Why Bother with the Local Languages?

  • In the past weeks I have had a lot of discussions on local languages in Ghana. Many times in my youth, I have felt non Ghanaian due to my inability to speak a local dialect fluently.
  • I am not proud of my inability to speak a local language fluently. It however doesn’t justify making others like me feel bad.

    I love the Ghanaian languages. I am however unimpressed by its relevance in the modern world. I see very little advancements in the languages regarding literature or accessibility to help on the internet.

    There is a move to get Ghanaians to speak local languages. I however do not see how being the best Twi or Ga student ranks up with other subjects. What are the career possibilities? Is it something that is desirable?

    Forgive me if my questions or stance offends you. I am just trying to get better answers than “learn it because it’s good for you”.

    The only reason why I wanted to learn both Twi and Ga was to communicate with friends and share in the humor. I was not particularly interested in reading or writing the language and I have never had a reason since leaving Primary School to do so.

    There is a reason why English, French and even Spanish are desirable. I believe our languages are equivalent yet are behind in terms of importance.

    Maybe our population is small. It still doesn’t justify why we are not making room for the language to be useful beyond the marketplace or local scene.

    In the discussions I have been having it dawned on me that there are not even word games for the local languages. Crossword puzzles and scrabble for instance made me want to brush up on vocabulary. Are there crosswords in our local languages? Is there a local languages version of scrabble? If there is, would it help in teaching the language?

    I believe it will. Something has to be done.

    It’s sad that I am making this argument in English and not in a local language but that’s what we are familiar with. If even there was an autocorrect in our local languages to aid us in writing on our phones on applications like WhatsApp it would help.

    I can’t do much but write a poem on the matter. Hopefully this conversation and others will spark a movement that will see the future being better for Ghanaian local languages.

    I’m A Great Scrabble Player

    I am a great scrabble player

    My two word and three word vocabulary is off the charts

    I am a force to be reckoned with and busy myself with keeping abreast with language so as to see hidden words within my tiles

    I am proud of my skill and talent; and like the scrabble board, I look for double and triple letter word opportunities to showcase my abilities

    I am a great scrabble player

    But no one will play with me

    They laugh at my skill and talent

    I play words they don’t understand

    They say I am too local for the game

    A game of words wit and strategy

    Their tiles don’t have some of my letters

    I can’t form some words

    I am handicapped and frustrated

    How am I a great scrabble player if I can’t play in my own language?

    Keep it One Hondred!

    Phreak Out Live Made Me A Yung Pabi Fan

    Last Friday, 11th August 2017 at Phreak Out Live was literally crazy! People jumping up and down crazy, as if we were having a mini jumping competion……especially on stage. It left me wondering whether they had listened to Criss Cross’s “Jump Jump” before they came to the show.
    My performance was well received. I was disappointed that I wasn’t informed on how they were going to introduce me. The MC literally read my twitter profile and asked a question that my album title asks which he WRONGLY interpreted. WTF? to me is not the popular meaning but rather “We’re The Future?”

    Anyways on the whole the performances were great. I was disappointed in some acts but on the whole it was great. Shout outs to The Musical Lunatics who were the soul of the show. 
    The act that blew me away though was Yung Pabi. I must admit this was my first experience of him and at the beginning of his performance I was a little skeptical.
    Four guys in camouflage jackets holding lanterns walk on stage and here I am telling a friend this:
    This could mean one of two things, either the artist coming on is wack and needs theatrics to compensate or the artist is DOPE!”
    It turns out that he was the later. From his energy to choreography of the dancers and delivery, Yung Pabi was on a mission to let people know that he meant business. 
    Now I was applauding Yung Pabi after his first track was performed and in comes a table decorated like a bed and a doctor and mother on the left and a doctor and bearded aged fellow on the right. Pabi proceeds to execute a narration of events in twi his rap language. This totally turned me into a fan. Pabi used twi and rap to shed light on a situation that we in Ghana are all too aware off, rejection.
    Pabi then turned things up with his 3 track where he entered into beast mode and owned the stage. Well, not exactly. Other jumping jacks joined him to own the stage and have another mini jumping competition but I preferred his version.
    Somewhere in between his rap and jumping Pabi dropped a line and exited the stage to applause. The Musical Lunatics again have to be given credit here for making everything go smoothly.
    And that’s how Pabi turned me into a fan at Phreak Out Live. I got to speak with him and let him know how inspiring and professional he was. Funny enough he was a different beast when we spoke. He was gentle, humble and rather throwing me praise for my performance. This versatile Ghanaian rapper gives me hope for the future of rap in Ghana.
    Follow him on twitter and instagram @yungpabimusic and on Facebook @yung pabi

    Yung Pabi pleeeeeeassee keep keeping it One Hondred!