Tribalism In Africa: Treat Me Good, I’ll Treat You Better; Treat Me Bad And I’ll Treat You Worse

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I write for infoboxx which is an informational portal that attempts to enhance and empower the lives of our audience by delivering topical, educational, entertaining, and useful information.

Below is my first article submission to publication.

Ethnicity, tribalism and xenophobia all stem from an irrational fear of people based on their ethnic and tribal background, or country of origin. The notion of tribe and ethnicity is still a contentious subject in Sub-Saharan Africa. Some tribal nuances continue to reinforce our suspicions about other tribes. On my maternal side, I am an Assin from Nyakumasi Ahenkro in the Central Region of Ghana.

On my paternal side, I am an Akyem from Oda in Ghana’s Eastern Region. I was informed that my maternal great-great grandmother was married to a man from the Northern part of Ghana, and that my paternal great-great grandmother was Ewe. In South Africa, where I spent my childhood and early adulthood, I was very aware of the tribal tensions between Zulu’s and Xhosa’s, and Xhosa’s and Tswana’s. I have heard Tswana and Sotho women chastise Xhosa women in Johannesburg.

Some have gone as far as to tell them to stop speaking Xhosa in Johannesburg or else return to the Eastern Cape, a mainly Xhosas province. The Vendas and Tshonga who lived in the Northern part of South Africa, were seen by all the other tribes in South Africa as the lesser tribe and were often ridiculed for their dark skins and accents when they spoke English. As a foreigner in South Africa, I was called all sorts of names growing up. “Ama Ghana”; “Qwereqwere” (a derogatory name for foreigner) were a few.

I remember being chased down the road by children in my neighbourhood in the Ciskei. “Ama Ghana Hamba kuye khaya” (Ama Ghana Go Home) they would shout. I must have been 5 years old. This was my first xenophobic experience. I am not too sure how I internalized this experience as a child, but it left an indelible mark on my future interactions with black South Africans.

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Bukom Banku: Ghana’s Funniest Boxer

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When  you hear the name Bukom Banku in Ghana you cannot help but chuckle to yourself. This larger than life boxer has coined such grandiose idioms and pearls of wisdom that after reading his quotes you are left confused and dazed as he pummels you with his unique English phrases  a lot like what he does in the boxing ring, his words will leave you knocked out. Bukom Banku is outrageous and very funny.

I have compiled some of my favourite quotes from Bukom Banku, who describes himself as a ‘self taught  English speaker.’

In an interview with KSM Ghana’s answer to Jay Leno and the Saturday Night Live genre of comedic entertainment.

He asked Bukom:

“Where did you learn all this English”

Bukom: “Is my own mentality. I have the Bukom Dictionary. Anytime I wake up in the morning I teach my own self.”

Bukom Banku  speaks in Pigin English which is  a language mainly spoken by the youth (All social classes) in Ghana. According to him, he has never been to school but has succeeded in  creating  his own “Bukom Dictionary” which only he truly understands.

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Graduate Unemployment: Let’s focus on the Solutions

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On Tuesday I visited the studios of X fm  to discuss  the graduate unemployment challenges Ghana faces. Just last week the Unemployment Graduates Association of Ghana (UGAG) carried out a protest at the Ministry of Education, holding our Government responsible for their lack of employment and demanding that Government remedy their unemployment situation. Radio X fm, during their breakfast show explored the issue.

According to Boateng and Ofori (2002), in 1995 only 13.4% of jobs requiring university education also demanded computer skills; 0.4% also demanded communication skills; 1.5% also demanded personal attributes. The demand increased in 2000 to 45.7% for computer skills; 38.6% and 41.8% for communication skills and personal attributes.

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Popcorn!

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I’m about to pop some corn. My business partner and I share a passion and love for popcorn. We often spend hours talking about this oddly shaped snack.

Did you know that popcorn is really great food to eat when you’re recovering from a stomach bug and you cannot stomach any food due to vomiting or a runny stomach? When you experience stomach flu doctors recommend  the BRAT diet of Bananas, Rice, Apple sauce and toast to help ease the symptoms as these foods are easy to digest.

Try some popcorn, use coconut oil to pop the kernels. Popcorn is a whole food Air-popped popcorn is naturally high in dietary fiber, low in calories and fat, and free of sugar and sodium.It’s an ideal snack for people with dietary restrictions like diabetes, high blood pressure etc. Use herbs like basil, thyme and cumin to add flavour to your kernels instead of the conventional salt or sugar.  It ready does ease the pain and cramping when you’re recovering from an upset stomach. Don’t forget to drink lots of water to help cleanse your system too.

