Hello friends, I started my ‘Walking Conflict’, and Earl also chipped in his thoughts in writing. Many of us have also shown that we have one conflict or the other. But wait until you finish reading the second part of Earl’s throw-in.
And, as we know, culture [the way of life of a people- as we were told in school], is a direct reflection of the lifestyles and social standing of its people: their history, their education, their inventions, their socio-political standing, their economic status, their economic priorities [stomach first or future first]; their intellectual capacities, their enlightenment, the depth and reasoning prowess of their opinion leaders; the historical phases, span of experiences, integrations and varieties of their Arts; and above all, [to me] their ability to tolerate, embrace, skillfully adopt and integrate foreign cultures, whiles jealously preserving theirs.
On top of the historical bludgeoning our cultures have suffered for centuries, we on our current part have failed alarmingly to preserve, promote, market, expand, magnify or hold in high esteem, our heritage, left for us thru the blood and toil of our fathers. So invariably, what remains of our culture today, doesn’t differ much from what Komfo Anokye or King Tackie Tawiah left for us decades and decades ago.
In one breath, I pray we preserve our culture in whole; yet in the same breath, I want us to allow it, like a living entity, to open up to the social dynamics of our times. Cos, ready or not, foreign cultures will crash into your culture. Ready or not, Chinese fried rice will smooch your taste buds. Ready or not, pizza and pasta will assail your eateries. Ready or not, hip-hop will bang into your hip-life to give birth to… [you know what].
Ready or not, Naija music and movies will capture the hearts of your youth, especially, the ladies.. Remember ‘Sweet Mother’? all the way to P Square’s Beautiful Onyine. And ready or not, Burberry will be draped on a gorgeous mannequin in an air-conditioned shop, whiles Kente hangs on sticks right on the street outside front of that shop. And why not? After all it’s the Oxford Street…in Osu.
Italian restaurants in Ghana are patronized by more Ghanaians than Italians; yet Ghanaian restaurants in Italy are patronized by all-Ghanaians and no Italians.
In response, what should we do?… apart from whining about the invasion of predatory foreign cultures? We should re-group and invade theirs as well. When life gives you lemons, don’t drink it with a bitter face, fix a lemonade! If you can’t beat them, blend your Kente into the Burberry and push it, but preserve the Kente.
Somehow, someone has to lead the way on this mission: “Operation: Flip the Script”. So the Lord asked, ‘whom shall I send to uphold the Ghanaian culture?” And hopefully, the Ministry of Culture shall say, ‘Send me, O Lord”. To which The Lord shall say…
Encourage [or compel] all local language broadcast networks to devote a respectable fraction of their schedules to in-depth intellectual discourse on all academic subjects…in local languages. Since their broadcasts are suggestively directed at a certain special audience, bringing academia to their handsets and living rooms will certainly help curtail the illiterate branding of our local languages, whiles expanding the reach of academia.
Enough of the dry and pitiful adowa, borborbor and kpanlogo dances at state and official functions. Challenge the choreographers to fuse them with say, Indian, Brazilian or Norwegian artistry. Jeez! Spend some money! Make our culture look lavish and regal, with impressive props and model-status performers.