Stanbic Bank Ghana and the Ashanti Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), operators of Opemsuo 104. 7 Radio in Kumasi, on Friday May 13 crowned Ms Comfort Boakye as new champion of the annual Twi spelling competition.
Four finalists: Kwaku Duah, Agyenim Boateng, Ofori Amoako and Comfort Boakye battled out their authority on the Asante-Twi language at the Racecourse market when they were given words, phrases and axioms to spell using Twi alphabets, consonants, vowels, and diagraphs.
Branch Manager for Stanbic Bank, Adum, Mr. Frank Osei Owusu noted the significance of keeping our culture alive and why Stanbic invests in creative initiatives and edutainment programs such as this.
“Standard Bank as a brand is well cast in a traditional African setting and appreciates the social codes and practices that characterise Africans; that is why we keep shaping the cultural calendar of the continent we call home, and aggressively driving its growth.
“Maintaining native language does not only benefit personal social spheres, but also, personal career opportunities, and thereby the economy at large. Those who are losing native language fluency due to English assimilation are missing out on the cognitive and academic benefits of bilingualism”, he said.
“We also deem it a responsibility as a bank to support access to inclusive, quality education (formal and informal), the promotion of lifelong learning opportunities, and help Ghanaians harness the opportunities of the fourth industrial revolution.
Stanbic Bank will continue to promote financial inclusion, entrepreneurship, and the unique culture of our beautiful country and ultimately help drive her growth”, Mr Osei Owusu added.
In Ghana, a significant proportion of children enter school not speaking the language of the classroom, as our education system favours using national or ‘global’ language instead of mother-tongue teaching. Education is often carried out in the old colonial language, or an international language – English.
After three (3) rounds of a fierce contest, Ms Comfort Boakye from Asuofua was adjudged winner of the Twi spelling competition and took home a 32-inch Television, radio set, a cash prize, funded Stanbic account and branded souvenirs, all provided by Stanbic Bank.
“I am very grateful to Opemsuo radio and their key Sponsor, Stanbic Bank. As an individual, knowing and being able to read and spell in my mother tongue is a matter of pride. It boosts my confidence and creates awareness in the mind while also helping me connect with my cultural identity in a better manner. Thank you for the opportunity to keep learning”, said Ms Boakye.
First and second runners up, Agyenim Boateng and Ofori Amoako also received brand new home theatre set, radio sets, mobile phone, funded Stanbic account and branded Stanbic items respectively.
Chief Executive of Opemsuo Radio, Mr Emmanuel Sarfo who presented the prizes to the winners congratulated them for their resilience and enthusiasm to stay true to their culture, in a world where the growing age of digital and internet, particularly the use of social media, is fast propelling acculturations.
“Our local languages are shrinking in usage as people, which should be of concern because it is largely the cause of the declining pockets of cultures on verge of extinction.
We at Opemsuo believe that the degree of proficiency in one’s heritage language is intrinsically connected to self-identity. That is why culture focused programmes dominate our radio content, one of them being the Twi spelling competition which was gracefully powered by Stanbic Bank Ghana”, he noted.
Traders at the Racecourse market who tested their Twi spelling prowess before the actual contest, praised the organisers for their commitment to promote the importance of cultural and linguistic diversity.
“If culture was a house, then language was the key to the front door, to all the rooms inside. That’s why I am particularly excited about this initiative to promote the use of Twi consonants and vowels in our daily discourses. We as market women will also do our part by quoting the prices of our wares in Twi and pass on this heritage to the younger generation”, Maame Kyeiwaa, Queen mother of the Racecourse market, intimated.
The Stanbic-Opemsuo Radio Twi Spelling Akansie is part of programmes lined up to celebrate the second anniversary of Opemsuo 104.7 radio, the 23rd anniversary and 72nd birthday of his Royal Majesty, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II.