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Opinions of Thursday, 30 December 2004

Columnist: Darkoh, Charles

About Fantes and Allegiances -rejoinder


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This is a response to the article published on December 12, 2004 titled ?About Fantes and Allegiance? and would very much appreciate it if it can be published.

I was so surprised about how naive and shallow the article was. I also wonder why Ghanaweb would publish an article like that. The fact that the Fantes did not vote for Mills portrays their level of maturity and civility. They voted for the person who they think would get the job done and not merely on ethnic grounds. This also indicates that the Fantes are democratic by nature, independent-minded, intelligent, very objective, and the most enlightened ethnic group in Ghana.

I do not know who taught the author the history of the colonial rule and the slave trade but every educated and enlightened person would know that the colonizers came to all the coastal areas of Africa because the sea was the only mode of transportation at the time. The Fantes are just one of the numerous tribes the white men dealt with. Even in Ghana, we have the Ewe?s, the Ga?s, the Effutu?s, the Nzema?s, the Wassa?s etc?who were also involved with the whites. Evidence of this would be found from the various forts and castles they built in these areas. Cape Coast (The Fanteland) only happens to be the capital of the colonizers by virtue of its location. It is also worth noting that, most of these colonizers were merchants and therefore traded their merchandise for what they were interested in from their colonies. This is what was known as ?Batter trade? in which the Africans exchanged gold (which was the common and acceptable currency) for what they were interested in from the whites. It is irresponsible to put all the blame on the Fantes for the atrocities that were meted out by the whites on the Africans such as the slave trade. You have to bear in mind that the Fantes were also victims themselves and defenseless, just as everybody at the time. Every reasonable person can explicitly realize that the Ashantis resisted the colonizers because of the knowledge they have already received from the bad experience the Fantes have had with the whites.

Remember that before the colonizers decided to move up north from the coast, they had already captured all the fanteland and had established their presence there for years. So the Ashantis (led by Yaa Asantewaa) knew about what the Fantes were going through and that is why they resisted them. I believe the Ashantis would have welcomed them if they knew something good was coming their way. You cannot just take history out of context and make irresponsible conclusions just to belittle a group of people who were victims themselves. Just look at the current ministers and various appointments in the Kuffuor administration and you would realize that the Fantes make up the majority. If in the author?s opinion, voting for someone you think would get the job done irrespective of which ethnic group the person belongs is bad, and Ghanaians should vote on ethnic grounds, then it is unfortunate that the author do not have Ghana at heart (unpatriotic), narrow-minded and do not understand what democracy means.

I think semantic articles like this are not what the people want to read because it is full of thrash and promotes divisionism, ethnocentrism, tribal discrimination, and enmity. People should rather applause the Fantes for their gesture and emulate it because that is exactly what the fledging democracy in Ghana needs. People have to think more objectively and open-mindedly before they write. Have a great day and please let me know if there is any other way I can get this published.


Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.

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