Mission to revive Challa; one of Ghana's dormant dialects | General News 2019-04-01
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General News of Monday, 1 April 2019

Source: Alfa Shaban

Mission to revive Challa; one of Ghana's dormant dialects

For every tribe or ethnic group, one of its most crucial selling or preservation points is language. But for different reasons, native languages continue to 'disappear' in the face of growing times and domination by stronger languages.

The United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization, UNESCO, has reported that majority of the world's languages risk extinction in the next three decades.

It is this grim forecast that has buoyed a group to push for the preservation of one of Ghana's least known dialects, Challa. It is the mother tongue for the people of Challa who are predominantly based in Ghana's Volta region.

One may ask, what is a mother tongue? In very simple terms, it is one's native? language; the language learned by children and passed from one generation to the next.

The task for Challa youth to preserve their mother tongue was recently supported by the Assemblies of God (AG) Church. Dubbed 'Reviving the Challa Dialect,' the AG's head of literacy and evangelism the main speaker.

Speaking at the conference, Mrs.? Ellen Adjetey, explained the importance of a mother tongue and proposed inter-marriages as one of the best means of preserving the tribe and language. According to her, this was a sure way of voluntarily passing on the dialect to generations yet unborn.

Other church leaders pointed out that AG was going to give prominence to Challa in its engagements as an active contribution to the preservation efforts. The traditional authorities who were also represented pledged to partner in any such efforts.

Natives, especially from youth groups and elders, from across the country were also present at the conference. A representative of the Member of Parliament for Nkwanta South was also in attendance.

Participants were also thrilled by a song by Dr. Sapale, an upcoming musician who vowed to place Challa on the continent through music in Challa, a source familiar to the gathering said.

About the Challa people

They are broadly categorized under the Gur group of languages with Sissala, Kusaa, Delo, Kotokoli (tem), Waala, Chakali, etc., It is believed that the total population of Challa currently stand at an approximately 28,500 people living in Ghana.

They are scattered around the country among other places in Odomi, Keri, Agou1 and Agou2, Nbowura (Joadigbe), Kabiti, Nkwanta, Dekpalitie, Kpandai, Accra, Kumasi, Salaga, Koforidua, Nkawkaw, Ho, Swedru, Asamankese, Cement, Dodi Papase, Ahamansu, Yendi and Senchi.

Challa people who have had little documentation in the history of Ghana are the traditional rulers of the following towns and villages; Nkwanta, Kabite, Agou1 and 2, Keri, Odomi, Dekpalitie all in Oti Region and Mbowura (Joadigbe) in the Northern Region.

Challa people are known to be peaceful and successful indigenous tribesmen found mainly in Ghana, Benin, Togo and Nigeria where majority of the people can be found.