Monday, July 13, 2009

Mirrored Culture

Present Ghanaian culture boasts of the latest in international fashion, and a lifestyle tailored by the pictures in magazines. The proud population of the “cream of the crop” enjoy the luxuries of labored summers in greener pastures, and of course, the joys of their rewarding acquisitions. It is more than amusing to watch, and it truly itches my brain to think why a reflection of another way of life appeals better than the legacy of our own.

Last week’s news announced the arrival of the hailed President Barack Obama of the United States of America. His existence was procured as a result of a Kenyan man’s contribution to the life of the pleasant Ann Dunham of Kansas, shortly before he returned to his beloved country: Kenya. Barack Obama has represented to Ghanaians: “A sense of hope” to others, “A sign of better days to come” to even more “A chance to get more visas and green cards” and to the chosen few, “Pity on us Ghanaians, because we are suffering here, by the grace of God he will give us more opportunity to join others in America.” Truly an icon of hope, and of national advancement.

Hotel Obama recently opened in East Legon on the monumental 4th of July, 2009 (The American Independence Day) and on, the owner, Mr. Kwame Owusu says, “I call it Hotel Obama, because, President Obama represents all that is possible in bridging all there is in ethnic and racial barriers, and a good example of all that is possible,” He continued to disclose that after living in the US for almost 25 years, he understands what it means to be a minority in a society like the US. He therefore, finds it fitting to honour the US President as a living legend.

Also involved in the preparations for the great president’s visit to our humble nation, Former Greater Accra Regional Minister, Sheikh I.C. Quaye, started a spraying exercise which he said would rid the city of mosquitoes ahead of the arrival of visiting United States President Barack Obama, as reported by Joy FM. Ghanaians were strongly advised to sanitize the country and call on truces, a fa├žade for the benefit of the great president’s visit. The Minister of Information, Mrs Zita Okaikoi on Friday called on Ghanaians, especially residents of Cape Coast to do away with their differences and unite for the visit of the US President, Barrack Obama, Joy FM reported. Our country was prepared for the performance of perfection for the benefit of the American President.

Just as an expected guest in anyone’s home sometimes invites a serious clean up in order to impress all, it especially irks some Ghanaians to think of how our country is thrown into the benefit of wall painting, flower-growing and mosquito murdering only for the benefit of another country’s hero.

I stop to think of our national pride. Of the wearers of the fur boots I see sometimes roasting their owner’s feet in front of Frankies. I wonder about the leather jacket and the leg warmers I saw Adjoa wearing to lectures at Legon. I wonder…which other nation of citizens is proud enough of being Ghanaian, of Ghana, of kente, beads and calabashes to mirror Ghanaian culture within the borders of their country? Not Ghana.

-By Flossy Matekwor Azu, Lifestylz GH Staff Writer

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yelba said...

Wow, very well said. I do believe that it is the pride Ghanaians have of their culture that compels us to "put on a show" for others to witness. I do not think it is a sign that we are more concerned about what the West thinks of us, it is something far deeper. It has to do with complacency and laziness - we know that Accra does not have to be a filthy place where all sorts of insects can find a home, but the lack of general concern/community effort is what causes this. In other words, Ghanaians would rather let certain things go unattended, than be held responsible for the unpleasant tasks that need to be done. So when there's a "visitor", thats the acceptable time for everyone to say, lets get our shit together.

Abena Opokua said...

Flossy... you have hit the nail right on the head. But I have wondering what Ghanaian culture is... It will be a flawed not to recognize that Ghana is changing and with it, it's culture. So what is Ghanaian culture really?

Flossy said...

Ghana is really changing, as does every country with a passage of time. The change becomes a problem when a Ghanaian has to ask..."What is Ghanaian culture?"

Tiny T said...

I think there is some truth to the comments above but I think you may want to note that there is a differentiation between culture and tradition.

Readers of this may be interesetd in this article written by a popular GH reporter with some interesting points. The comments make for good reading as well.

Flossy said...

There is culture and there is tradition, that is true. However, if a nation fails to have hone a sense of national pride and uphold a sense of peculiar attributes that may be characterized as their national way of living, then where is the culture? Changing times are great and valued, once a sense of self is not lost.

JP said...

Flossy... and everyone that has commented on this piece... very well said!!! But the fct still remains that these events shd be done on an everyday basis... and with a Ghanaian Flair... something we can call ours... and be proud of!!!! Obama reminded us of what needs to be done to 'get there'... Lets Get To Work People.... Has to start with US - Our Generation! And we will need to make a difference... CHANGE! LSG... We Aim To Inspire & Uplift! :-) Holla...