TRIBAL HULLABALOO (CRAZY STANZAS)

When I ‘broke my hand’
And sought a band
Nana and Maame met in a band
To sing tribal tunes

II
They started by singing of Ewes
And how they are named after an animal
And raised their vocals like daunting pianists
To sing tales of the wickedness of the animal tribe
Their love for blood
In revenge
Their yearning for stealing rather than being given
Their love for spells
“Tukwei” Killing in just seven days
And their trait of marrying their own
Even after marrying from another tribe
Nothing was good about them in mama and grandma’s duet

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

NEEDS AND WANTS

I will need what needs to be needed
Not what should be wanted
I will love what needs to be loved
Not what should be liked
Needing a want
Is killing a need
Loving a like
Is like killing a love
Even in breathers
Needing one who should be wanted
Is like selling your soul to one who stands at par
Partnerships turn owner-slave relations
When needs choose wants instead of itself
Like an ant, I operate
Choosing and keeping needs
To enjoy future wants
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

DYNAMICS

There are many animals
In this jungle called life
And their minds are like varied poles
Each and its facial path
Whereas dogs think humans God
Cocks worship dawn in all earnest
As horses carry humans as their masters
Goats see no reason to respect their killers
But are not as hostile as lions
The head is different from the eyes
Although eyes dwell on head
The ears are secluded from the face
Although they have the power of hearing
Legs are far below heads
Although they move before heads become mobile
But in all, dynamics work
Each has its duty
Whether main or deputy
Each has its say
Whether through mouths or sickness
Each has its beauty  and need
And each will be mourned either in passing or dense
And the world gets all
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

NOT WITHOUT AN ATTITUDE

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No matter its dancing

Many birds keep prancing

Most insects keep hovering

Their facial thoughts expressing

II

No matter its worth

All they seek is the nectar

No matter its colour

None cares to look, or see or know

III

Breaking its gate and getting the nectar

Destroying its leaves and getting the factor

Reaching it first, while working like a tractor

Is what all dream

Is what all want

So what?

So what?

It keeps on dancing, dancing with the winds

It keeps on showing, showing with the sun

It keeps on praising, praising her grounds

Whether heaven or earth

Whether grace of grave

Whether faith or fate

It keeps on walking, walking until the end

Looking not left nor right

Front nor back

Attractive is its attitude

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

(Image by Google pictures)

PLEASE DON’T CAST ME

Please don’t cast me

In your burdened script

For you are like Shakespeare

Whose pen hoards many a tragedy

II

I don’t want to be in your cast

Please don’t make me

The bat knows its ugliness

So operates only at night

Minds keeping videos of my sorrowful stardom

Is what I hate most in my entire world

III

Please

Please do not cast me

In your attractive but bleeding script

Whether acting or reading

No audience deserves to see the crying face of the baboon

Songs of a nightingale are different from songs of a cricket

The former; danced to

The latter abhorred

IV

Don’t make me

Please don’t make me

In order to feel good

You can wear your shoes on screens because they so you fit

Close the eyes of your pen to my existence

This sad repetition needs no spotlight

It needs no audience

It needs no disco light

Not even light from a firefly

Please pass gently like gun man who missed his target

I am no character who needs fame

These clothes like “amoasene” needs no washing audience

There on your path are many fame drunk souls

Waiting to compete for roles in your script

Please

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

(Picture credit: Google pics)

THIS CHANCE

Let’s get this dance

And shame the dunce

Who wants a chance

To our pain enhance

Oh dear sweet romance

Let’s take that stance

And so advance

Like the god of elegance

It is a good ambience

One that anger must not trespass and given chance

To over-reaction enhance

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

Google image
Google image

LECTURE BY THE BUREAU OF GHANA LANGUAGES, TAMALE

The Bureau of Ghana Languages, Tamale, held a lecture on the importance of the use of the local language in Tamale at the Tamale Senior High School Auditorium. The lecture which was scheduled from 3pm to 5pm took off around 3:55pm on November 20, 2015 and was a huge success.

The MC was th District Director of Education
The MC was th District Director of Education

The speakers for the occasion, Alhaji Iddrisu Adam (Retired Educationist), Mr. Issahaku Alhassan (Lecturer, University of Education, Winneba) and the representative for Prof. Apusigah Atia, Dr. Agatha Inkoom (Head of Department, Faculty of Education- University for Development Studies)  spoke on ‘The Importance of the Mother Tongue in Education’, ‘The Essence of the Mother Tongue in a Middle Income Ghana’ and ‘The Use of the Mother Tongue as the Medium of Instruction in our Lower Primary Schools’ respectively.

Alhaji Abdul Adam
Alhaji Iddrisu Adam

“THE IMPORTANCE OF THE MOTHER TONGUE/GHANAIAN LANGUAGE TEACHING IN THE EDUCATIONAL DEVELOPMENT OF GHANA BY ALHAJI IDDRISU ADAM

INTRODUCTION

In an overall discussion of the mother tongue literacy in the education system of Ghana, one would need to consider the subject under the following:

  1. The Ministry of Education’s policy on Ghanaian Languages
  2. The use of the Mother tongue in socio-cultural activities
  3. Ghanaian Language in politics
  4. Problems of Mother tongue literacy
  5. National language
  6. Policy on the Teaching of Ghanaian Languages

There has always been the need for specific and comprehensive policy on the teaching of Ghanaian languages. Though various views have been expressed, the policy on the teaching of Ghanaian Languages as outlined in the 1951 Accelerated Development plan for Education is still valid.

The policy is as follows:- Gbedemah F. F. K. (1975) pp.46

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  1. Classes 1-3: the vernacular should be the medium of instruction
  2. Class 4: Introduce English as a medium of Instruction
  3. Class 6 all lessons in English.

It is obvious from the above policy that English would be taught from the first grade to the third year in the primary school as a subject. Using the Ghanaian Language as the medium of instruction means it is to be used to teach other subjects including English.

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Earlier in 1920, the Educationist Committee under the chairmanship of Mr. D. J. Oman then Director of Education recommended that in order not to denationalize the country’s children, English should be introduced as early as possible as a subject of instruction but that the vernacular should be the medium of instruction.

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Under  this recommendation, Guggisberg minuted, “this is probably the most important of all the committee’s recommendations. How can these infants really learn a subject in a foreign language; an adult might”. This recommendation was made the 12th of Guggisberg’s sixteen principle of Education. “Whilst an English Education must be given, it must be based solidly on the vernacular”- Mc William H. O. A. et al (1975) pp.54-58.DSC09750

There are so many reasons to support the positions taken by Guggisberg with regard to mother tongue literacy. Some of these may include;

  1. The psychological as well as the mental development of the child should be considered when teaching him/her any discipline especially language. The mother tongue has such a strong hold on the individual to such an extent that among many Ghanaian Language groups, the pronunciation of some words in a second language are influenced by the intonation of the first language ( an example is the “M” for “N” and “R” for “L”) etc.
  2. The child’s ideas and thoughts are in his own language and will be long with him after he is speaking quite good English. If the child is therefore to be encouraged to think for himself as stated in our aims of education, he must first be helped to think in his own language.DSC09742
  3. The use English may impose some limitations on the child’s thinking, especially at the early stage since thinking takes place in the mother tongue.
  4. The vernacular is also the child’s contact with his home, family and village and education should give him better understanding and contact with the home and village.

The efforts that were put into the study and development of our indigenous language in the school during the pre-colonial period were far more substantial than those we have put in since our independence. Our Colonial Masters seemed to have appreciated the necessity for us to know and use our linguistic heritage far more than we ourselves do. There seem to be more neglect of our responsibilities for our local languages now. Many people seem to be miseducated against the vernacular and for that matter mother tongue literacy.DSC09738

The time has come for us to free our minds of such negative attitude against the local languages. For whilst one needs the English Language to reach the international communities and government business, we equally need the local languages at the intr-societal levels. There is no need for linguistic imperialism now. The school has a responsibility to make the child literate in both English and the mother tongue.

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  1. The use of the Mother-tongue in Socio-Cultural Activities

The preservation of the people’s pride lies in their own culture. This pride may be undermined when pupils find that little use is made of their mother tongue, which is the best vehicle for cultural transmission and expression.

The culture of the people is found in the child’s own language. The child’s own language should therefore be taught at its purest and best forms so that the child can appreciate the literature, stories, songs and poems of his country perhaps add his own contribution to them when he grows older.

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The non-inclusion or lack of attention of the mother tongue in the school curriculum will not only undermine the culture of Ghanaians but will create academic giants and social dwarfs. A good working knowledge of the Ghanaian Language is very essential to the understanding of the Ghanaian culture. We use the mother tongue to express our emotions to either joy or sorrow. At the society level a person’s standard or qualification is based on the quality of his/her use of the local language and conformity of his/her behaviour with the norm. To the society person who fails in his behaviour and use of the local language is not well educated by their local standards.

Mother tongue literacy therefore helps the individual to acquire the necessary language skills well enough to function in the society.

  1. Ghana Language in Politics

Briefly, one can observe that though English is the official language of Ghana, the local languages are becoming more effective weapons politically and will continue on this role for a long time to come because the bulk of Ghana’s population is still illiterate in the requirements of the English language.DSC09748

Our recent political campaigns ans party activities have shown that almost all the political parties found slogans in the Ghanaian languages more effective than the English slogans (eg. Asieɛ hↄ! ɛsoro hↄ! And not the top or under and oh lɛm! And not oh umbrella).

Though politicians use the local languages to canvass for votes, once they win, they have to use to English which is the official language for government business. The implication is that the bulk of Ghanaians who do not speak English do  not understand how their representatives are articulating the use of the electorate. It will therefore be good if reports on proceedings in parliament could be made in the local languages (some MPs may just keep quiet in parliament for fear of making grammatical mistakes on the floor of parliament. Such MPs may be very effective at the committee level but how can their constituents know?)

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  1. Problems of Mother-tongue Literacy

Many people are still miseducated against the mother tongue to the extent that they blame the child’s failure in some subjects on the mother tongue. Not until it is proven, it will be wrong for people to take this stand against the local language.

 

One of the problems of mother tongue literacy is tDSC09759hat many teachers are not literates in their own mother tongue. Teachers who have themselves received their education and professional training in the English language have real difficulty in learning to teach in the mother tongue. A teacher is not adequately qualified to teach a language merely because it is his mother tongue. There is also inadequate number of textbooks in the Ghanaian languages. The greatest number of publications in the Ghanaian languages until recently fell under the classification of Christian Religion.

There seems to be no stable language policy for education. Whilst teachers are trained in the Ghanaian Languages in the university level, the Ghanaian languages are not core subjects in the senior high school level. This has left the Ghanaian language at the mercy of headmasters. No wonder some schools do not offer Ghanaian languages and students are punished for speaking their mother tongue.