Coconut water is the a miracle drink. It has ions which help to replenish lost fluid  during stomach flu. Coconut water also has antibacterial properties making it ideal to cure stomach problems.  Drink lots of it too when you have an upset stomach.

In Ghana popcorn kernels are available at the foreign supermarkets. Prices range from 3 cedis to 5 cedis for a 500 gram packet. Natural coconut water is available all year round.  One coconut costs 1 cedi in Accra but it’s a lot cheaper in the villages and other regions.

Signs of Ghana- Part 1

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I came across a series of pictures which in essence provides readers who have never been to Ghana with an idea of who the average ‘Ghanaman’ is. Despite or social problems  Ghanaians have this subtle unassuming humour? You know the type that causes you to laugh uncontrollably whilst at the same time shaking your head? Whether its humour from our chop bar or fufu sellers, carpenters, spiritualist, or an employee stating  his case, you can’t help but chuckle.

Most Ghanaians have had basic primary education (JHS )but we should ask ourselves just how well are we teaching our future generation if our present day adults produce signs like this?

Many of our business owners in the informal sector have had very little training, and education. It astounds me how some have become very successful in their business can you imagine how much more they could do if they had the right training and skills? In Ghana we say everybody is an MD, Ghanaians are all Managing Directors of their lives. We make do with what we have and make the best of it. We laugh at ourselves and move on with life. I love that!

Below are a series of pictures I’ve compiled courtesy of a Facebook friend, Ian who has over the years collected these pictures.  Enjoy!

Most areas in Ghana do not have enough toilets. It is very common for Ghanaians to use open spaces to ‘relieve’ themselves. When you drive around Accra, you’ll see many signs similar to the one above, but usually the spot fine is money. For this one you’ll get a slap

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Controversial – Obroni tears down Ghana and builds it up again

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I was compelled to republish Ian Kwaku Utley article which I posted on my blog a few days ago because of the sensation it’s created across the world wide web amongst Ghanaians in the diaspora and at home.

5 LESSONS I HAVE LEARNED AFTER READING IAN UTLEY’S ARTICLE

1. The rules of engagement (trade, foreign policy) between Africa and the West Need to Change. The African Union and our respective Governments should lead the way. Ghana should be at the forefront of this change. We need to set the rules for the West if they want to trade with us. WE MUST UNITE AS A COUNTRY, REGION AND CONTINENT. WITHOUT UNITY WE CANNOT PROGRESS

2. You teach people how to treat you. White people mistreated (slavery, colonialism and westernisation) Africans because we allowed it to happen. When you go into someone’s home and the head of the household has established rules, you will comply. We have never set any rules for white people to comply to in our countries. Yet when we go to western country they have set rules and regulations for us. It’s time we do the same.

3. Zimbabwe in my mind is the only African country that has successfully told the West to ‘take a hike’ . Watch Zimbabwe in the next few years, they will be leading Africa’s industrial and economic transformation. Robert Mugabe made the right choice by telling Tony Blair to Keep his Britain whilst he kept his Zimbabwe. I never understood the significance of his statement until I read this article. It’s probably why African leaders still hold reverence and respect for him. It’s because Mugabe had the balls to tell the white man to abide by his country’s rules.

4. Africans are more powerful than we know. Our transformation will truly begin if we are bold and demand what rightfully belongs to us (our resources, and the right to set the rules to trade. The we need to regain our power to manage our resources, economy and countries. BUY MADE IN GHANA AND AFRICA GOODS AND SERVICES.

5. It’s important that we begin to write our own stories. Lets not leave it to others to tell us what and who we are about. Learn about our history and about why we should take pride in being called Africans. Teach your children about our rich and diverse past,both the good and the bad. Knowledge of our history will serve as the the springboard for our continent’s development.
Perhaps you could draw your own lessons…

An expat friend of mine forwarded the link to this article to me which she discovered on this website

I only repost articles that aren’t my own if I think that my readers would benefit from reading it. I ask that you read this post to the end before you make any comments. The lessons I’ve written above will make more sense once you’ve read the entire article.  -Kate Nkansa

“What do you want in Ghana? Go back to your country!”

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