Dr Prosper P D Asima

Dr Prosper P.D. Asima, the Western Regional Commander of the Ghana Immigration Service has urged Ghanaians to make conscious efforts to preserve their cultural identity despite globalization.

“It is true that we are in an era of globalization, where technology and other factors have brought distant societies together, we can make a conscious effort as Ghanaians not to lose our cultural values by promoting our indigenous languages,” he said.

Dr Asima gave the advice during the launch of an Ewe book with the title: “u Nyui Ade Ke” – A New Dawn written by Mrs Gifty Akosua Baka, the Director of Development and Social Services at the Global Evangelical Church headquarters at Tesano in Accra.

The book is aimed at promoting and encouraging the speaking of the Ewe language, and contains some cultural practices and artefacts of the Ewes such as childhood games, folklore and music to refresh the reader’s memories.

It tells a story of a renowned lawyer, Dzogbese who lost both parents in two separate armed robbery incidents during his youthful years.

As he had nowhere to go because he did not know any extended family members nor where his parents came from, young Dzogbese accepted the offer of his best friend’s parents to move in with them.

His new family provided love and affection and all he needed to become a meaningful adults.

His belief and faith in God however never wavered. One day, unexpectedly, the pieces started falling in place, when trying an alleged murder case. That joyous discovery marked the beginning of a new dawn for Dzogbese.

Dr Asima said evidence from many scholarly researches confirmed that language is one of the most effective ways of determining a person’s identity and cultural background.

“If indeed the culture of a people is ingrained in their language, and culture is the embodiment of a people’s beliefs and knowledge systems, then Ewe, like other indigenous languages in Ghana needs to be preserved,” he said.

He said Ewe novels were scarcely found on the market and the teaching of the language in the schools has also become a challenge, because of the inadequate number of trained Ewe-language teachers.

“Ewe like all other Ghanaian languages has become subordinate to the English language in schools and other areas of our national life. The Dominance of the English language is as a result of it being the language of instruction at almost all levels of our educational structure.

“Unfortunately, our homes which could have provided an avenue to counteract this dominance, have become an extension of the English language speaking culture as parents don’t make a conscious effort to speak Ewe, or for that matter any of our local languages,” he said.

Dr Asima said a study by Afrifa, Anderson and Ansah (2019) concluded that trans-generational transmission of indigenous Ghanaian languages in Accra is minimal, as majority of children who use English as a home language were unable to speak any indigenous language, including; the mother tongues of their parents.

He noted that; “In relegating our indigenous languages, we are moulding learners of the English language, who incidentally are the next generation of Ghanaian leaders, to accept foreign British and American cultures and behave like them to the detriment of our rich Ghanaian cultures.

“I therefore find Mrs Baka’s publication relevant and timely. It is indeed a bold step. If we do not promote language maintenance, by putting in place measures to ensure the continuous use of the Ewe language in the face of language contact and competition with more powerful or numerically stronger languages, the Ewe language would become extinct,” he said.

Dr Asima observed that one positive attribute of the Ghanaian culture was the family ties, which bind us as humans, and that in the face of challenges of urbanization and globalization; “we must endeavour never to lose our family ties.”

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