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It is true that the child needs to be taught English in order to feel at home in the language in which the affairs of his government are carried on and in order to have access to the world history, new arts, science and technology. This should not be done to the total neglect of the Ghanaian language which is the contact line between the home and the school.

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NATIONAL LANGUAGE

After 58 years of independence, the English language continues to be the national language and is used for government business and administration. This means we are only politically independent but still in the bondage of linguistic imperialism. Though the use of one Ghanaian language as a national language maybe desirable, for the nation’s cohesion and unity, it will be a difficult political decision if not impossible.

As stated earlier, language is a vehicle for the transmission of the people’s heritage and culture generally. To replace the English language with one Ghanaian language will therefore pose the same problem for other Ghanaians whose languages may not be chosen. The best way forward will be to give all Ghanaian languages equal opportunities to develop so that one of them will eventually come out above the others. When this happens, Ghanaians will adopt such a Ghanaian language without anybody imposing it on the country like the politicians do with regard to slogans (Ehejo! Eeeshie Rado Rado Rado! etc)

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CONCLUSION

Ghanaian languages in the school have suffered in the past and even now from a certain lack of appreciation of the importance of mother tongue literacy. It is hoped that with the launching of the national Literacy Acceleration Programme (NALAP) in 2009, the situation will change positively. As stated earlier, Mr. D. J. Oman, Director of Education in 1920 recommended the inclusion of the mother tongue in the school curriculum to Governor Guggisberg. The question now is, what is the position of the Director General of Education of independent Ghana in 2015? It must be noted that if literacy is the ability to read and write without specifying the language of the material, those of us who cannot read and write our own languages are therefore illiterates as far as those languages are concerned.

Thank you.”

 

Alhaji Issahaku Al-Hassan
Alhaji Issahaku Al-Hassan

 

“THE RELEVANCE OF THE MOTHER TONGUE IN A MIDDLE IN INCOME GHANA

ISSAHAKU AL-HASSAN (LECTURER)

UNIVERSITY OF EDUCATION WINNEBA

COLLEGE OF LANGUAGES AJUMAKO CAMPUS.

ABSTRACT

This paper intends to discuss the relevance of the mother tongue in a middle income Ghana. The definitions of what mother tongue is will be explained and then go further to explain what a middle income country is and then see the status of Ghana in the middle income bracket. The relevance of the mother tongue will be discussed in general and then focus on Ghana as a country. The effects of the usage of the mother tongue on the people’s cultural development, trade, governance and briefly on education. It will be concluded by indicating how Ghana tends to benefit if we develop positive attitudes towards the usage of the mother tongue or tends to lose as a nation if we are passive about it.

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In looking at the topic under discussion, the first question to be asked is, what is mother tongue? According to Webster’s International Dictionary 3rd Edition, mother tongue is defined as “the language of one’s mother; the language that is naturally acquired in infancy and childhood: one’s first language.” This definition would have been adequate if the whole of humanity were living in isolated areas without people of different languages interacting or if people were staying on different islands.

UNESCO 1953 and 1968 committee of experts report on language of education, defined mother tongue as “the language which a person acquires in the early years and which normally becomes his natural instrument of thought and communication.” It further explains that the mother tongue need not be the language of one’s parents use the language one first learnt to speak since circumstances may cause one to abandon this language more or less completely at an early age.

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According to Pattanayak (1986), mother tongue is “the expression of one’s own identify of being. It is the language through which a person perceives the surrounding world and through which initial concept formation takes place. It is also the medium through which the child establishes kinship relationships with other children and adults around. The mother tongue is that language, the loss of which results in the loss of footedness in traditions and mythology of the speech community and leads to intellectual impoverishment and emotional sterility” Pattanayak explains that when a child is denied his childhood language, his childhood has been stolen from him. Intellectually you are making him bankrupt and emotionally useless. He tends not to fit well in the society.

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The second question to be asked is what is a middle income country? In the words of the World Bank, middle income countries are countries having per capita gross national income of US$1,026 to $12,475, they are a diverse group by size, population and income level. Middle income countries are a home to five of the world’s seven billion people and 73% of the world’s poor people. At the same time, middle income countries represent about one third of the global GDP and are major engines of global growth. The World Bank classifies the middle income category into two; the high/upper middle and the lower middle incomes.  Countries like Ghana, Senegal, Nigeria, India, Iraq, Pakistan and others are in the lower middle income, while countries like Angola, Gabon, Algeria, Iran, Jamaica, Argentina, South Africa and others are in the upper middle income. Ghana entered this category when oil was discovered and extracted in commercial quantities. We are in the category but we are still to find our feet to be stable.

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Ghana being a middle income country will now need its manpower base to be able to cope with its new status, especially those to fit into the new oil industries. One will be tempted to ask, what place the mother tongue has in this new industry. Countries are made up human beings who come from different ethnic groups and speak different languages. In looking at the number of languages in Ghana, different scholars have put the number from 45 to 85 languages. These languages serve as the mother tongue languages to so many people in the country. Language is the key component of culture, it is the vehicle that carries culture about and so people are very passionate about their culture and pride themselves in their languages.

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Ghana has an official language which is English, it is the language used tin all official and non-official and non-official functions. The nation also recognizes some indigenous language as national languages these are Dagaare, Dagbani, Dangme, Ewe, Ga, Gonja, Kasem, Nzema, Twi and Fante. These languages tend to serve as regional languages and are also taught in the school system of the country.

Mother tongue languages are an irreplaceable cultural knowledge and a cornerstone of indigenous community and family values. Our languages are a store of several generations of world’s knowledge and wisdom. The loss of the mother tongue will be a threat to the existence of mankind. The knowledge of our environment is not only embedded in the languages but our intellectual and linguistic diversity constitute a system crucial for survival (Reyhner 1996, Krauss 1996).

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Indeed if we are to get our economic and political bondage then we must look towards the mother tongue (our languages) as a major tool to recreate a personality that has confidence in and respect for himself. The mother tongue (MT) and cultures should enable us to reject further colonization of the mid which makes the MT look inferior and that we are not capable of sustaining our existence.DSC09797

Social cost is MT loss. It is well documented in literature that when MT languages are being lost, there is a corresponding cost including alcoholism, drug abuse, dysfunctional families, child abuse etc. This is the result of the disintegration of family values that hitherto served as a check to these negative activities (Lily Wong Fillmore 1991, Russel 1995).

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The legal dimension is another factor that should urge us not to just use MT only as a subject of study but as a medium of instruction. The 1992 constitution guarantees freedom of expression. It will therefore be unconstitutional to make English or any foreign language the medium of instruction when most people actually only speak and properly understand many issues in the MT is to deny them the freedom to express themselves in the appropriate language. The Linguistic Rights of every citizen is very important and its violation has serious legal implications.

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All over the world, especially in the developed world, e.g. USA, there are growing efforts to revive extinct languages, those in danger of extinction (endangered) or at least encourage many indigenous people to maintain their MT. In the USA, these have been backed by legislation (the Native American Languages Act 1992. Bilingual Education Act etc)Every human being reasons in his MT, and we turn to view things in our culture and not in the second language that has been learnt. The MT is an efficient tool for thought. It also contributes in the building self esteem and self-consciousness. It is said that we dream in our MT and not in other languages. The mother tongue plays a central role in life of a person because he grows by what his culture has taught him from infancy.DSC09798

The mother tongue will help us develop very fast in technology, trade, and in governance. Nations have developed and are great because they use their MT which help them. Nations like Japan, China, Israel, and most of the Asian tiger nations. Libya’s Gaddaffi used the MT of his nation to keep his people together when he launched his green book ideology. The MT is capable of transforming nations for their development.

In trade, people understand better in their mother tongue, that is why adverts are being done in the local languages. Ghana has a very high rate of English illiterates and so adverts in English will not be understood. Trading is done in the local languages when our markets are visited. The MT should be developed so that their usage would be beneficial to all.

It is no wonder that the first CPP government of Dr. Nkrumah established the mass education programme in 1951  and the PNDC also established the non-formal education division to help adults learn to read and write in their mother tongue. It was also in 1951 that Bureau of Vernacular literature (Bureau of Ghana Languages) was established to provide reading materials for the new learners of the vernacular.

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In governance, it is not only in English that people can think and come out with solutions to problems. The chieftaincy system has always been with us and most of the chiefs have been illiterates in English but that has not prevented them from performing their duties as chiefs. During the PNDC era, when the district assembly concept was established, assembly members were allowed to use the local languages the participants could express themselves in. The idea of using the MT during debates in the assemblies tried to disabuse the notion that only literates in English languages had solutions and knowledge to debate during sittings. The number of languages being used at such forums should be increased to cover all languages in the locality. It should not be restricted to only assembly sittings but parliamentary sittings too, where members are allowed to express themselves in their mother tongues.

In the case of technological development, the MT languages can fit in very well without problems. Scientific words and names are not the preserves of any language group. A lot of borrowing and translations is done names and words. This tells us that our MT languages can cope with the volume of new ideas that enter our system. Our constant usage will help our people understand what is going on in the new world as a whole.DSC09789

We are who we are. All we need to do is to understand ourselves and to add other people’s knowledge to ours so that we can develop better. When a child is able to establish the basic concepts of life in the mother tongue, when he encounters new ideas on his way, he is able to understand them very fast and to move forward in life. The child has little problems learning new things in life only if he was well grounded in the basic concepts formed in the MT language as Pattanayak said in the MT “ The loss of which results in the loss of footedness in traditions and mythology of the speech community and leads to intellectual impoverishment and emotional sterility” When a person loses the MT he loses a firm grip on his traditions and the myths of his people. He tends to look at things in the light of other people’s culture. If a person is not cultured, how can he contribute to the development of the nation? Our cultures make us who we are as Ghanaians; we pride ourselves as having a Ghanaian culture which is admired all over the world.DSC09791

Culturally, the history of most of the ethnic grouped is in the minds of people, especially with the Dagbamba, the Luaa (tomtom beater) he is able to recite the history of thee people and chiefs with perfection in the MT. his store of knowledge and wisdom is in the minds of people who are growing very old by the day. When such people do not transmit it to the young ones, then something great will be lost. These should be preserved in the MT; they will be as they are always, being recited. They should not be translated into English for keeping. Translations usually omit some parts of the message due to redundancy and repetitions, so that it will fit into the structure and norms of the receptor language.

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The philosophies of the ethnic groups are found in their proverbs, idioms, songs and folktales. These are all rendered in the MT to make them interesting and meaningful. These should be studied, collected and compiled in the MT so as to preserve them. Translations of these will render them not interesting again and the moral lessons they intend to teach will be lost.

