Mr Mark Okraku-Mantey, Deputy Minister of Tourism Arts and Culture, has encouraged parents to stop their children from speaking only English at home to ensure the preservation of the country’s local languages.
The Deputy Minister expressed worry that many parents do not speak their local dialect with their children, a practice he said threatened the sustainability of the country’s rich cultural heritage.
“It is about time we stopped our children from speaking just English at home. What you have that is unique against the other person is your language.
“There is a new norm, where parents say their children can’t speak any local language. It is our duty to make sure that our children speak the Ghanaian languages so we do not lose them,” Mr Okraku-Mantey said.
He made the call at the swearing-in of Regional and International Folklore Ambassadors appointed by the National Folklore Board in Accra on Thursday, May 26, 2022.
A total of 16 Regional Ambassadors and one International Ambassador, comprising traditional leaders and cultural activists were appointed by the Board.
Their mandate is to preserve, protect and promote Ghana’s folklore in Ghana and beyond.
Mr Okraku-Mantey urged the ambassadors to play their role in the preservation and propagation of the country’s folklore, and pledged the support of the Ministry towards the effective execution of their mandate.
Mrs Bernice Ann Deh-Kumah, Executive Director, National Folklore Board, said the appointment of the folklore ambassadors would create an opportunity to promote folklore and create awareness about Ghana’s folklore in the country and beyond.
She expressed concern the influx of foreign culture by way of television programmes, and emphasised that the trend could distort the country’s time-valued cultural values and norms.
“There is the need to begin to appreciate our folklore as a people, so that it can impact positively on our social, economic, political development and identity as Ghanaians,” she said.
Chief Sulley Yakubu, Chief of Mamprugu, who is also the Folklore Ambassador for the North East Region, said the ambassadors would effectively discharge their duties in their respective regions in accordance with their mandate.