Culture is dynamic, not static

Alba Dzifa Gomashie, MP, NDC, Ketu South A Abla Dzifa Gomashie is the MP for Ketu South

Mon, 14 Nov 2022 Source: Abla Dzifa Gomashie

I am convinced that words, phrases, proverbs etc carry both empowering and diminishing images and energy.

Take for example, "YOU CAN BE ANYTHING YOU CAN BE". That may be all a determined mind needs to hear and tread a course that leads them to greatness.

In our local languages however, we do use expressions that can also thwart the process to greatness and I insist we must never allow those sayings to influence us negatively.

Take for instance the silly comment like "Obaa t) etuo a, 3twere barima dan mu". To wit, when a woman buys a gun, it is kept in the mans room". That may have been the case but not today. We keep our guns!

I cannot understand how and why, in todays world, knowing what we know now, anyone should tell a person who has achieved more than my dearest mother in public life " nè ezu amega koa ezu adukpo". To wit, if you become a "big person", a person in leadership, a person in power then you become a rubbish dump". Ultimately, you must put up with every crap.

How can any society or community do well if they call their leaders, role models, icons, leaders "ADUKPO" trash! This is especially so if they happen to be politically exposed.

Wegbe yea mè nyo o!

Those of us who speak Ewegbe who are quick to disrespectfully call our leaders ADUKPO and yet are quick to pose fir pictures with the ADUKPO from other regions/countries need to know, we owe it to ourselves to create and celebrate our own leaders.

The gender roles and stereotypes are also embedded in some of the statements we make like "nyonu baetey a".

This expression is used to question the actions of women who do "man" things, usually in a derogatory manner. Another example is to tell a man "dzudzor legede a bè nyornu ene". Meaning, literally, stop behaving like a woman.

We must eschew the tendency to label bad human behaviour as a woman. These were and are in the languages of most cultures but modernity, civilization and the respect for the rights of people, both men and women, have resulted in "civilised" communities becoming sensitive enough to stop using such abusive phrases. We must learn. We must grow up.

In Ola Rotimi's The God's Are Not To Blame, the poor Odewale is said to think he is a bird when he is not. No matter how hard you try to be like someone else, you are who you are.

Be proud of your own. Celebrate your own. No amount of "slang" and ashibrishibri will make you Yevu. Let us learn to develop and improve our lot.

Èva glo! Mia tor và glo! Mi na miawoe wa nyo!


Columnist: Abla Dzifa Gomashie