The benefits of the MT languages to Ghana are so numerous but a few will be mentioned here. People tend to see themselves as important because their language is given its rightful place in the society. Productivity improves as workers understand instructions given to them in their language. Both adults and children benefit as they develop their cognitive competences. The nation will be able to transmit its culture to its young ones and also teach societal morals and values which will in the end socialize the individual.

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In conclusion, the discussion has given us the definitions of what mother tongue is and also explained what a middle income country is. We have looked at the status of Ghana in the middle income bracket. The relevance of the mother tongue has been discussed in general and we have focused on Ghana as a country. The effects of the usage of the mother tongue on the people’s cultural development trade, technology, governance and briefly on education were discussed. We also tried to give a few benefits on the usage of MT.

Thank you for staying with me throughout the discourse. May God help us understand and make use of this knowledge.”

 

 

Dr. Agatha Inkoom
Agatha Inkoom PhD

THE USE OF THE MOTHER TONGUE AS THE MEDIUM OF INSTRUCTION IN OUR LOWER PRIMARY SCHOOLS, MERITS AND DEMERITS

Agatha Inkoom, PhD

University for Development Studies, Ghana

Paper delivered at the Bureau of Ghana Languages Tamale, Lecture series in conjunction with the centre for National Culture. Friday 20, November, 2015

Tamale Senior High School Assembly Hall

Introduction

The relevance of mother tongue in teaching and learning

The UNESCO 1953 observed that the best medium for teaching the child is his mother tongue. Psychologically, it is the system of meaningful signs that the child’s mind works automatically for understanding and expression. Sociologically, it is a means of identifying with the members of the community to which the child belongs. Educationally, the child learns more quickly through the mother- tongue than through any unfamiliar linguistic medium.

 

The UNESCO again commends the use of mother tongue to be extended to cover the entire primary school. Indeed, people should begin their schooling through the mother tongue because they understand it best and because the mother tongue will bridge the break between home and school.DSC09795

Other reasons underscore the necessity for Ghanaian Language learning by the school going child.

  1. The child should learn to love and respect the mental heritage of his people.
  2. When neglected, or haphazardly taught, there is the danger of crippling and destroying the productive and creative powers of the child and the genius of the race.

In line with UNESCO recommendations, the” Operational Guidelines” on Ghana’s basic education reforms confirm government’s policy that:

“The local Ghanaian Language should be the medium of instruction for the first three years of primary schools. English shall be learnt as a subject from first year at school and shall gradually become the medium of instruction from primary 4” (MOE Policy Guideline on School Education, 1988, p6). Based upon this, the Education Reforms Review Committee (1994) endorsed the policy and recommended:

…the intensification of training of Ghanaian Language teachers, and that posting of newly trained teachers should as far as possible consider their ability to use and teach the Ghanaian Language where they are posted to (Education Reform Review Committee Report, 1994:17).

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Various relevant implications derive from these policies. Fobih (1988) observes that at the start of school, the Ghanaian child:

  1. Has mastered the language
  2. Has become somewhat competent in the skills of listening and understanding in the language
  3. Has acquired the vocabulary
  4. Can use the sentence structures correctly
  5. Is able to begin reading the printed symbols of the language and writing it.

It is therefore not logically sound practice to leave the child’s linguistic development maturity in the mother tongue and start him all over again in a new language. The teachers task thus, is to help the child develop these skills further and teach him the visual appearance of the language that he already understands. The second policy implementations is that the Ghanaian child is to develop as a bilingual learner.

Fobih (1988) again observed that there is a big leap in the child’s thought process at the time he enters primary one by age 6. Cognitive chance changes like the child’s ability to reverse, conserve and transform, classify or serialise enable the child to easily assimilate or acquire the printed symbols of his language. Consequently, at primary 4, the child’s  cognitive maturity plus the teacher’s conscious effort to foster transfer in learning help the child to use his earlier skills in the mother tongue to aid the reading activity in the new second language.DSC09788

Research evidence exists in the literature on bilingual children that positively supports native language education and instruction. Loysp and Flood (1978) concluded in their study on bilingual education that the most logical sequence of learning to read and write by bilinguals is to start from their mother tongue. They cited evidence from other studies to show that students who first learn to read in vernacular made better progress even in the second language reading programme than did those students who had spent the same length of time working only on second language reading.

STUDIES ON TEACHING IN THE MOTHER-TONGUE

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The Nigerian Experience

One of the most convincing studies on teaching in the mother-tongue was carried out in the Ife Region of Nigeria in 1970 (Akinoso, 1993, Bamgbose, 1991). The purpose of the project was to test the use of languages in education during the first six years of primary school. Despite doubts, the evaluation of pilot schools and comparisons between them and other Nigerian schools were positive. The students in the project scored higher than their counterparts in the regular schools – both academically and cognitively. Moreover, pupils taught in Yoruba for the first six years of primary school were no less skilled in English than those taught in English throughout the last three years of primary school. The study concluded that, the advantages of teaching children in their mother-tongue go beyond academic success to include cultural, emotional, cognitive and socio-psychological benefits.

The Malian Experience

A similar evaluation of cognitive benefits in mother-tongue education was carried out in 1985 in Mali. About 150 pupils from experimental schools and 340 from French speaking schools starting at the same level were observed from primary one through primary six.

Results showed that 48% of the experimental school pupils finished their studies without repeating a single year as compared to only 7% of pupils from the French speaking schools.

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This study proves that, the use of mother- tongue in education is an important factor for academic success (Hutchinson, 1995).

The South African Experience

In 1990, a sub-lingual transition programme “Threshold Project”, was studied in South Africa (Luckett, 1994; Klein, 199; Cummins, 1979) in which the pupils’ mother-tongue was replaced with English in primary three.

The main conclusion of the study is that bilingual programmes in which a language different from the student’s mother tongue is used before a certain age, or before a certain “Cognitive Level” is achieved are not likely to be successful.

The Tanzanian Experience

A Tanzanian research in secondary schools demonstrated that, teaching Swahili (mother-tongue) is superior to teaching in English for the development of the mind (Mlama and Materu, 1978)

It was observed that, when pupils were asked a question in English, the answers were often incoherent and irrelevant, showing lack of understanding of the question and, or inability to reply in English.  However, when the same question was asked in the mother-tongue, pupils gave relevant and articulate answers.

The British Experience

The issue of which language to teach is not specific to Africa Only. Useful lessens can be obtained from the experiences of advanced countries- even though the context differs.

Between 1978 and 1981, the University of Bradford in Great Britain observed the effects of yearly bilingual programmes on five year old native Punjabi (an Indian Language) speakers.

A controlled group using only English scored much lower than children who were taught partly in English.

In sum, all these experiences lend overwhelming evidence in support of mother-tongue education for bilingual children during the first three to six years of schooling. It is underscored that mother tongue education has a facilitating effect on second language learning, academic achievement of pupils and development of the mind. Consequently, the classroom use of a language, that is not already spoken by the child results in cognitive and pedagogical difficulties.

But what do we mean by the term” Language”?

What is language?

Language is a system of human vocal behaviour culturally acquired for the purpose of transmitting information. Language is considerably influenced by the culture in which it is rooted.

A Ghanaian Dagomba child orders and organizes his thinking in Dagbani. His brain thinks with words in that language- with its inherent overtones and special connotation, thus, the Ga language is the tool or instrument which gives order and organization to the Ga people’s thinking. In a sense then, the Ghanaian language: Dabgani, Asante Twi, Akuapem Twi, Ga, Fante, Dangme, Ewe, Nzema, etc, are the languages which belong to ethnic groups in Ghana. It is the universal exclusive mark of the ethnic group in Ghana.

Language, as a system, demands knowledge of linguistics to understand the underlying principles of the mother-tongue. For the fact that language is culturally acquired means that the teacher needs to know something about culture, anthropology, or the civilization in which the language has roots and grows.

To teach a Ghanaian language in the primary school is thus, simply put, a two-part case. Firstly, the nature of the primary school child must be known and secondly the teacher must be academically and professional competent.

Objectives of Teaching Ghanaian Language

The teacher of Ghanaian Language in the basic school has broad and diverse responsibilities. His workload in teaching the mother tongue includes helping pupils with:

  • Developing language skills (Listening, speaking, reading and writing)
  • The study of literature, and
  • Exploring the nature of the language

The teaching syllabus for Ghanaian languages and culture (2012) spells out the general aims which include helping pupils to:

  • Develop cultural and linguistic awareness
  • Attain competency in speaking, reading and writing their language
  • Appreciate the historical and cultural heritage of their linguistic community, and
  • Acquire the socio-cultural values in the literature of the languageDSC09782

Objectives that may be derived from these broad aims include the teacher helping pupils to:

  1. Appreciate the vernacular

Appreciation is what may lead to change in teacher attitude to influence pupil’s learning.

  1. Appreciate the literature of the mother-tongue

We must be motivated to understand our own culture and make efforts to preserve our oral literature, which abounds in the various traditional communities.

  1. Understand traditional Ghanaian culture

The principle underlying traditional beliefs, matrilineal and patrilineal family systems, patterns of child’s upbringing, social concepts, traditional  architecture, etc must be taught and learnt. The significance of these must be estimated in the light of modern knowledge and development to weed off the retrogressive aspect and retain what is valuable.

  1. Create awareness that the vernacular is an important tool for learning. In a situation where the school going child moves from home to the new school environment – Calling for new emotional and social adjustment the vernacular becomes the avenue that bridges the gap between pre-school experiences and formal schooling. The vernacular becomes the model for the child’s free expression, enabling him to respond and participate in the formal school’s activities.
  2. To develop Ghanaian mentality

A nation’s mentality is measured by the citizen’s mentality. For Ghana to over-rely on the use of English as the lingua-franca, and French etc. instead of developing and using her own various languages show that Ghana is still under the colonial mentality despite the hullabaloo it makes about gaining her independence.

  1. To develop democratic ideals

For democracy to grow nation-wide Ghanaians should be able to read and understand government policies and the manner in which it affects them- in the various Ghana languages.

Scope of the Ghanaian Language Curriculum

In Ghana, the scope of the primary school language curriculum covers all the study of the culture. It is thus a Ghanaian language and culture curriculum. Teacher preparation is geared towards helping the children to first learn the language and its literary content and to acquire the language skills of the people. To the young child, emphasis is on the communicative functions of the language.

Curriculum content consists of facts, terms, conventions, structures, etc which make up the subject matter. The broad body of knowledge that constitutes the language, literature or culture. It is the content that provides the base, the foundation for teaching the language skills.

