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!

    Africa Sent Me A WhatsApp Message – Origin

    Its only a day away till the release of my first single Africa Sent Me A WhatsApp Message of my debut album WTF? 
    I thus decided to give a bit of a background into what lead me to create this piece of poetry that I have come to love soo much.
    I wrote Africa Sent Me A WhatsApp Message in the early part of 2014. I was to perform at my alma mater alongside other poets for their celebration of Africa Day.
    I had poetry but for some reason I wanted to perform something new and refreshing so started thinking of how I could make that happen.
    I sure not of how the idea came into my head but it did and I started to flow with it. I genuinely asked myself from a Ghanaian perspective whether Africa will be happy with us Ghanaians.
    Our filth, corruption, lack of standards and blindness to opportunity came pouring in my mind and I weaved with words the conversation that ensued. 
    The piece is pretty reflective and gets one thinking all the time. I have performed it at various occasions and even when I traveled to Kenya.
    The audio being released however has the element of melody that has been absent whenever I performed. The background music was produced by my producer Boamah Made It.
    It is beautiful and is the fertilizer to create the mood that is required to allow the words to sink in. 
    We are currently scripting the video which will be released in a bit. In the meantime get your ears ready to enjoy the first single of my debut album titled Africa Sent Me A WhatsApp Message.
    Keep it One HONDRED!