough?
It has been said that "children do not do what they are told they do what you do". We see how influential negative peer pressure can be and how important it is to be accepted and affirmed "to be cool" so to speak but if your compass is pointing in the wrong direction you are going to end in the wrong place.
In a world where the media, both social and broadcast, have become hugely influential we can see that community values have been eroded and personal ambition fame and financial success is seen as the goal by many. Well the truth is that is wrong. Have you noticed when Bruce Parry or Gordon Buchanan visit a tribe living in the deepest parts of the jungle everybody works together for the greater good and they enjoy each others company.