Because of my Ga jokes and jests on Social Media (most of those jokes are directed at Ga Girls though) my friends have resulted to calling me a tribalist based on my beliefs and my continued jesting about the Ga People Of Ghana. At first, I used to get offended when people inboxed me on Facebook, referring to me as tribalist, but frankly now I can not be bothered, because I know I am not a tribalist in the sense that I do not bring other tribes down. I jest about my own tribe for fun and I have no regrets whatsoever about that. I would not intentionally ridicule my own tribe on Social Media. For what?
Back when I was in Senior High School, anytime the boys and I argued about whose tribe was superior, my tribe was largely insulted as a “Backward, Bush tribe with bush boys and girls who did not like school but only liked being fishermen at sea or town helpers for pittance” and for some time now, I have wondered what is it brought about the negative stigma surrounding the Ga people and I guess, I also believed in the silly assumptions made about my people.
I think what pushed me to know more about my people and my cultural background was because of my surroundings and that happened when I entered Senior High School. To the outside world, they would describe my Senior High School as a school full of disciplined kids that obsessed too much over their books instead of electronic gadgets or entertainment. I learnt so much while studying there, but that’s for another day.
My school was full of different, diverse Ghanaian ethnic groups and one can possibly trace my ‘tribalist’ roots to this time because of my surroundings. Anyways, the prominent tribe in my school was the Akans (i.e. Ashantis, Fantes, Akwapims and Akyems.) I had never had so many Akan boys as friends before, to be honest before Senior High School, I don’t think I really had Akan friends. Now what I am about to write what might be taken the wrong way, but understand this, most of them had this stigma surrounding Ga people, and I had noticed that it wasn’t just them but it had stemmed from their parents and even their grandparents. I remember plenty times they would make light hearted yet tribalist remarks about Ga people. Now don’t get me wrong, I love these boys and some of them I regard as my very good friends till this day. But it was those remarks that set me on the journey of enlightening myself on my tribal history, culture, hence to find the very sole reason that brought about this bothersome stigma on my people.
Although I would not describe myself as well read when it comes to Ghanaian history, I do feel that with the knowledge so far that I have acquired has allowed me to trace the roots of the stigma surrounding my people, and because I can not seem to reside with these roots, I am somehow referred to as a tribalist.
Now why am I called tribalist? Because I believe that Ga people in some way are superior. I just think highly of my people and know of the bountiful intelligence they encompass. Errrrm, do you know that most of the funny facebookers and funny tweeps are Ga boys? That was just by the way. I just believe that the entire stigma surrounding Ga people stems from our Ghanaian history, and how threatened the other tribes felt by us.
Now this is not an opinion, this is a fact, other tribes were afraid of how powerful we could become in our country and instead of letting us blossom, they decided to bring us down. I would really want to include the whole Ghanaian history behind this Ga stigma but then it might bore you readers but anyways back to the point. Now they describe Ga people as evil, backward, bush or the one I hate the most, deep-rooted in their culture. How do you describe a people as deep rooted in their culture after many years of pushing them back to their towns, forcing them to be confined to only one part of Ghana?
When we were expanding, you saw us as a threat, you fought us long and hard, and my people died, my children starved, my men and women were slaughtered mercilessly. So as a result of our greatness, they slam us with phrases like ‘money driven’, how funny or because we stick to our people, we are tribalists. How can we not be tribalists when those who lived through that period can only rely and trust in their Ga people?
So yes please, maybe I am tribalist, but can you blame me, when I know the greatness of my people and how till today as a Ga boy, I am still aware of the nonsensical stigma revolving around my people and I. I just want to read more, learn more and enlighten those around me who reside with this stigma without knowing anything about our history.
I must admit that some bad nuts are spoiling the soup but you can’t use just one scenario to paint a bigger picture. After all, in every house, There is a Mensah there.