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Opinions of Thursday, 30 May 2013

Columnist: Allotey, Henry Kpakpo

Ga memorial day 2

The Nkra/Akra/Accra, which many of the Ga feel is a faulty translation and derogatory term to call Ga or its people and Greater-Accra, also a derogatory term and faulty translation of Ayawaso, still make many Ga people to feel imprisoned under Ghanaian colonialism. Many would like all derogatory terms and faulty translations removed from names of Ga State towns and villages by the Ghanaian government and to show respect for Ga and Dangme culture and traditions.

The Ga language is spoken by the people inhabiting that part of Ghana-coast of West Africa, which is limited in the South by the sea, the river Volta in the East and the Akwapim-mountains in the North and North-West, thus forming a Triangular plain. It is divided into Ga-Akpa and Ga-Dangme, which is a dialect of it; both dialects spoken by over 25 percent of the Ghanaian Population. The Ga people are about 18 percent of the total Ghanaian population based on accurate ethnic count by scholars. Ghana Government bans ethnic count in Ghanaian Census.

Some small tribes the Agotim people speaking Dangme, and part of the population speaking Ga, have emigrated and settled beyond the river Volta in the midst of the Ewe speaking tribes. The Ga Akpa, spoken by the sea states of Ga or James Town, Kinka (Dutch Accra) Osu (Christiansborg), La (Labadi) and Teshi is limited in the N.W. by the Otyi language; in the East and N.E. by the Dangme dialect of the Ga. The Dangme is limited in the N.W. by the Otyi and Kyerepong, in the East and N.E. by the Ewe language, which is spoken by seven towns on the Western back of the river Volta. The principal towns or small GaDangme groups speaking Dangme is: Nungua, Tema, Kpon, Prampram, Ningo, and Ada along the sea coast; Asutsuare and Kponi on the western bank of the river Volta, Osudoku (in the plain on the mountain called So). Krobo (two towns on the Krobo mountain: Yilo and Ma Nya, Sai (with two towns on the Sai mountain) and Agotim (with three towns in the East of the river Volta).

Every principal town has numerous plantation villages or 'akrowa'. Ningo and Ada, besides some fishing-villages as dependencies. The Dangme dialect is considered the mother tongue of Ga proper being more authentic and original and less mixed with foreign elements. Today, the Ga language and the akrowa (plantation villages) are under threat from uncontrolled migration from nations of Ghana's interior to the coastal parts of Ghana and is bringing the Ga people from all over the world to the land of New Jersey to find ways and means to preserve the Ga rich culture and to resist the destruction of Ga plantation villages by real estate companies like SSNIT, Regimanuel, President John Mahama and his Ministry of Housing, and Home Finance Company. In 2012, the Home Finance Company made a total profit of $400 million from rural Ga (Accra) selling properties built on farmlands. The Ga has a strong desire to stop turning corn fields into gated communities in the Ga State. Also, Ga people want SSNIT, Unilever, Home Finance, Ministry of Housing, Tema Development Corporation and Ghana Commercial Bank to return all Ga lands in their possession to the Ga State.