Skills refer to those inter-related processes of listening, speaking, reading and writing – design to increase pupil’s control over all aspects of communication. The teacher’s preparation should enable him help pupils apply the content as they engage in the transmission and reception of communication through listening, speaking, reading and writing. Content and skill are thus inseparable in the primary school vernacular curriculum.

The culture hold the values that determines:

  1. The child’s opportunity for learning in the school
  2. The interest and experiences of the school child
  3. What the child reads, speaks and writes about

The language content is thus, the culture which should enhance the child’s self-image, equip him with skills and make him prove of his heritage.

Teaching Learning Materials

To the Ghanaian Language teacher, the main purpose of the materials is to enable him teach more effectively for the learner to learn more easily and learn more rapidly.

The materials selected should be a genuine representation of the people’s culture: It should be clear such that pupils have no doubts as to its meaning. The materials should be intrinsically valuable in its own rights as an effective teaching instrument. It must have practical use, robust, easy to use and store and be readily accessible. To motivate and sustain enthusiasm, it must be appropriate to the age, interest and ability of pupils and purposes to which it is to be used.

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Depending on pupil’s age and learning stage, material may include a selection of:

  1. Pupils’ books, workbooks, grades, reading materials, word cards, sentence cards, reader, etc.
  2. Visual materials: Figures, flashcards, wall charts, posters ( story illustration) Pictures, photographs.
  3. Audio materials: Tape recorders, cassettes
  4. Audio-visuals: Television, video films
  5. Activities, puppets, songs, games (tongue twisters)
  6. Documentary materials: Project material, reproduced drawings, the alphabet documents etc. those may be used to develop group works and activity methods.DSC09792

Lesson preparation

      The Ghanaian language teacher should first  define in the scheme of work what is

Intended to be accomplished for the term and then plan each lesson. The lesson plan shows the step to follow. The plan includes the statement of the objectives to be realized and the means to attain them resulting from activities pupil engage in.

Lesson Objectives:

The behaviour to be manifested to indicate learning are what should be stated as instructional objectives. Relevant questions to ask are:

  1. What is to be learned?
  2. What changes are expected to take place in pupils?DSC09785

The Ghanaian language teacher could make these decisions to enable him determine:

  1. What materials to use
  2. Which teaching procedure to adopt
  3. What instructional strategy or strategies to employ
  4. And what evaluation techniques to use

Writing instructional objectives: Mager (1962) stresses three necessary elements:

  1. A description of the type of observable behaviour the pupil will be asked to employ in demonstrating mastery of objective (e.g to write; to identify, to orally describe). Terms such as to know, “to understand” and “to appreciate” must be avoided since they do not refer to observable behaviour.
  2. Description of the important condition the pupil will be expected to demonstrate achievement of the objective (e.g time limit, materials or equipments available or specific instructions)
  3. The criterion which will be used to evaluate the success of the pupils’ performance.

Example 1

In a 30 minute grammar lesson on four prepositions in the primary one class, objectives stated were:

By the end of the lesson, the pupil should be able to:

  1. Locate by pointing to three towns in Ghana from a wall map where fishing is done
  2. Mention three fishing implements and tell their uses
  3. Describe orally two ways by which fishes are caught and brought ashore. Besides meeting Mager’s (1962) essential elements, these are clear measurable, specific and achievable instructional objectives capable of identifying levels of mastery. The lesson plan should be related to pupils previous knowledge to link new learning. Reference books must be indicated and easily available to people when needed.

Lesson content and skill should be well organized under significant points.

Stage by stage information to be provided should be relevant, accurate and up-to dates adapted to

Pupils level and presented sequentially and have adequate coverage. The type of learning activities and situations should be clearly indicated.  In example 1 above for example, pupils

Would show objects, positions, say them, read from cards and match card with

Corresponding pictures .Thus, plan should indicate also tools and techniques the teacher will

Use to present and develop the lesson.

The evaluation procedure must   also be indicated .This will concern knowledge of specific term, facts convention, classification and categories, criteria, comprehension, analysis (of element, relationship, organizational principles), application, evaluation in the cognitive domain; and attitudes  (of acceptance, appreciation), reception (of awareness, attention) and participation (willingly or for enjoyment) in the affective domain.

The remarks section should end the lesson plan. It provides the Ghanaian language teacher opportunity for self-criticism about the lesson success or failure or improvement to make. Remedial teaching or  change in presentation technique may be necessary.

 

The nature of primary school child

Human beings learn all their lives. A child of 6 years, a pre –adolescent of 12, and a young adult of 20 learn different things. Their learning   capacities and their learning method also differ. Change in ability with age demands the use of suitable method in teaching language to the child. The Ghanaian   e method to use, and be guided by educational implications which he, the teacher, should derive to guide his educational practice

The lower child: Learning method and characteristics.

  1. Learning: the 6 old who starts school has more or less mastered the maternal

Language   or mother tongue though he may miss one or two sounds. He has mastered   the grammar though   he may make mistakes in some irregular verbs. The child is capable   or will   be capable of using complex sentences though may not be able to more than   one   or two subordinate clauses. Nevertheless, the principle of subordination will be there.

  1. Acquisition of information: From age 6, the child learning needs involve vocabulary, and skills in reading and  The child learns in generalizations and not just rote, learning separate bits. The children cannot talk about categories. For   example, they use the present tense or the past tense but cannot label them as such.
  2. Memory span; their memory span is short. Their memory span for digits is said to be usually only for.
  3. Muscular and motor skills: Children of this age are receptive to new muscular and motor skills. They are, after all, about to read and write –which requires a great deal of hand – eye co-ordination. They should be able to imitate good speech models in their parents and teachers.
  4. Activity: the young child acquires most of his information about the world by DOING, ACTING. The children should feel  and handle objects.
  5. Personal and emotional the adjustment: children at this stage accept the authority of adults. They may be naughty at times but they  soon realize their behavior as a deviation from the standards laid down for them.  The children at this age feel affectionate towards anybody who does not maltreat them.

These characteristics   hold important educational implications for the Ghanaian language teacher .The should remember that;

  1. a) The 6 year old is capable of learning languages, for he has already acquired one.
  2. b) He acquires his information by ACTING, DOING, BEHAVING. Speech, for example, is accompanied by acts .The language must be related directly to activities.
  3. c) His memory is short. Learning materials must therefore be graded, with any amount of repetition. This also implies that reading and writing should be postponed as long as possible, until the child consolidates the use of the mother tongue.
  4. d) Teaching by audio-visual aids is strongly recommended .the more concrete they are the better, for example, an actual piece of sugar cane chewed and an actual piece of string for plating the hair is better than a picture of girl whose hair is being plated. Their make belief play is very strong at this time. Again, making a thing is better than using ready-made object. Tape recorders and discs, television set and videos recorders may be used to teach children how to operate the machine.DSC09728

Summary

The mother tongue is the tool with which the child thinks. By the time he begins school, the child know its mother tongue ; he can listen to it and speak it .It is at school that he will learn and to read and  write  in addition to skills he has already acquired .To fail to teach the child its mother tongue results in crippling the genius of the race.

Current researches (LAPP&FLOOD,1978; Akinoso,1993 ,bangbose,1991;Hutchinson,1995;  Mlama &Materu,1978) indicate that teaching the child its mother tongue has far reaching advantages:  the child is made capable of succeeding in his academic work; and understands better. The government must put in place favourable Ghanaian language policies to motivate teaching and learning of mother tongue. The teacher must be well versed in the vernacular to be capable of helping the pupil in all the four language modes: listening, speaking, reading and writing.

The mother tongue must be taught using teaching and learning resources carefully selected and, or prepared to have to have value to the lesson and be appropriate to the different functions to which they will be put.DSC09723

The Ghanaian teacher should prepare well before going to teach: lesson notes must be well-planned, lesson objectives well –thought out and clearly well stated time limit. Such will guide the teacher concerning which skill to focus on, how to present the lesson, what types of exercises to give, what to evaluate, how to reveal the previous lesson and which decisions to make to reteach the lesson, vary the teaching technique or whether to continue with other lessons. Ghanaian language teaching thus involves decision making as to what to do and how to do and how to do it, with the goal of forming habits in the use of the mother tongue in pupils.  Method thus involves the use of strategy (plans) and tactics (the way to use to achieve the objectives).DSC09727

Any type of teaching method must include selection, and presentation. Selection because we cannot teach the whole field of mother tongue knowledge all at once, grading; because some particular lessons must be learnt before others can follow, and presentation, because one cannot teach unless one communities something to somebody.   The effective application of these three basic teaching modes should result in habit formation of the child thinking in and using the mother tongue as a native does.

To achieve such a challenging feat, the Ghanaian language teacher should be knowledgeable and well trained to possess both the academic and pedagogical competence and skills. Only such teachers calibre, well-motivated to work his heart  out, can help the pupil acquire the necessary skills to live in the society and exhibits his creative genius, first as a human being, and secondly, as a Ghanaian wielding a unique mother tongue that marks him out and identifies him with his culture.    

 

 

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  • Jonathan Kansoh – Acting Director, Bureau of Ghanaian Languages, Tamale

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  • Alhaji Abdulai Fuseini Bila- Former Lecturer- University of Education Winneba

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  • Dr. Salifu Nagtomah- Lecturer- IDS, UDS

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  • Alhaji Roland M. Yahaya- Former Director, Ghanaian Danish Comm. Programme

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  • Hajia Habiba Saaka- District Director- GES, Sagnerigu District

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  • Dr. Sulemana Iddrisu- Rector- Tamale College of Education

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  • Alhaji Lawyer Ibrahim Mahama- Legal Practitioner and Lead- Malgu Chambers

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  • Dr. Agatha Inkoom- head- Basic Education Department, UDS

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  • Issahaku Alhassan- Lecturer, Language Department- UEW

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Mr. Muniru Alhassan (Econs), Director of Finance, addressing the crowd about the visions of Bureau of Ghana Languages, Tamale Branch. He said the branch wants to reconstitute the

Local Language Development Committee that used to exist and has died off because most members have also passed on and those left are either old or very weak. He also informed the audience that the institute is preparing a proposal to be considered by government or corporate organisation and or NGOs to put up a multi-functional library at the Tamale Branch. The library will  house books written in the local language and also serve as a resource centre for researchers.DSC09738

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Members of the high table

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REACHABLE

I know a tadpole
Which lived in clear but shallow waters
Visited by many of its killers
But grew to be a frog
Whose croaks did scare men with muscles

II
I know a weak worm
Which lived under a beautiful flower
One visited by many of its hunters for its nectar
But like a skilled liver
It grew to be one of the most beautiful butterflies
Which blessed the eyes of mother nature

