You are here: HomeWallOpinionsArticles2010 01 24Article 175624

Opinions of Sunday, 24 January 2010

Columnist: The Royal Enoch

Africa's Development And Mental Slavery Pt2

I know certain people, who are naturally gifted in the art of learning any language. I also happen to know certain characters, who are just the exact opposite. The latter could migrate to a foreign country, stay and work there for years without mastering a quarter of the spoken language over there. Anyway, I'm very sure that we would all agree that each and everyone of us has his/her own unique talent. Some of us are linguistically more inclined than others.

Moreover, the proper or the improper mastering of a foreign language to one's own could depend on the nature of the language processing part of one's brain. Understandably, living and working in a foreign country could require some sort of basic control of the spoken language over there. But what if one happens to be living and working in Ghana? Is the proper mastering of a foreign language a must?

The British introduced their language English to us, when they came to our country in search of wealth and cheap labor. Prior to that, we were communicating with one another in our own tongue. The British managed to set up an education system, which had the British teachers teaching the subjects of their new African colony. These British teachers brought with them from Great Britain, British poetry, mathematics and things of that nature. Mind you, both the technical and scientific oriented stuff were deliberately omitted from their education package. Meaning, the citizens of the Gold coast would be taught how to read and write English. They would excel academically, but not scientifically or technically. Sure enough, it didn't take long before the citizens of the Gold coast became masters of this colonial language called English. They have been writing, and reading this language more better than their colonial masters ever since.

Unfortunately in Ghana, the level of one's intelligence is measured upon how well one rattles this colonial language called English. A person could be an absolute illiterate in his/her own tongue. However, this same person would be considered a sheer genius if he/she happens to speak an English word or two. The preference for this colonial language to our own has relegated our own languages, and dialects to the back seat. Our president addresses both our parliament, and the nation using the language of our former colonial masters.

And he better not mis-pronounce an English word during a speech. Otherwise he would be called an illiterate by our so called learned men and women. Mind you, didn't we say that we were free from colonial rule? If so; then what the heck are we still doing with this language? Isn't time that we picked one of our many languages, and dialects to replace the language of our former oppressors?

See, there could never be an authentic development without the process of thought. The process of thought is the very art of thinking itself. Thinking means having a vision, which compliments the language of one's own. And once the language of one's own is fully mastered, communication would necessitate the process of self-development, which ensues from the thoughtful words of one's own language.