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Opinions Mon, 20 May 2019

Kane: The lost cultural capital of the Ga

On Wednesday, Mrs Rebecca Okaikor Akufo-Addo, Ghana’s First Lady, cut a tape to commission a modern Pediatric and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (PICU and NICU) for Korlebu Teaching Hospital.

The centre will also take care of Highly Dependent Children.

The Ga representation in terms of royals, political appointees, the First Lady herself, and display of culture was clear and excellent, except that my friend Jerry Adjorlolo, the MC, who is Ga-Adangbe, struggled to pronounce Naa Akuyea, a royal’s name. The Ga inflexion is unique in its complexity.

A sketch led by a teenage girl from a Ghana Education Service Basic School was excellent. Her poem extolled the virtues of Naa Korle, the deity of the land occupied by the hospital, which has granted peace and allowed the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital to flourish.

She received resounding applause…….BUT the Korle lagoon, home of the deity, is dead; decimated by crass human behaviour.

“Let us revisit the PICU in two years and see how it is functioning or not functioning,” cautioned my mentor as he heard the news. If you cannot preserve cultural capital you cannot preserve anything.

To say that Ghana continues to rapidly lose the cultural capital of the Ga is an understatement.

Some activities of government even lead one to suspect an active cause of destruction and marginalization.

Cultural capital is all that system of practices that shape the education, style of speech, dress and unique worldview of a people that confer status and power, and their contribution to social cohesion.

There is no gainsaying the fact that the Ministry of Education is situated in Osu, in the heart of Ga land.

To win the youth of these communities back into the classrooms for a 100 percent enrolment within the catchment area of the ministry’s home constituency, basic schools need to revisit this culture and incorporate its propagation within the curriculum.

The name of this article, Kane, is an acknowledgement of that which is being lost. Kane is a play on words; in Ga it means light. With a change in the unique Ga tonal sounds or inflexion, it could also mean, “Kane” which means read or the past tense, read.

In Akan, “Kane” has several meanings; primus or primal, history/historical/ancient or previous, leader or first.

By choosing Kane as a word to inspire the current education Reform, the Ministry of Education (MOE) will send out a clear message that reading is the bedrock of all issues on its Reform agenda; that it recognizes its unique role in providing light or illumination that comes from reading; seeking and reclaiming that which was lost through a neglect of Ghanaian/African culture; that it intends to be the vanguard of knowledge and preservation of the best in culture.

We are happy that UNESCO has established an office within the Ministry of Education building, in Osu, Accra.

We hope that this article will inspire Parliament to pass the Ghana National Commission for UNESCO Bill being promoted by the Ministry.

We encourage all men and women of goodwill to share their “kane” with the Ministry of Education, for, it exists to promote all that mankind seeks, based on sound ethical principles.

It is our hope that we shall receive very interesting guest editorials that will help promote the liberal arts and sciences, especially, since our blog exists to be a moral and intellectual guide to the best practice of PR and integrated communications around the world, beginning with Ghana.

We dedicate this article to Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, the Minister for Education, whose favourite y??yi (aka velvet tamarind), a popular Ga fruit, has also become rare both in and out of season.

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Writers and Shakespeares Ghana Limited exist to be a moral and intellectual guide to the best practice of PR and integrated communications around the world, beginning with Ghana.

Columnist: Isaac Ato Mensah