Kwame Anthony appiah in his book entitled “in my fathers house,” he expresses in extensive detail concerning how there isn’t a set a African culture. He discuses how other cultures have been so infused into the African culture that we as Africans have adopted it as our own. For example, a wife taking after the husbands name, many Africans may think it’s our culture and a woman keeping her own name is the western way, when in all actuality it is the other way around. Kwame appiah gives other examples as well that I found very interesting. I definitely recommend this book.
This leads me to question what being African or as a Ghanain, what does that entail. I have been in the states for about a decade now and I have been told by different people I am not Ghanaian enough. I always took great offense to that. I got a sense that my accusers felt superior to me. To affirm that this was not all in my head, I was recently watching a web series called “an African city” the show is about returnees-Africans who left the motherland as children and lived abroad who have returned to Ghana as adults. One of the main characters Nana Yaa in one of the episodes felt as if she wasn’t ghanaian enough because she was unable to speak one of the local languages, twi. She mentioned that it appeared as if people looked down on her for that. As if they were better, because they were Ghanaian enough. Like I mentioned before, I’ve totally had this experience.
But i ask again, what is ghanaian enough? Who is ghanaian enough?
Is the one who is an expert in any or all of the languages ghanaian enough? Or the one who has lived in Ghana or Afrika the longest? What about the one who has a birth certificate there but was raised on a foreign land?
I for one do not know the answer. But I am slightly bothered by the notion that some are “enough” and others aren’t. It creates separation amongst a people who need to be unified now more than ever in an attempt to a flourishing country and continent. Our African-ness is not a definite identity. Africa is changing, she learning, and adapting just like the rest of the world. Just like the rest of us. All we need to do as her people is to to just BE. Be the positive changes and proud people that we are.
I will say this though, I am ghanaian. It is my motherland. It is my country. My ancestors are all rooted in the soil. It is in my heart. It is the place I call home, whether that it is enough or not doesn’t change the fact that me y3 Ghana ni. I am African.