Tomorrow is International Women’s Day to celebrate all women worldwide. The women who are fighting the cause for gender balance and equality, and who are struggling daily to make the world a better place to live in. I wish all women, a Happy International Women’s Day..
As a Ghanaian boy, born and bred in Ghana, I am aware of some of the customs and traditions of the Ghanaian People. Our mentality and the way we look at things is different from that of our Western brothers and sisters.
If I should pass a paper to my father to write down, his top 10 commandments for me, you will be surprised at some of the items on his list: Don’t go getting a girl pregnant, Don’t do drugs or alcohol, Don’t mingle or roll with people of certain tribal backgrounds and the rest.
Let me paint the picture for you:
Most Ghanaian children blessed with a television in their father’s living room have watched Aladdin and Jasmine on TV before. It is a very interesting cartoon where Princess Jasmine falls in love with a thief called Aladdin who has a blue Genie as his guide and a monkey for a friend. Princess Jasmine’s dad is the pompous but kind ruler of Agrabah, and Aladdin like I said earlier is just a petty street pickpocket.
This Disney cartoon set me thinking. So what if I become a father in future and then, my Princess Jasmine brings to my African home, an Aladdin and then she introduces him as the one she wants to marry and settle down with?? Maybe her Aladdin may not exactly be the Street thief like in the Disney Cartoon but let imagine if he is a poor boy with a lot of promise. An Aladdin for a son-in-law?
Imagine him sitting across the family dining table by my lovely daughter, and me, (in my spectacles) just staring and staring at him, scrutinizing him from head to toe, his dressings, his composure, and all other irrelevant details about him, just to get something negative to say about him, probably as the reasons not to accept him and break off their engagement..
Now let me tell you a story:
A night security guard, lets call him Henry, in my community was dating his Rich Master’s daughter secretly, and every night, when the night was cold, and all eyes were heavy with sleep in the house, she will tiptoe to the Security Guard room and make love to him. This was going on for well over 3 months without anybody noticing. Well, until one morning when the family woke up to the shocking news that, Kuukua was pregnant with Henry’s baby. All hell broke loose in the house. The Rich Man called it an abomination and wanted the child aborted immediately.. How could his “Princess Jasmine” stoop so low to sleep with an “Aladdin”? His wife resisted the idea and supported her daughter through her pregnancy period until delivery.
Our culture does not allow certain things: there is social segregation everywhere and a lot of tribal and ethnic differences. Some bad perceptions about some particular tribes, and there is no real inter marriages among some particular ethnic groups in Ghana. And Heaven Forbids, the daring ones, who refuse to stick to such old fashioned mentality.
Gradually, the Rich Man started seeing what Kuukua saw in Henry and slowly but surely accepted him as his Son-in-law.. Rich Man supported him with a start-up company to manage and take care of his own family.
So what if my daughter brings home an Aladdin for a son-in-law? I will have no other choice than to accept him albeit some resistance. Everybody deserves a chance to prove themselves, and I will give the “Aladdin” that chance to prove himself. In the end, it really does not matter. If my daughter is happy. I am happy, and when the wedding is over, all they will be left with is each other; and the decision they made to be with each other. I can not stop true love. I may try but I will fail in the long run, and if I am unlucky, live with the resentment of my daughter forever.
True Love is the love that surpasses race, social status, logic, tribal backgrounds and skin color. It makes you do crazy things. True Love is what will cause you to close all barriers, look past what people will say, and what they will think, and concentrate on the other person. The one you want to be with. Your soul mate.