III
Oh I know a hungry motherless kitten
Left in the dangerous streets of its hunters
Like a fish in the midst of hunting eagles
But tried its best
To become one of the most healthiest cats ever to live

IV
Who says it is easy
For the tadpole to lose its tail?
Who says it is easy for a weak worm to grow its wings?
Who says it is easy for a motherless kitten to be a healthy cat?
Minds who sleep without working
Leave other body parts lazy
Making their paths hazy
Forcing their world to be crazy
It is possible
It is very possible even in the house of impossibility
For a poor boy to become a rich man
And a helpless girl to become a great woman
So dream and work
Heroism has stretched its hands
Hoping to catch those who are forceful
And run into its embrace
Reachable are the stars
When minds work hard to find their paths
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

FUN AND BLESSED (CRAZY STANZAS)

Woe

Onto

Men

            Engaged in

     Naught

Like seeds forming trees before fruits

Which then give back seeds, nothing comes easy

Like leaves swaying their heads, not all is breezy

Sponge needs to work with soap and water

In order to be freed from the thick claws of palm-oil

Ask Ananse who climbs to build and mostly waits to trap

What it takes to trap a single fly

II

We live to be praised

Flowers so raised

We live to feel

The air so real

Thorns are the guards

We are the treasures

Treasures calling on strength

Treasures with mind pleasures

But we can take no slackers

Nor mind hackers

III

Like fragile cocks in comparison to lions

Our voices still wake whole fierce nations

Like giant rocks

We are those climbed to see earth’s shores

Like loves bait for the heart’s ratings

We dive into Cupid’s seas

To bring hidden fishes

A run for the race

A show of our faces

Then risks have fallen

And lost at sea

Our fees,

Looking well to dive and retreat

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

Google pics
Google pics

WHEN TWO HEARTS MAKE THE SOUND

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When two hearts do make sounds

They know they have truly found

And their blend will truly hound

Those who seek for them crude mounds

II

When two hearts make the beat

There is nothing like defeat

On wheel of love, each has a seat

As sparkles form when their efforts meet

III

When two hearts make for a run

They never fall at the heat of the sun

And even if they fall into a can

They run together and feel the fun

IV

When two hearts act like bats

Eyes for day completely shut

Hunters for food do feed fat

As their beats map jumpy soup’s guts

And stop short like a caught rat

By a hungry ruthless cat

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

(Photo credit: Google images)

BOLD

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No matter the weakness of a graceful flower
It receives the blows of rain
As it does sun which makes it visible
To its audience
It even embraces the winds
No matter how strong
Knowing it will be stronger if it succeeds
And if it is lucky distribute its seeds to some fertile land
Being bold is not without fear
Sometimes elephants fear mosquitoes
As lions fear traps and not their unarmed makers
What about sand fearing the rivers which pull
But can cause seas some constipation?
It is with hope of a miracle
It is with wishes of triumph
It is the responsibility of taking challenges of our maker
That most things muster the courage to be bold
(Model: Madam Mercy Yellu)

POOR EARTH

The grey hairs of the earth
Must be as white as snow
Not a moment passes without an action on its head
In its belly
And possibly beneath its feet
Living things run shifts to act like they own earth
Who also behaves like a dog serving its masters
Only to break bones like a lion
Or taste ashes like a potassium difficient being who needs it to live
Or tastes blood like a ruthless vampire
When livings fall like fruits from the tree of life
I guess it gets anxious at every bell of a faction’s wake
Not knowing what to expect
But having the final taste of the proud and difficult
Will satisfy even the very poor bullied
So it bears the elimination of sleep from its runnings
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVES

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Some on the grounds of my mountain
See me as the volcanoe none must dare to be near
While others see me as the lucky soul
In the spotlight of the magnanimous sun
Those on other parts of my mountain top
See me as a soul free and wild
While those with eyes of hawks
See a soul of sorrow
Parceled in heavy clothes of happiness
Those who share the same shed
Know me as the lamb for their redemption
Different perspectives based on different standings
As the position of the sun determines the positions of shadows
So do positions of eyes determine nature of being
Cruel
But the world needs controversies
Like beings need breath

MANDELA MINI ARTS FESTIVAL AT DUBOIS

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Drama can be really fun and the same can be with poetry when they are experienced separately but have you imagined what the blend of drama and poetry could spark up?

The enactment of poems supported by good music produced from instruments like the keyboard, flute, and acoustic is what a group of young artists are coming together to do to commemorate the 27th anniversary since president Nelson Mandela was released from prison at Robin Island.

The program organized by Play House in partnership with the W.E.B Dubois Centre would be headlined by poet and playwright Oswald Okaitei along other acts.

Also, a book titled Mandela, The Soul of His Earth would be launched on the day.

27 poems will be presented in a dramatic form on the day, December 4, this year also marking two years since the glorious passing away of the great African legend and world icon.

An exhibition of paintings by Efo Sela Kodjo Adjei would also be on display on the day.

Venue is the W.E.B Dubois Centre at exactly 5:00pm.

Admission is FREE.

There will be an elegy to commemorate the sudden passing of Ghana’s Master Dancer & Choreographer, Prof. Nii Yartey.

Media Supporters include GBC 24, Multi Tv (Joy News), Graphic Showbiz, Insight Newspaper, Citi fm, Tv Africa, Radio Gold, Flex Newspaper
There will also be Exhibition of art works as beads, clothing, paintings, etc

WATCH OVER

painterskeys.com
painterskeys.com

Mighty and great art thou who thought

Of the many hurdles beings will battle in lot

And caused the sky to close its eyes

To massage out some heat and ease the sighs

II

Now I take off my worry robe

On this small bed in your creative globe

Hoping to shed anticipation

And wake with no hesitation

III

You are the creator of all eyes, please watch over

I know you know all byes, you are no pushover

But like an expectant mud, I beg for your touch

To ascend the peak of peace in much

IV

Like a fragile piece on a rough road

Like a child in a sick abode

Sit like the king in charge

So fallen angels cannot in barge

V

Please do me pamper

Warning all who my success hamper

Putting they and their efforts asunder 

Causing them to surrender

VI

Massage my scalp with ideas so dear

To whip my challenges and thrash my fear

And mould my being to live in a song

Of your handiworks which here belong

VII

A morning of redemption

Success of failure abrogation

Leading to doors of works so bright

Is all I seek in your light

VIII

Watch over me and mine

Shine over all in line

A prayer from the meek

Who do you seek

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

SQUEEZE OUT THE STRESS

Google image
Google image

As the skies close their eyes to de-stress

Squeeze out, like water in a cloth, the stress

Making sure nothing poses a threat, not even a dress

Just as sun mates the moon to beget stars,  do me bless

If only the seas had mouths, they would confess

How the waves thrust and press

With their bodies, only to bless

And give the world their streaming excess

There are traces of tired shocks that our hearts compress

Putting us in separation, under duress

So come, squeeze me tight, let’s oppress

The resounding stress our souls suppress

And let freedom, our hearts possess

Forget the paths of pain, it’s time to express

Just be the lion hunting my mess

And like a lioness, I will haunt your stress

Until it flies like Satan in distress

All parts know their pairs to progress

So squeeze tight and let’s oppress

The hidden fears into an unending success

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

INNOCENTIA BLISSILICA

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Who did wean
Me from the nipples of innocence?
That being is mean
For ripping my happy confidence
Those days when sand was rice
And mud was banku
Those days when dust was rain
And even urine was water so pure
Those days when rainbow was the keeper of all that were golden
And thunders were the only monsters
Those days when the sun giggled
As the earth’s heat met in confidence
Bullying air who was of prominence
In lovesome ways
Who, like a cutlass, cut the chord of that bliss
From my contented eyes?
I want to play “nkuro”
I want to play “pi-lo-lo”
I want to play ampe
I was to play antowankyire
And watch as legs tried the kete dance
And learn to dance adowa
I want to cook the spiciest of meals
With unknown leaves filled with promises of nutrition
And top it up with the capable soil which begets all foods
I want to dream of all pleasant possibilities
And marry all kind, capable and handsome souls in thought
Take me to those days
Because freedom lived there
Trust lived there
Love lived there
There, in those days
Now I stare at trees and see snakes in their praises
I look at the sun and see murder in its eyes
I see air and feel the pain of its pinches
Nothing looks safe
Even now I notice my shadow come and go like a thief
A thief planning a murder
My murder
Blissful are those days
Those days rudely severed  by the sword of age
Even clothes on my skin battle the glee of dust
Hmmmmm
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

AS YOU WISH

google pics
google pics

The seas will roll non-stop today

The sun will be at its brightest today

The air will be more flirtatious than ever today

Mouths may do as they wish today

Smile

Frown

Cry

Shout

Shut

Whatever they wish

As brown rhymes with crown

And they both share no blood of understanding

So can unequal hearts live like friends

Like foes

Like indifferent hearts plying one path

Crudely or fairly

Weakly or strongly

All legs or buttocks matter to their beings

Consideration of self and others reign supreme

Emptying the filthy conscience bin

And filling with heart’s goodies

Flies hearts like planes into the beauteous heaven

Even as we are in the belly of this earth

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

Launch of Nana Awere Damoah’s Sebitically Speaking: December 4, 2015

We will be streaming the book launch tomorrow live on YouTube.

Please bookmark the link

Not just a book launch…it’s a family gathering.

and https://t.co/9WQawOH
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Nana Awere Damoah’s Sebitically Speaking to me, is an ice breaker if ice is sluggishness and breaking is salvation. The book takes us into a journey of advice through satires and threads many paths from personal to political. Once we all have breath and live in the same world, everyone is likely to see a part of himself in the book and hear the call of change, the power behind the writer’s voice.

That said, Sebitically Speaking will be launched on December 4, 2015 at Teachers’ Hall, Accra from 6-8pm.

Here is an excerpt of Nana Awere Damoah’s Sebitically Speaking:

 

“Sebitically Speaking: The Legend of Kapokyikyi

This week, I have been thinking of my ancestors a lot. Of Kwame Bassanyin the first and second; of Nana Ntiako; of Premang Ntow the second; of Bombay; of Somiah; of Egyabima and Abakoma. Of those who have gone ahead to prepare the way for the rest of us who will surely traverse the road which doesn’t lack pilgrims, willing and unwilling. I thought of Kapokyikyi. I bring you greetings from all these names, as I reflected on the memories of their lives and times.

The spirits of my ancestors keep me company as I prepare to go to my village to see the Old Man off on his journey to join his forebears. I go to Wasa to bury my uncle Kasapreko Nana Kwame Bassanyin III, the nephew of my grandfather Nana Premang Ntow II (known in private life as Nana Kwabena Damoah). I go to the village to say goodbye to the man who bears the same name as my dad Bombay and my son.

