04.09.2023 Opinion

Preserving Ghana's Musical Heritage on Wikipedia: A passionate editor's struggle

The official logo for the encyclopedia platform, Wikipedia.The official logo for the encyclopedia platform, Wikipedia.
04.09.2023 LISTEN

In the vast realm of online knowledge-sharing platforms, Wikipedia stands as a shining beacon of collaborative information exchange. For countless passionate volunteers, like myself, it offers an opportunity to contribute to the collective knowledge of the world. However, beneath the surface of harmonious collaboration, a persistent issue emerges—one that strikes at the heart of cultural identity and historical accuracy. In the case of Ghana's music genres, such as highlife and afrobeats, a dedicated group of volunteers from our neighbouring country, Nigeria, has sparked a debate about the preservation of history and the struggle for cultural authenticity.

As a devoted Wikipedia volunteer editor, I have immersed myself in the world of digital content creation. My passion for Ghana's rich musical heritage led me to engage actively with articles related to highlife and afrobeats, two genres that have played an integral role in shaping the nation's musical identity. However, what I discovered during my time on the platform was disheartening—entries about these genres were being altered to serve a different narrative, one that favoured the interests of our Nigerian neighbours.

Motivated by a sense of duty to preserve the accuracy of information and to represent Ghana's musical history fairly, I embarked on a journey to remedy these inaccuracies. I began making revisions, correcting factual errors, and providing reliable sources to support the information within these articles. My intentions were simple: to ensure that Ghana's contributions to the world of music were accurately documented.

Yet, with each attempt to rectify what I believed were errors, I encountered resistance. It seemed that my efforts were not welcomed by certain factions within the Wikipedia community. To my astonishment, I found myself repeatedly barred from editing on the platform. The frustration of seeing history rewritten to suit a particular narrative was compounded by the sense of exclusion and silencing that accompanied it.

In the face of these challenges, I could not help but reflect on the countless hours I had invested in contributing to Wikipedia. I have penned numerous articles celebrating the achievements of Ghana's music industry and its vibrant celebrities. I had proudly shared our stories with the world, but the struggle for accuracy in the representation of our musical heritage remained a pressing concern.

The issue at hand goes beyond personal grievances; it touches on the broader themes of cultural identity and historical integrity. Ghana's music, with its unique blend of rhythms and melodies, has had a profound influence on the global music scene. It has shaped the cultural tapestry of our nation and serves as a testament to our creative prowess. Therefore, this heritage must be accurately and impartially portrayed on platforms like Wikipedia.

As Ghanaians, it is our collective responsibility to preserve the authenticity of our cultural and musical history. While some may alter entries to suit their preferences or agendas, we must remain vigilant and proactive in safeguarding the truth. Collaborative efforts, both within and beyond the Wikipedia community, are needed to ensure that Ghana's musical legacy remains untarnished.

Lastly, my journey as a Wikipedia volunteer editor has been marked by dedication, resilience, and a deep love for Ghana's musical heritage. While my path may have been fraught with obstacles, I am resolute in my belief that the truth will ultimately prevail. As Ghanaians, we must continue to contribute to the platform, share our stories, and work collectively to ensure that the pages of history reflect the vibrant and authentic tapestry of our musical traditions.

Nana  Yaw Ayeh
Nana Yaw Ayeh

Lifestyle and Entertainment Journalist Page: BigAyehMedia