By: Ewoenam Kpodo | Voltaonlinegh.com |
Astute Ghanaian poet and surgeon, Prof. Ladé Wosornu has called on government to place value on local languages else attempts to get citizens especially the younger generation to accept and cherish their mother language would amount to naught.
This value, according to Prof. Wosornu, would mean examining pupils and students on the Ghanaian languages during their final Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) and West African Senior Secondary Education Certificate Examination (WASSSCE) respectively.
The essayist believed this to be the remedy to concerns that some youth shy away from speaking their mother tongue in favour of the official language, English saying, the realisation that “they will be examined on their mother tongue during the final examination will force them to master it and the only way out is through constant speaking of the language.”
Prof. Ladé Wosornu was speaking to Voltaonlinegh.com on the sidelines of the commemoration of the 2019 International Mother Language Day (IMLD) at Bureau of Ghana Languages (BGL) in Accra.
As part of the observance, BGL in partnership with the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture and, UNESCO on Thursday, organised an event dubbed Sanegbaa (Ga language) meaning “conversation” to emphasise the importance of Ghanaian languages and their contributions to the development of the country.
The all-day-long event saw celebrated Ghanaians lead conversations on the use of Ghanaian language in various areas of endeavours including film-making, writing, formal education and music.
Other activities on the day included story telling led by, By the Fireside’s Grace Omaboe popularly known as Maame Dokono. Also, musical performance by the legendary Amandzeba Nat(ive) Brew, poetry and drama which featured great talents.
Renowned playwright and film producer, Mr. Kwaw Ansah who touched on filmmaking disagreed with claims that many movies in Ghana are rated substandard because they were made in Ghanaian language citing penetration of movies made in Indian languages of Ghanaian markets as examples.
He identified problems such as unprofessionalism, apathy, impatience and desire for money to be the factors responsible for the production of some of the films he described as “damaging to our values.”
He observed that “we have the potential” to project Ghana to the world and cautioned producers not to fake identities as “the people you write about should be able to relate to your story.”
Other speakers on the day underscored the need for protection and preservation of the diverse Ghanaian languages which collectively define us as Ghanaians.
The speakers also spoke against exalting one language above another or others as according to them, this could spark tribal conflicts, thus, endangering national unity.
Also present at the celebration were Minister of Tourism, Catherine Afeku, Abdourahamane Diallo, Head, Accra UNESCO office, Nana Kwasi Gyan-Apenteng, President, Ghana Association of Writers, staff of BGL among others.
IMLD is a worldwide annual observance being marked since February 21, 2000 to promote awareness of linguistic and cultural diversity. The 2019 Day was themed, “Indigenous Languages Matter for Development, Peace Building and Reconciliation”.