And I think of Kapokyikyi. It is now time to tell you about Kapokyikyi. You see, Kapokyikyi is not a fictional character. Kapokyikyi was my dad’s brother; you would say a half-brother as his mum was not my maternal grandmother, Efua Abakoma. But in my language, there is no word for ‘half-brother’; nor is there a word for ‘cousin’. That word is alien to my tongue and that is why Kasapreko is my Wofa. Kapokyikyi’s mother was one of the fourteen wives of Nana Premang Ntow; go to Wasa Akropong (the big city) and ask of Africa Woman, Nana Asieduwaa, and she will proudly tell you that she was the youngest wife of my grandfather. She is alive and still goes to her farm. I don’t know her age; I doubt that she does. Nana Asieduwaa, it was, who asked me once when I visited with the Wasalets:

“Nana Awere, when are you having your fourth child?”

“Nana, we are done”, I replied.

“Nonsense,” she blurted, “if your mother had stopped at three, would you have come into this world?”

Nana Asieduwaa, the Africa Woman.

Kapokyikyi lived in the old palace, which was the traditional family house and the residence of Kasapreko before the new palace atop the hill near the Ehyira River was built. I don’t remember Kapokyikyi being married. So he ate in the house of his sisters and slept in Kasapreko’s palace.

Kapokyikyi contributed no chop money. The little money he had, he spent it at Liberty Base, where the ‘hot stuff’ was sold. The stuff that Kofi Akpabli says no one ever drank and smiled.

VC 10. Kumepreko. Anferewoase. Efie Nipa. Akpet.

My uncle, Kapokyikyi, was hardly ever sober.

But his mind was sharpest when he was not sober.

And he certainly spoke his mind.

Mostly to Kasapreko. He who was reputed to speak once and definitely.

So one day, Kapokyikyi was said to have confronted Kasapreko on an issue and asked him, “Nana, wo gyimi a, wonnhu?” meaning, “Nana, don’t you realise it yourself when you are being stupid?”

Sebitically speaking.

I said it o! I did! That what a man says when drunk, he thought about whilst sober.

Kapokyikyi would exercise his sharp tongue even on his sisters who fed him, at the risk of losing his next meal. Ka na wu (speak your mind and damn death), he would say.

This week, I say I am thinking of my ancestors oo. Of Bassanyin. Of Ntiako. Of Kwame Atta. Of Yorke. Of Premang Ntow. Of Kapokyikyi.

I am thinking of the founding fathers of our nation, Ghana. I think of the courage of the ex-servicemen, the veterans of World War II, who stood up to the colonial powers. I think of Nii Kwabena Bonne III. I think of Sergeant Adjetey, Corporal Attipoe and Private Odartey Lamptey. I think of the vocal activists who shouted themselves hoarse and spoke out to get us our independence.

And I ask, what has got our tongue as a people?

I read the articles of the late writer and lecturer, Professor PAV Ansah, in these reflective moments; I juxtapose them against the current times and I ask, what has made us so silent as a people in the face of issues that demand that we speak out and straighten the crooked paths our leaders are traversing in open view?

Did the culture of silence in the eighties produce citizens of silence?

Where from this culture where we speak from our stomachs instead of from our minds? Where political patronage defines the exercise of our speech and the fear of being tagged restrains us from expressing our views on national issues?

Unless we all speak out about our speedy spiral into the valley of national ineptitude, no-development and directionless-ness without fear of being branded, there will be no hope of a turnaround. That ka na wu attitude.

I think of Kapokyikyi. I think of my own dad, Bombay, who called a spade a spade. ‘Old solider never dies’, he would say. Friendly but firm. Brother and close friend of Kapokyikyi. Kapokyikyi who would tell Kasapreko to consider his own folly, sɛbi sɛbi.

Every leader needs a Kapokyikyi. Okay, those who are biblically inclined would say a Nathan, but one definitely infused with the spirit, whether brewed or unseen.”

MAGNETIC ATTRACTION

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You seem like my negative
When I am draped in postive
And you are like my positive
When I am immersed in negation
What is this force pulling us like strings on puppets?
What at all is this electrification so magnified?
At this rate, none dares to touch
Who will dare?
Breathes are too potent aphrodisiacs
Words are too surrealistic  dripping in combustion
Legs are too heavy like sticks carrying mountains
Oh God!
This is a mind fraud!
Even silly chewings are magnetified
Mere moments are mythically mystical
Darkness hoards some expectations of freedom and boldness to wear naught
What is this?
Stuck in the air like fairies unknown by sin
We’ve lost our minds
We’ve forgotten fear
Forgotten the hardness of the earth ignored
We are aliens under cupid’s extreme spell
A spell so dense
Hope the fisherman who feeds us in this sea net
Won’t starve us to death at the shore
Hoping to swallow us as his conquests
Won’t we be too pitiful then?
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

RUNNING STORIES, SLEEPING DEEDS

I know mouths of my land are like machine guns
Digging bullets of the past
Putting them in golden throat guns
Soiling voices meant for firing monsters
And firing through
Gunning for hardworkers
And yelling into international microphones
Their unfortunate past
Seeking sucking sympathies
While real works stare our faces
Like infants needing their parents’ embrace
Why lions are now dogs
And eagles are now flies
As owls turn hidden frogs
Abena, I know not
Mother Ghana has been made a whore
A whore by the very people she accomodates
And gives life
Legs moulded in such great effort
Now bow in front of the supposedly rich
Looking for crumbs of their bread
When we hoard the flours in purity
Why?
Fie on you
Fie on me
Fie on the fragments that fail to merge
Fie on greed
Fie on seeds
Fie on us seeds who fail the creed
Bow thy heads in red
Covering in black
And mourn your dead zeals for the top
Wronged?
Don’t be
You have all the power to wake the dead
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

GIVERS AND LOSERS

There are new shoots begging to see the world
Airs are ringing bells
For leaves to leave their creators
And follow the air to the land of their birth
Or other lands for fertility
Like all, the earth partners great trees
Shedding breaths long overdue
To make way for the new
So creation is like a god and a satan
Giving and taking
Blessing and cursing
Till eventual balance
Adjusting is key
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

FEAR OF THE SKIES

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On the head of the land I dwell
Knowing its stomach is my resting place
But the appealing skies
Beckon for me to have a taste
Before I sink into the mouth of the earth
And taste its teeth and be moulded into its belly thing
But the flies I see on this ground
Are hawks and vultures in the skies
And the mother hens
Are eagles whose beaks are like shovels of cannibalism
The frowning skies which sometimes cry to drown my kind
The angry roars from their fearsome throats
If only the suns have written promises
Of sparing metals their heat to maim or kill
Beings who take cover in them
To approah their abode
Then I could beg metals to fly me there
To spend a day
To greet the moon
And play with the stars
And taste dawn dew
And weigh the two
To feel the best of here and there
It wouldn’t matter if I turn into a little star
But rumours do say
Moon claims stars which fall
Never climb up
But at least they get to live in different worlds
While I look and love
But fear to climb
Because the ladder there is invisible
And I am not so discerning
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

YOU, MY SHELTER

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In You I have a shelter
A shelter for my woes
When all those spears do filter
Filter from my foes
You have the skin to counter
To counter and heal my lows
In the army of disaster
Disaster with many bows
You melt for me all arrows
Which like planes in air do row
I am glad you are my shelter
And an army for my foes
I know I litter
And make you quiver
And I don’t at all behave proper
But You are a good driver
In all my giving trauma
And You do deliver
So I bend these knees
And raise these hands
I close this mind
After letting you in
To sweep the filth
And plant the best
Redeemer unknown
A myth unshown
An electrification so potent
Take possession of this wire
This wire You created
A wire which finds the only shelter in you
You and only You
Most High God
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

HUMOROUS

Maame Yaa!
Wake up please
Maame Yaa ei!!!
Wake up
Wake o!
Wake and look at the professors of supposed servings
Look at them seeking to butcher themselves
Just because they, like servants, want to make the poor royals
Just open an eye
And look at how humans are madr goats ob paper
Substituting heads on other bodies
Do they hate their bodies that much?
Why are guns the norm for the power to serve?
Aren’t you hoarding lions hiding in clothes of dogs
Deceiving your children they are what they can never be?
Aren’t you sleeping too soundly
As words capable of burning clothes of the sky
Hug bodies you need to live?
Aren’t you giving water to the devil
While burning your angels in fear of its tantrums?
I know serving is for servants
It takes pain to serve
I know those who serve dream to be served
So why so much fuss over serving
Maame Yaa
Could this seeving be clothed in royalty?
Oh are there gold and diamonds at the feet of the poor
Who are being promised all the heavens?
Humorous
Maame Yaa
Your territory has turned into a comic stage
As skilled unfunny comedians parade
Shouting on top of their voices to be heard
Battling while expecting mouths of the sad to laugh
As though they have told tales to kill the roots of anger
And cut the cord of suffering
When the opposite sit on their behaviours
This is humorous
Humorous to those outside your circle
I can’t stand the cackle from outside the circle
So wake to rake the fake
And stop the stake of the take
Of your territory
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

POWER IN EVERY LIVING

If huge bodies are the only known for powers
Great minds would never spend hundreds of years
Looking for ways to battle tiny mosquitoes
There is power
Power in every living thing

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If hard bodies are known for strength
Huge trees would never show rope marks
On their hard like frames
There is strength
Strength in every living thing

III
As the skies have thunders
Beings have minds
And flowers have thorns
As elephants are huge
Lions are fierce
And porcuppines are wild soldiers with natural weapons

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As houseflies are swift
Bedbugs are strong
And ants are wise
Protectings were equally shared by Odomankoma
So like the cock which blows its natural sounds
In praise and duty
I say “Omintinmirim”
“Otonsuo bo Awaia”
“Ahunu Abobirim”
“Nana Nyame eeei”
“Nyansah nyinaa Wura”
“Naaase nka wo din”
Praise, praise to raise in craze
For greatness is all I give
For that is all I can give
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

DREAMS

There are dreams dangling in thoughts’ sky
Like gangster kites having affairs with high winds
And taunting their owners
Each leg of the heart of every dream steps in dazzling stardom
While their other halves lie in fearsome sleeps
Elders hint that houseflies can be eagles by will
As long as they gather more guts to get more feathers
And fly so much to gather more food
To feed their skinny selves
And attract others to kneel at their feet
But there are hands waiting to slap ones called by sores
And there are wicked scents waiting to kill
What about the magnetic fires whose eyebrows can clip their wings
And burn their existence
How can a dream ant become an elephant?
Elbows of failure have many scarecrows
They are so terrifying like bullies with famished weapons
Maybe there are reasons thighs are bigger than legs
Reasons hands are bigger than fingers
And reasons the big depend on their littles to function better
I wish there were answers boxed in taunting dreams
Maybe only those who have tasted the fires and storms
And have reached their pinnacles of the success mountain
May have the answers we seek
Just maybe
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

THE PIKWORO SLAVE CAMP TOUR

 

THE STORY OF THE PIKWORO SLAVE CAMP

A man went to Navorongo looking for a place to stay. The people gave him a vast piece of land. Little did they know that he was a slave trader. The people named him Nania Pikworo  meaning, “a bush man” in the local language. Pikworo established the trade in 1704. He started it by himself but was later joined by Samori and Babatu.

