Are the Ghana mmaa more in touch with the culture than the Ghana mmarima?
As a proud Ghanaian lady who is passionate about all things Ghanaian I often find myself having witty discussions with my Ghanaian brothers on topics that affect those of us living in the Diaspora.
As a result of these discussions it has become apparent that some British born Ghanaian males have no idea of how to speak their native tongue whether it be Akan, Dagaare, Dagbani, Dangme, Ewe, Ga, Gonja, Kasem or Nzema.
This has prompted me to ask the question:
“Just how seriously do some British born Ghanaian males take their culture?”
Whilst their Ghanaian counterparts, i.e. the Ghana mmaa statistically tend to take learning the language & the culture more seriously with the aim to pass the rich knowledge onto their future children, the lads who I have spoken to tend to make this a back seat priority.
Whilst I realise that this is not true of all males it is an issue that needs to be addressed.
I asked some Ghanaian males what they felt being Ghanaian meant to them. It became apparent that embracing the food or the support of the national football team, keeping abreast of the politics back home, reciting the words to the national anthem or listening to the infectious beats of the ever popular hip-life music made them feel more Ghanaian.
But what about the language?
Where does it factor fit into their lives?
In a typical Ghanaian household most girls can often be found standing by the side of her mother whilst her mother teaches her how to cook traditional meals. They converse on a daily basis in the native tongue. Mum might say something in Twi & the child will respond either in English or Twi.
Thus reinforcing the learning, but what about the British Ghanaian boy? What is his role within the home?
Sure, they might know one or two words, but can they string a proper sentence together?
A male friend of mine told me that:
“It is his belief that some males do not feel fully connected to their roots because their parents did not make it a necessity for them to learn Twi. Therefore they relate to a more British existence”
It is my strong held belief that the education of a child starts at home. With that in mind it is down to our parents to ensure that we receive a balanced education within our ‘fie’
The mindset of the English language being the paramount language spoken at home whilst the native tongue becomes neglected must change. It has been proven in various studies that females are better at mastering languages than their male contemporaries.
Is it a possibility that the Ghanaian ladies will be left to shoulder the responsibility of teaching their young children Twi or Ga to name a few because the males are falling down where the language is concerned?
As I have said before & will continue to say we have a duty (male & female alike) to learn everything we can about our beautiful culture otherwise we are in danger of seeing it die & that is something that we should not make a reality.
What is your opinion?
By Caroline N. Mensah