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An Ode To Culture

An Ode To Culture

The miseducation of colonisation on Ghana cultural practices. The beautiful ones are not yet born.

Ghana has become a country where people are ashamed of their indigenous languages and think it’s a low class in some circles to speak them. Some are also ashamed of the indigenous names, cultural practices, skin colour, and everything associated with being Ghanaian. They will do everything to be westernised and those who do not conform to this are seen as low class.

Once upon a time many moons ago. Our ancestors created mighty civilisations, and our current shambles of a country cannot compare to it. Yet it seems we are the ones ashamed to uphold their legacy when it should be the other way around. They should be the ones turning in their graves because of us. 

Long gone are the days when oral history, tongue, and tradition are passed on. From puberty rites for girls and boys. I’m not saying things like sacrifice, human rights violations, forced marriage, and FGM should continue, absolutely not. However things like teaching a girl things about womanhood from sex to family, to finance, and how she will survive in a playful and comprehensive way is needed and the same for men, on how to lead, provide, finances and move into adulthood is also needed. 

The current way of social media, movies, friends, school, and society teaching them because we are too afraid of exposing children to live is the reason why Ghana is going down the drain. Unfortunately, they will grow to see life and there is no need to protect but equip them. That’s why our ancestors taught in Proverbs and made sure their children were raised by a village and knew about life early on and were allowed to explore and create their own fate, with the wisdom passed on to guide them on their path. 

We are not all one Ghana. Each tribe has its differences, however, we are all people. Yet knowing where one comes from is very important. Even in the West where most want to live voraciously through. From childhood, children are taught about their country’s history, sex, culture, money, customs, and how to move into adulthood. There are clear distinctions in the culture between the North and South regions. It gives children a sense of pride.

Another thing we’ve lost is nkrabea, that each person has their own personality, spirit, and soul. In oral traditions, you hear of different people, with different personalities, all seemingly accepted for who and what they are. You see it in the older folk, my great aunt had a ferocious personality, her sister was calmer, my Grandma has a fiery personality, she said her Grandmother was calm and they all seem to be fully accepting and confident of who they are and they were taught about the perils and joys of life early on. Like Kwaku Ananse they have the confidence and creativity to believe they will survive through all challenges and get where they want to be, being themselves. We’ve lost that courage. 

In this new age we are all competing to be the same and somehow lose the personality we came into this world with. In the past, the goal was to enhance the personality and teach it how to navigate through life wisely. Now the goal is to force a personality and life unto others, starting from childhood. Many adults are lost and empty, becoming a caricature of who they should be constantly stifling who they are and what they want to fit into our new shambles of a country. The lionesses and lions have lost their souls in the process. 

The elders say a bad job is better than being a thief. The corruption in the country will tell you anything but that because the firm foundation is not there. Somehow the new regimes have removed JJ Rawling’s advances in culture and our education system where he pushed for Ghanaian culture and history in school curriculums, hip life, and hi-life, Ghanaian media showcasing Ghanaian traditional values, chieftaincy and culture and apprenticeships and other forms of education apart from school have been U turned. 

Now the curriculum has been westernised, mainstream media is full of foolishness, the music has become a cheap imitation of western culture, and our film industry is mostly pornography and sex trade. The universities are overfull, the apprenticeship system is rendered useless now because without a degree you are nothing in Ghana. With the overflow of degrees, who you know matters more than your brain. Our Youth are totally lost and have been ensnared in crime, prostitution, slay queening, corruption and the list goes on. Many want to escape Ghana and think the country is nothing. 

We have lost the love for our histories, our culture, our stories, and even our own unique identity as individuals. Trying to follow a status quo we could never exist in nature. This isn’t just Ghana but the whole of Africa. 

Author: Akosua Darko


London, UK