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This was the source of water for the slaves. It is believed that no matter the draught, this particular water remains active to satisfy the thirst of the slaves and help them do their chores.

 

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We were led to their grinding mill where DSC09552they used stones to grind their meals.

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Fascinated children looked on

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This was their entertainment hall. Four people were selected from one tribe to play here as the others sang and danced beneath the rocks. For them to play well, they were well fed and the feeding songs attracted others to come and watch, the feeding also attracted others to come and join the slaves. Those who realised they would be sold later and tried to run away were sent to the punishment rock to be dealt with. According to the history, some rebelled and were sent there severally in order to die. They preferred death to being sold.

 

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Their dinning hall. They dug into the stones to create their own bowls. Bowls they ate in. So foods will be put into these bowls and more than five people will share a meal in one bowl.

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It is a very big land

 

 

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And many stones abound. It was noted that the slaves were tied on the trees when they are brought in.

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This is the watch tower. A trusted slave is ordered to stand here and watch out for strangers and rebels who wanted to fight the slave lords for their captured people. These people never succeeded because the slave traders were more powerful and were armed with guns. So they were mostly gunned down before they reached the place.

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Head of Department of English at Tamale Senior High posing to honour his ancestors.

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Graves of dead slaves. According to the history, the dead slaves were given mass burials in a grave meant for one. So graves were never covered until they were filled up.

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A filled grave looked like this, some stones were placed on it to mark its “fulfilment”

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We were sad but as Kofi Awoonor will say, death shall die, and sincee slavery is dead now and Pikworo, Babatu, and samori are gone, we posed in honour of the “wronged” dead people

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Just close to the cemetery is the Punishment Rock which faces directly the sun. So slaves who defied the rules were made to sit on this rock, tied firmly and made to look at the heated sun (those who know the Upper East of Ghana know the sun’s rays can kill if one does not take cover) so many went blind, others became weak and sickly and died. Immediately they died from the sun and the burns from the heated rocks, they were tossed into the ready grave.
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So this is the punishment rock in all its threats even way after its meals of punishments have been abolished.

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Tired from the heat of the sun and the dense thought of souls sold on this terrain coupled with the pain of death of many whose lives were never allowed to blossom let alone whither.
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These men volunteer to play sounds with the stones to entertain us. All we needed to do was give them something to buy water out of the goodness of our hearts.
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This is where the slaves were brought and paraded to be sold. They were sold based on their strengths and it was a barter trade. They were traded for mirrors, guns, gun powder and alcoholic drinks.DSC09575

After being sold, they were fed a little before taken through the journey. Thise who became weak in the course of the journey were thrown into bushes that wild animals were. So the animals could feed on them.DSC09576

Trees which has probably tasted more than millions of blood

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The reception of the Pikworo Slave Camp.

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You know it will not be us if we do not do something fun

DSC09541The slave camp was abolished in 1845
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On our way we realized that there were lots of baobab trees in Navorongo. They call it the evil tree but use its leaves for soup and seeds for drinks. According to the inhabitants, the baobab tree in houses are sometimes tied with bandages to prevent to prevent them from crying at night. When they grow to a point they cry at night like human beings. So they are not touched with knives. Their barks are smooth. They grow to their own capacity and die. But when they die, no body knows. Because they still look fresh. So they are considered dangerous because they can kill when they fall and they fall without notice.

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ROLLING STONES

Rolling stones remain seen
No matter the farthings of age
Like stones, souls which roll
Shed traces of life’s painful whips
I know legs which take no strides shrink
But those which do
Make their reigning eyes proud
And their beating hearts grateful in fulfillment
Throwing stones for wakefulness sake
Has no barriers
As even plants shake to announce its light
Consider this my stone throw
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

LOVE AND PRIDE

What is and what is not
Are hidden in the cover of darkness
A heart covereth well in determination for pride
Some thoughts have no stairways for none
So I stand blocked
Looking into eyes with no known gates

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His mouth does talk
Into my bothered ears
His voice so high
Like a fearful horse
Wanting me to endorse
All instructions as he enforces
A deviant meeting a deviant
He hides well
All his fears in the scrotum of bravery
Forgetting he has a long stick
Which will one-day produce them as pro-livers

III
Who fried this heart so hard?
Who lashed this heart so hard?
Who took out its clues and flushed
Down supporters of loos?
Wondering
But I won’t take my eyes off
Never will
Until I catch a glimpse of evidence
Which will lead me to his erection
And see to it that he releases
All hard core lives of pain
So I can have my sane-gain
Until then
I stand bullied by his eyes
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

HYPER CRAZY

The owl claims it fears death
So shuns daylight
But shouts so loud in darkness
Forgetting hunters are not deaf
And also roam at night

II
The bat says it fears brutal death
And hates ending up as a delicacy for the Kwahus
But hangs on its legs
On trees that even some children can reach
In broad daylight
So funny
But let’s just say it spares us the displeasure of seeing its ugly self
Ha ha ha ha!

III
Let’s make white white
What is the meaning of hating cassava and plantain
But loving their mortar marriage
To a point of salivating when soups garnish?
Life is like a ball being thrown on a wall
No sea has only one wave
Clear your eyes from the dirty cobwebs of the cunning
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

CUPID’S DECEPTION ON SCREENS

I have been deceived
Deceived like an idiot thinking seas give fins
To determined humans who use them as route
But I should have known
That although swans may give ambitions to fishes
No fish must make the mistake of wanting to fly and swim like swans
Lest dissapointments hit them like bullets from a doped machine gun
So much even the spines of the deep seas cannot save their corpse debris
I am the fish who seeks to fly

II
Seeing the feathers of flying lovebirds
On screens with idol pretenders
Looking so good
Cupid depicted as the most beautiful arena
Apt music complimenting all emotions
Apt sounds prompting emotions for every scene
All the right words inherent even when unspoken
When spoken, divinity wears white robes for renewal of vows
And they look so real that one cannot help but be charmed
Into its pretty place
Only to realize there are no signs of truth
Lies dressed in apparels of royalty
Those beautiful scenes turn hellish in practice
No matter its planning
How can days on screen turn nights of nightmares in reality?
I have been deceived
That gravels are stars
And stones are moons
But what can I do?
Life is better with a leg in a deceptive shoe
Walking with the other in truth is difficult
But the practice is worth it
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

Lectures on the Use of the Mother Tongue as Medium of Instruction in Lower Primary by the Bureau of Ghana Languages

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It is a fact that culture is heavily dependent on language. If we lose our language which is a core part of our identity, then we lose our culture. Language must not be taken for granted neither must it be heavily adulterated. Some countries like Korea, China, Russia but to mention a few, have been able to break to maintain their languages nationally and internationally. A developing country like ours need to take steps in ensuring that we get there one day. It is in view of this that the Bureau of Ghana Languages, Tamale, is organising a public lecture on Friday, November 20, 2015 on the following topics

 

  1. The use of the mother tongue as the medium of instruction in our lower primary schools; merits and demerits.

BY; Prof. Apusigah Atia. Dean , Faculty of Education – University for Development Studies Tamale.

  1. The importance of the mother tongue in Education

By; Alhaji Iddrisu Adam. A retired educationist and former                                               Mayor of Tamale Metro

  1. The Essence of the mother tongue in a middle income Ghana.

By; Mr. Issahaku Alhassan , Lecturer University of Education, Winneba.

Again it is happening on

 FRIDAY,   NOVEMBER 20, 2015

VENUE :   ASSEMBLY HALL – TAMALE SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL (TAMASCO)

TIME : 3:00 PM PROMPT – 5:00 PM

Come, listen, contribute and help make a gateway to help in national development.

LET’S PRAY

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The world is a church
A church which has welcomed all
From the petty thief
To the grand liar
From the hungry pauper
To the ambitious climber
From the true worshippers
To the hypocrites

If the church is shaking silly

And its winds are turning murderous

Let’s empty our stomachs and kneel
 As we pray

II
Let’s pray
Cancelling all messengers we trust
Let’s pray
In all voice yoked into one
Let’s pray
For the ones who need
But hate hard hurdles
And take by breaking like lions break bones
Let’s pray

For cowards who fear haunting truths
So hide behind its opposition to haunt
Or push blames like trucks on innocent souls
Let’s pray
For those whose mirrors
Tell tales of ugly intruders when they show their faces
So trust their lenses and hate on the beautifuls
Like hateful rivals with super powers
Let’s pray
For proud prideful souls
Who hate the thought of being called robbers
So hide like bats and owls in darkness
Using covers of suits, pens and positions
To loot all-things to gift in littles
While keeping the lot
To act as saints in front of their wronged
Let’s pray
For those who try Impossibly to be like others
 Those who hate to be themselves
For those who cry wolf when flies hover

For those who think their salvation lie in death of others
For those who sell unsellables to a point of corroding
Let’s pray
Let’s pray for the ears of God to open and listen
To the right words from our unanimous hearts
Not prayers of aid robbing
Nor aid slaughtering
Or aid superiority
Let’s pray
Let’s pray for the world we rule
One we have turned so crude

So God burns pain to make all sane
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

WITCH OF BRIGHTNESS

There really is a twitch
To this notion of a witch
There is a reason witch rhymes with rich
When hardwork flies in hands
Of those we deem less in capabilities
We develop lenses to magnify their flaws
Making goodness turn evil
My oh my!
There is a reason witch rhymes with rich
So calm your pitch
And look further
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

TOURING THE CHIEF CROCODILE POND IN PAGA WITH STUDENTS

We embarked on this journey on November 14, 2015. We took off at 5: 20am and reached there around 9:30 am

THE HISTORY OF THE CROCODILES OF PAGA NAVE (NAH-VE)

Paga’s patriach and founder Nave’s story goes back more than a dozen generations to Timpela in Kampala in present day Burkina Faso and begins with Nave’s father; Prince Panlogo. Upon his father’s death (Prince Panlogo’s father) Panlogo contested for the position of Pio (Chief) but lost to his younger brother. Dissatisfied, Panlogo left his homeland. He travelled with a group of his sympathizers to the land of Timpela. Some supporters of his brother followed and his younger’s brother’s people gave chase. Panlogo and his followers reached a raging river with no means of crossing. In the midst of desperation, the people saw a crocodile at the bank of the river. Panlogo’s people believed the spirit of their ancestors resided in crocodiles. Panlogo asked for help from the animal in crossing the river and in return, swore his support for the crocodiles and promised to treat them as sacred beings who would never be harmed or killed and will be treated as human beings and be buried after their deaths.

