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This is not advice but a plea. Concerned Katangees


This is not advice but a plea. Concerned Katangees

In the recent past decade, visibly, our very regard for our customs and traditions as a people has dwindled. The sidelining of subjects like Cultural Studies, Music, and Dance and to some extent Life Skills from our educational stream implies the sage. A negative one if am to say.

Is it sane to judge a man’s intellect based on his awareness of the external world at the expense of his very own immediate world? So much so that, an Asante child who attends basic school and upon completion attains grade 1 in Asante Twi Language and grade 3 in the English Language is deemed as a failure. Why? Because he could not pass a foreign language. A failure indeed! Neo-colonialism is at its creeping best.

In this age and time, modernity has perpetuated the incomplete integration of our children into our traditions and customs. That, an Asante child grows up not knowing how to play the Atumpan, Dondo, Fontomfrom, or the Seprewa but wholly takes pride in being able to play the piano or trumpet. Some are even heralded nationally for being western. Yes! The mind after slavery will wilfully ignore the Asante Calendar and accept the gregorian calendar. Why? “It is a fetish”, said the slave master. Why do you think our folktales and folklores have been replaced by western fairytales?

Hence, I was the least surprised when word had it that the Vice Chancellor of KNUST wants to get the traditional councils out of Katanga and Conti in the Asante Kingdom. I believe that this same man was at the Asantehemaa’s burial to pay homage.

Chiefs are chastised and vilified in the media every day, as well as derogatory remarks, are passed on our very own history each day. Some even refer to our past as “bagyimimmer3”, literally meaning “times of the foolish son”. At least in the assumed “foolish time”, food prices were not this high, rivers were not this dirty and the environment was greener. Mother nature must have been proud of them.

Modernity has gradually loosened our mere respect and recognition for our tradition and culture. As a proud Asante who pays homage to the Mighty Asante Golden Stool, I do not side with the current directive of the VC and his administration. Students in the said Halls the least said to know about how to respect customs and traditions, conscious of who they are and where they are coming from. This should be seen as an opportunity to strengthen our traditional roots and not adversity worth admonishing.

As they say, children live by what they see (learn). It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken adults. Charity it is believed begins at home but our homes which should have oriented our children on our customs and traditions no longer do that. Then an opportunity is to learn on the university campus as these Halls go beyond the physical structure to serve as homes to all these boys. This is where most learn about their traditions and customs and how to abide by them.

Hmm, is it not surprising how Asantes will quickly bow down to the Pope and his Michel Angelo picture of the Jewish Messiah but won’t do the same for their greats like )k)mfo) Ano Kye, Otumfuo Osei Tutu Opemso) and the likes? Is it worth praising when the current breed of Asantes does not know about the Oyoko Abohyen dynasty but can tell you all about Nebuchadnezzar and his Chaldean conquest of Mesopotamia?

A man without knowledge about his tradition is like a tree without roots, how can it bear fruits? His Majesty Otumfuo Osei Tutu Ababio, your children bow before your Mighty Throne, let not our tradition collapse. Repository of all knowledge and wisdom, we are sad to see “tae Kwan do” replace libation pouring on our Independence Day.

We seek education and not schooling. The university through these Halls has offered some of us the needed insight into our traditions and customs as a people. Manhyia Palace must help us return to our traditions before it aided to utter death.

This is not advice but a plea. Concerned Katangees.



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