The effect of colonisation, self hate and us despising our art and indirectly ourselves.
The white man is better is a phrase we often tell ourselves.
I love European castles and European architecture, modern and new. Though some buildings aren't the best, especially those built for those of the lower classes called ghettos, projects and the ends. However they still tell a story, one were society hasn't thought those inhabits worthy to be part of stable structures. One where the inhibants have to live in broken structures. The ancient buildings tell the story of Europe's past of love for art, royalty, religion, domination and map Western countries history.
New upmarket buildings tell the story of wealth and a new age. Architecture and Art tell stories of a people, a society, mindsets, ideology, history and time. The physical is an exploration of the mental and spiritual. Just like buildings and landscapes are an exploration of the mental and spiritual, clothes are too. High fashion is either purchased by those who are wealthy and use luxury items to display their wealth, or those who aspire to that status however don't have the financial means, who feel close enough by buying those clothes
Fast fashion ( even though many luxury and high fashion clothes are produced in the same way) is purchased by those on a lower budget usually. Independent or eco friendly clothes are usually purchased by those who want to stand out from the crowd or are environmentally conscious, regardless in the West they are proud of clothing which represents their identity, as well as art, culture and architecture which represent them.
In Ghana and many African countries it is not so. We would rather copy Western styles at the expense of our own, we would rather by second hand (obroni wawu) or European clothes at the expense of our own, we would rather showcase a history and legacy of colonisation subconsciously at the expense of our own culture, history, architecture and art. Ghana ye wo ade oye. We have good things. We could use them to attract tourism and other things to boost the economy.
For example, The Accra Mall and New Airport could have been designed with something like Kente or Adrinka symbols, or in a hut like fashion to show the world this is Ghana. However all we have to show is escalators and something mediocre compared to an European Airport, the malls are also mediocre compared to what they are copying. An imitation will never beat the original. In England there is a place called Norwich and in that city there is a mural declaring it to be the city of stories. Let us make Ghana and the different regions feel like home to the people who live there and that will attract tourists. Our markets could be built in a way that reflect our ancient wonderful markets and also showcase market women had a great part to play in Ghana's independence.
The Kayeyei's and men who help out with goods could have their own section built for them where visitors could go and consult their services for a fee( built with our ancient structures in mind, for example a modern stable hut) They could even wear traditional attire in unison to attract tourists even more. The hawkers who sell on the street could have shelters they sleep in the night, and in the morning have their lwn sections to sell to people and tourists would find it interesting. Our slave castle, ancient sites etc can have something showing them with Ghanaian flavour.
To make landmarks only for the rich and powerful is not right. Instead of wasting money on an unnecessary National Cathedral and ridiculous buildings why don't we invest in making modern huts or buildings with an African twist for those living in shanty towns and slums, in our roads, our government offices, schools, in important projects. In rebranding churches and other religious organisations that already exist, as that's the soul of many people.
Let us promote kente and national cloth, let us promote the adrinka symbols on our national buildings, artefacts, art etc, let us show our ancestors creativity. Let's allow the brilliant artists in Ghana to shine, even in the villages and shanti towns we have incredible artists, architects and crafts men but because our country has become a space only unaffordable education is appreciated we have let our talented people down. I mean our ancestors didn't go to university or school.
Nevertheless look at all the incredible things they did, how smart they were, how intelligent they were. The ashanti's had colours to say they were the rich, black man in the forest, out of looking at spiders weaving kente was born, the adinkra symbols were born from our ancestors, all tribes have incredible art and architecture. Let's stop this nkrasesem and nkrasefour because to be honest most of us are not seeing any results from the ladies and gentlemen and well educated people of our lands. Except copy copy the West and show off wealth by building mansions, buying cars and big dressing.
Let's stop the galamsey and preserve our rivers. The love of money to build houses and cars and to spend on lavish weddings and events is enough. Our country has talent,. I'm not saying education is bad, in fact is a wonderful tool for knowledge but what are we teaching people. Most people in Ghana go to school to make money and get prestige and wear their wealth not to contribute to society. The average Ghanaian is a slave to people's opinion and money.
We could make things like statues of Adowa, Bamaya, abadgza, and traditional dancers all over the country. There is so much we can do. The ministry of education and arts and culture need to step up. All ministers in Ghana need to step up.
The gentrification of our local food eateries, chop bars, farms and national landmarks, for KFC's, overpriced restaurants and other things to look like the West is killing our local farmers, local cooks and traditional sites. Our land is being destroyed for people to build more mansions, next to our bad roads and for galamsey.
I don't agree with it, KFC and the Western businesses will make their money and go but what about our local people who are being bought out of business. If we were sustaining ourselves then yes it wouldn't be bad for us to negotiate with foreign businesses but we are not. Ghana is a dump and no amount of the year of return is going to change that, neither will the fancy weddings and big hotels.
Something must change. The beautyful ones are not yet born. 'You self will think say you dey fine, who say you fine Na lie you no fine at at all, at all Na lie' Fela Kuti. Ghana is not fine at all, at all Na lie.