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We reached there around 9:30am and the tour guide readily opened up because we booked before getting there.

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We were ready to see the sacred crocodiles.

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And so we entered.

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But not before I took a picture of the reception

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And got an image opposite the view of the pond

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Last to go in, I took a frontal view photograph

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And we reached the walkway to the pond

 

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Fascinated students looked at the pond expecting the crocodiles to show. But we were told the guide needed to call the sacred ones with a young chicken.

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The left view of the pond

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The pond in pictures

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Only the brave one ventured to stand close without the tour guide

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The outskirt of the pond

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Lined up, they were led

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While we dared to get close

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Time for us to follow

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From afar, we expected to see so much

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Our target is the tree

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Finally we meet the stars of the moment

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The guide sheperded as students took pictures in turn for one Ghana cedi

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Many dared for pictures

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And it continued

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Getting the star alone

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Other stars surfaced but were ushered into the pond for the 98 year old crocodile to have all the star light

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The girls dared

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Fear and intrigue, at least she tried

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The caller of the crocodiles with his little chicken

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A good guide we got. Always there to calm all fears

 

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And all those interested took turns
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Nothing could make her royal highness sit on the crocodile. This was as far as she could go and the students noticed

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They spiced things up by bringing the horse for pictures

 

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Our last moment to view

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We came together to take a picture

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And we always do something crazy.

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Image of goodbyes

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Some of us went to their restaurant to eat.

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cooly decorated

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Crocodiles are really revered

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Culture of the arts

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The mini pub

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The cozy inn

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Even the bath house looked cool

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Rice is not her favourite food but she enjoyed it somewhat because it tasted really nice
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THE LEGEND OF NAVE

Nave was born to Panlogo and grew up in Kampala. He grew up to be a powerful hunter and lived in a time when the Savannah had no boarders. One morning, he went for hunting with his loyal dog and saw an antelope. Hoping to get the game and present it home for the family meal, he gave it a hot chase and it entered an  aardvark hole. Nave also entered but the antelope and the aardvark escaped and the frightened aardvark covered the hole trapping Nave in.

Back in Kampala, Nave’s people were terrified after two days without seeing signs of their son. When they saw his dog, they feared the worst. Nave lost consciousness but a crocodile who was in one of the aardvark holes used its tail to brushed a cool dirt on him, waking him up. He then followed the animal through its hole out.

The animal led Nave to a cool pond and he quenched his thirst and was able to go home to his people who were thankful for his life. So he reaffirmed his father’s decision not to harm or kill or eat crocodiles.

Nave saw a pond filled with crocodiles in Paga and thought they followed him to his new settlement to keep watch over him. So to the people of Paga, harming a crocodile is a grievous crime. It is further believed that the crocodiles in the natural ponds of Katogo, Chura and Cho-Buga (all in present day Paga) are souls and spirits of past generations.

WEAR GHANA’S TWO YEAR ANNIVERSARY CHURCH SERVICE ONLINE

Greeetings ooooo
Finally, finally the D day is here.
To give thanks and praise to God almighty for how far He has brought us, we are holding an online church service.
Here’s  the order if service please. We know it might take a life of its own but this is to give it some structure

Order of service
Moderator intros day’s activities
Invites Grey for prayer
Invites Seyram and praise team
Praises
Moderator invites pastor, osofo maame and interpretor to stage
Pastor invites visiting pastors I.e. NAD, Nenebi, Asaase to say a few words
Scripture reading
Pastor preaches
Collection
Invites Amoafowaa to talk about autism project
Prosper gives women’s fellowship announcements
Ends with praises

Introduces second part of program I.e. launch of website
We put up the we are live artwork
Put up pictures of outfits
Invite people to buy

Throughout service moderator encourages people to load pictures for beauty pageant

GOD’S ROD

I think I know there is a God
But why do I mostly feel His rod?
Does He not know it makes me bored
To all his lack of helping hoard?
How can He whip our linking chord
And give me pain I can’t afford?
When He really knows I have no sword
And all the roads do say He is Lord
They teach I must wait in His own accord
And desist from all that is called fraud
And receive fully His rod
To send Him notice on His I-Pod
About how well I took His rod
So He can hurry my reward
But why do I feel such unbearable pain of His rod?

CLOTHES OF LONELINESS

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In this lonely cloth
Are the fingers of cold
The channels of heat of when I will be sold
By the price tag society has placed
On my determined mind

II
In this cloth
Are thoughts playing pi lo loo
Only without the happy giggles
Shrivelling the grounds of peace

III
In this cloth
Are fears of horrors stepping out of screens
To soil my innocent dreams
Hoping I wake with screams
When my fear brims

IV
In this cloth
Is the knife of quietude
Which is experimenting with the beauty of success
On the chopping board of doubts
Could it be I am like a great baobab tree
Whose leaves serve as delicacies in soups
Seeds produce cool drinks in fruits
But its tree considered as a spirit to be feared?

IV
No
I fail to fall
I am the child carved partly from stone
And moulded partly from the mud of River Bremu
None will scare me from this road
I am born for this road
And I will so ply
No matter the horrors
In this cloth which shines for other eyes
But hammers on nails within
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

SADLY DEMENTED

The ant that thinks to bomb its kind
Forgets there exist danger which needs battalions
What is the cause of murdering minds?
What is the payment:
Of sending souls
Into the dark
Of crocheting minds to think so dark
Of mirroring deaths without a mark
Of rearing dogs to hunt same dogs?
Sad sad sad sad sad
The world now hoards minds so demented

II
Who will want to travel nine moons
And will carve a being to swoon
Only to grow a monstrous baboon
Who will tear cool beings in cocoons?
I bet they are like lions
With souls of lionesses
Which eat all their consciences
And turn them carnivores hunting their kinds
Sacred idiots!
Panting panthers pulling poor pillars
Know that roars running through human throats
Are concerns of segregation
Oh demented!
Demented souls!

III
They get to pay with no known days
They get to harvest the sins of souls
They get to be bothered by unlived lives
They get to be punished eventually
When they reach the capital towns of death
And realise it sent no messenger to equip them to grant
Passports of death to the living strong
Then they will realise
They are demented
But their punishments would be cemented
Sad sad sad oh sad sad sad
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

SOME SAD BYES

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You turned into the swaying shrubs
Which stood at the mercy of the mastery air
And waved so wild like a crying child
At the debris of my speeding vehicular air

II
Sad they have no mouth as you
To convey a message involving us two
To clap in happiness or shout a boo
At this departure which breaks me in two
A mind out there
On a moving body

III
Noisy quietude abounds upstream
Pained and beautifully-left desires bloating in screams
What on earth is left of dreams?
Laughter of sadness watches your mind left views
Whether aside or soliloquy
Words are hoarded in a tight lipped seal
Shaking in sleeping like fear stricken chickens

IV
Where at all did we go wrong
I quite remember we stood so strong
And our hearts did really so long
To embrace our other selves where we belonged
Let the god of Cupid ring a ding dong
To wake our buried passions
And tame our worrying actions
Which has placed me in this vehicle
Making shrubs my only lovers
Waving me silly into oblivion
Having no clue as to your tiniest step
Left in even a loyal muddy sand
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

HARMATTAN HUES

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My ears woke before my eyes
In a night whose journey was neither here nor there
Hoping to hear songs of beautiful-voiced birds
Who sang to souls for eyes to search for their star selves
Instead, they heard weak chirping complains
Of a handfuls of pest-like sort of birds
Accompanied by a feeble taunt
Of some cricket who obviously feel the harmattan haunt
So sad were the slow walking noises filled with doom
That like the look-out soldier
Who perceives a massive loss
Ears retreated and bumped into mind
Whose whips woke nose whose whines of bruises of the harmattan
Could be heard by a pained hell congregant
Waking all parts
As eyes blink rapidly its disgusts
Who am I to interfere in the internal war?
Even night hawkers are trying to run
As dawn cries more than necessary
So a little war of sanity
Where hidding is preferable
Is in order
Go on commradic-jurisdictions
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

GULLIBLES IN EMOTIONAL METAL CHAINS

Suns have been pimped by light
In courts of riches no matter how high
Once upon a time
Suns were the only eye leaders
The only dry heaters
And the only tools of light wherever
So they were named after gods

II
None wanted to see suns frown
“Of what use are frowning suns?”
They asked disdainfully
So they swallowed their pains
Which burned like fiery fires into bitterness
Which were mistaken for strength
“Strength” immeasurable in length
Eyes got burnt in their fury
But worshipped thinking they have attained greatness
Until fear made legs drag instead of walking
Until skins’ wrinkles complained of bruises
And comfort was overshadowed by unsafe unpleasantness

III
Now they wish to cry outloud
They hope for all to see their painful brightness
They wish for ears to hear their moans and groans
From the hell-like heavens
That presents itself without blemish
They wish that like moons in darkness
Their imperfections will show
Depicting the depths of their brightness
But no heart seems interested
In sympathising with what is deemed perfection
Those who show such imperfections
Are considered anomalies
Who need to be flipped
So clouds have no chance
In sun’s doped in egoes
What started as godlike now exalts Satans created by fatigue
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

COMPLAINANTS

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As the midget looks at the tallest being
Like the heavens he wishes to be
The tallest in turn feels the pain of bowing bones
And wishes to cut a little off to perfectly fit
At the same time harbouring fears of bone breakages
When his remains needs to be returned
To the belly of the earth

II
As the ant disrespected by uncaring foot wishes for hugeness
And the elephant in danger wishes for smallness
God sits in dilemic horrors
Perceiving the very fragile ant so huge
And those huge meats of elephants in ant frames

III
Someone is crying like a guinea fowl in danger
About a sore on his leg
As someone cries for another leg
To stop hopping
Another prays fervently to develop just one to hop
There is no satisfactory rains
To curb the ever rising thirsts in breathers

IV
As I can sing for caves to mimic
And see birds hugging and loving in their skies
Fearing no hunters’ bullets
And can work with the smile of the sun
While darkness embraces my mind’s rest
I will cherish every breath that travels through this nose and back
Flattering no pains
Coveting nothing of another
For fulfilling gains
Even if there exists a future of oblivion
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015