The original title that I gave this column series was “Breaking Down Barriers of Nepotism Is More Practically Realizable” than breaking down ethnic stereotypes, because, ultimately, as citizens of one nation with a common destiny, as President Kwame Nkrumah is widely known to have been fond of saying, the least that can be expected of each and every one of our politicians and leaders is to constitutionally guarantee that as well as is humanly possible, every bona fide Ghanaian citizen qualified for the grant of access to any position of privilege, public trust or well-paying responsibility may be afforded the same without prejudice, such as may be inflected by the perceptions – positively or negatively – of those so privileged to be entrusted with making decisions and/or determinations vis-à-vis who is afforded any position of great influence or authority without regard to ethnicity or subethnicity, religion, culture or political affiliation and, quite recently, where the latter trait or characteristic may be readily recognized.
You see, Dear Reader, I have lived reasonably long enough to arrive at the quite practically sound realization that, indeed, education or the systematically calibrated intellectual and cultural reorientation of the Ghanaian and even the global African mind, now that there is serious talk about “regionalization” and “continentalization,” can do a lot to significantly break down ethnocentric and ethnic chauvinist barriers; that, it is, in fact, both the preceding course of psychological and psychocultural reorientation, hand-in-glove with the past-paced material and technological development that stand the greatest and most effective chance of bringing about the kind of ideal society that the overwhelming majority of Ghanaians claim to desire and, in fact, crave. On the latter count, I have in mind the explosive advent of Information Communication Technology (ICT) that has rather uncannily and swiftly and radically engendered what the immortalized Canadian communications scholar and theorist by the name of Marshall McLuhan spoke about a half-century ago.
You see, these days, the most effective ethnocultural game changer is ICT, not the sort of liturgical or academic type of lectures of the kind purveyed by experts from the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) that Mr. Mensah Thompson, the ASEPA Executive-Director and author of the very brief but quite instructive article titled “Did Prophet Badu Kobi Say Anything New?” clearly appears to have in mind. That, too, of course, is not totally without merit, although it can scarcely be gainsaid that it is the “Teachee” or “Student-Centered” application of interactive technology that stands the best chance of breaking down the sort of long-established and highly evolved human behavioral mechanism generally called or designated as “Culture,” that seems to have brought our society to a needless point of crisis.
You see, traditional scientists and social scientists have proved time and again that there is absolutely nothing fundamentally “essentialistic” or genetically deterministic about our cultural expressions and actions, which are essentially environmentally developed and systematically learned habits, as opposed to their being naturally and/or instinctively acquired means of social interaction. I am not a professionally trained scientist or social scientist, so I don’t suppose that I am necessarily making the desired or optimal andragogical impact. But, at least, I have a reasonably well-educated person’s sense of what I am talking about. You see, I have made legion sociocultural discoveries during the last decade-and-half that have significantly informed me of the incontrovertible fact that the petty squabbles that revolve around such arbitrary questions as ethnicity or subethnicity and ethnic stereotypes no longer make any sense to me.
You see, Dear Reader, I have been roundly rejected by an Asante mother who found her daughter to be much too culturally upscale for me, a patent infra-dig Akan species of Akyem(-Abuakwa) descent, only for me to shortly thereafter discover to my utter chagrin and wistfully belated revenge, and delight, as well, that I was, indeed, equally a bona fide Asante transplant of the highest of royal bloods exigently transported to Akyem-Abuakwa by the inevitable circumstances of war. You know, you cannot go higher than either the Asante-Dwaben or Asante-Juaben royal lineage? As an Akyem-Asiakwa scion of Nkoranza royal heritage or descent, I am also the direct descendant of Otumfuo Osei-Tutu, I (the prototypical “Srem ’Sei”).
Can I tell you this funny story? You know, when I first met and proposed to my now-wife, the first thing that Mama Afua Oye said to me was the following: “Be sure of what you are asking me for, because I know for a fact that most of you Akan-descended Ghanaians have a pet aversion for Ewe women, when it comes to marriage.” I would here also, shortly discover to my great “convenient delight” that I was, after all, either the grandson or great-grandson of Togbe Kwadwo-Dei Yaw-Tutu, II, The Fiaga or Paramount King, of Peki-Blengo. Holy cow! Actually, the word that I really wanted to say vis-à-vis the latter interjection, has the alphabetical letter of “S” as its initial sound. I hope you darn sophisticated Dear Reader know exactly what I am talking about.
I have since long given up needlessly worrying about the socio-pathological hang-ups of other intellectually and psycho-culturally primitive stuck-up Ghanaian citizens, irrespective of where they come from in our diddly matchbox of a country. Ever heard of the following expression?: “Each and every one his/her own due time?”
*Visit my blog at: kwameokoampaahoofe.wordpress.com Ghanaffairs
By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD
English Department, SUNY-Nassau
Garden City, New York
August 6, 2019
E-mail: [email protected]
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