Someone jovially said ‘the people in Ghana are no longer Ghanaians. Some are Americans, British, French, and Germans depending on which nation’s principles and values you cherish or emulate’. The reasons are that we lack a common sense of purpose and we also care too little about our nation and identity as Ghanaians. As a result, many Ghanaians and other African nationals see the people of other races as superior.
But the question I would like to throw to readers is why are you a Ghanaian? To know why you are a Ghanaian, let us briefly find out what Ghana is.
Ghana was an ancient empire that existed from somewhere the 6th century to the 13th century. It was the first kingdom to rise in glory in the sub-Saharan region. The people were so rich in gold that Ghana was also referred to as the ‘Land of Gold’ just as modern Ghana was referred to as Gold Coast.
Al-Hamadhani, an Arab scholar described Ghana as ‘a country where gold grows like a plant in the sand in the same way as carrots do, and is plucked at sunset’. Al-Bakri another scholar also described ancient Ghana as the kingdom where dogs which guarded the king wore collars of gold and silver.
It was a kingdom with strong military force. By the year 1067, Ghana could march 200,000 soldiers.
In their quest for self governance, the founding fathers Danquah, Nkrumah and their compatriots preferred the name Ghana above the existing name Gold Coast.
Why? This is because they strongly believed that many of the people who formed the then Gold Coast migrated from Ancient Ghana Empire. To support their belief Dr. J.B Danquah revealed it in the inaugural address of the U.G.C.C in 1947 that ‘We left our homes in Ghana and came down here to build for ourselves a new home. But there is one thing we brought with us from ancient Ghana..’. Dr. Kwame Nkrumah also asserted that ancient Ghana was before Great Britain and that Ghana Empire existed within the stretch from Bomako to Timbuktu.
If it were true that men and women of modern Ghana migrated from Ancient Ghana at least some, then the leaders did well by searching and reconnecting to their root. Then it means they were proud of their heritage and were poised to reclaim that lost heritage or glory.
As Africans, we believe in names. We believe that names influence the life path of their bearers. This suggests that Dr. Nkrumah and his compatriots reclaimed the lost heritage for generations after to emulate Ancient Ghana Empire.
Hence a Ghanaian is the one who believes and accepts the aspirations of J.B Danquah, Nkrumah and their compatriots.
A Ghanaian is the one who puts his or her African personality and identity ahead of Western or other foreign legacy.
A Ghanaian is one who ready to manifest the glory of Ancient Ghana as a model nation.
A Ghanaian is the one is ready to live as ambassador of peace, a priceless asset bequeathed to us by the fathers.
Or simply a Ghanaian is one who is ready to reclaim and live the aspirations of the founding fathers. Today many citizens look up to the West, East, and other foreign nations to live or emulate their aspirations. This rising desire is metamorphosing many of us into citizens of other nations even though we bear Ghanaian names and documents as citizens while we are not.
It is my piece of advice that the wonderful people of this country will search into our root to reclaim our lost heritage for in it reside our glory.
God bless Ghana!
Apostle Piesie Okyere-Darko
Author of The Dream of a new Ghana reality or myth?