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Opinions of Monday, 7 October 2013

Columnist: Allotey, Henry Kpakpo

How the Gas can rediscover their lost glory

I have written series of articles that highlights the problems that exist in the Ga state. I started with the dearth of a natural Ga leader, our dying Ga language and our comatose Homowo festival celebration. As usual while some commended me for boldly stating the problems in our Ga state, some also condemned me for bringing these problems to light. In all, I have no regrets for embarking on this crusade of righting the wrong that has been done to our noble Ga state. I take my consolation from this bible verse: Proverbs 17: 10 which states (A gentle reproof will enter, not only into the head, but into the heart of a wise man) so I have the firm belief and conviction that my articles have awoken some sleeping giants in the Ga community and they will take it up.

Let us now examine how we can right the wrongs in our Ga society. Let us first start with how we can revive our local Ga language and actually export it outside Greater Accra.

It is a fact that Twi was not too much of a dominant language when local twi radio stations were not in existence. Even though Twi was widely spoken in Accra, Ga was being learnt by other tribes so that they can communicate with their Ga brothers and Sisters. What changed the landscape totally was the introduction of several Radio Stations that broadcasted exclusively in Twi. Suddenly, Twi language Radio stations were the preferred choice of our Ga households. Names like Abeiku Santana, Fiifi Banson, Kwame Sefa Kaye, Billy Ocean, Akwasi Aboagye and other Twi Radio presenters became household names in Accra. The opening of the Twi language Radio stations somewhat coincided with the release of several high tempo hip hop Twi raps that enjoyed massive airplay on these radio stations. It was only a matter of time before our Ga language became extinct!

We cannot downplay the essence of publicity when it comes to promotion of languages. We all know how English has become the dominant language in the world. Everybody in the world has to one way or the other learned English in order to survive. You cannot transact any business without learning how to read and write English. Even though British conquest of ¼ of the world accelerated their language in the world, it is also a fact that powerful media outlets like the B.B.C, C.N.N, Reuters, Fox News etc. has added to the spread of the English language.

We the Gas must learn from this. It is time the Ga person gets out of his or her shell and contributes positively to the spread of the Ga language. What I propose is the immediate setting up of several Ga Radio stations in all over the country. This may be revolutionary but necessary. We need at least 4 to 5 exclusive Ga language Radio stations in the capital city. This is how they are going to operate 1. One Ga Radio station will be dedicated to playing exclusive music and entertainment programs. Presentation will be in Ga and Ga only. 85% of music played will be Ga music and the rest will be in other languages. This strategy will benefit our Ga hip youths.

2. The second Ga radio station will be an exclusive political radio station. They are going to operate like Asempa FM that does exclusive political talk shows. They will deal with things of political nature, do the regular morning shows, and invite politicians to speak on issues and other things that will be politically vibrant. As usual, interactions will be 90% in Ga and the rest in English

3. The third Radio station will be an exclusive Sports channel that discusses things of a sporting nature. This Sports station will go beyond just reporting sports issue. It will promote sports in the Ga communities and highlight budding Ga sportsmen and women to the world. It is going to be a highly interesting sports station that will inure to the benefit of our Ga communities.

4. The fourth Radio station will operate like a community Radio station. They will bring to the fore activities that take place in our communities. They will report on things like the environment, joblessness in our community, crime and other social issues. All the hot issues like landguards menace, chieftaincy problems and other negative social issues will be discussed extensively on this station.

5. The fifth station will be general in nature. Discussing every bit that the other stations will be doing.

With five strong Ga Radio stations in Greater Accra we are sure of rediscovering our language. The presenters in these Radio stations will be Gas with flair in the language. They must be able to communicate exclusively in the language and must have a bit of sacrifice in the performance of their duties.

I want to highlight that these Radio stations are going to operate commercially with an aggressive marketing force. The only Radio Station that wouldn’t operate with a profit motive will be the one that will be operated like the community radio station.

I am also proposing that Ga Radio stations must be set in places that have a significant Ga population like Kumasi, Takoradi, Cape Coast and Ho. The purpose of these stations is to spread the language to these communities. Most of Ewes, Fantis, and Northerners are willing to learn the Ga language. It is a delight to see an Ewe, Fanti or Northerner speak the Ga language like a native. We will not forget our Akwapim brothers and sisters. Famous Ga musicians like Amadzeba Nat Brew, Adane Best and other are not Gas even though most sing in Ga. Citing Radio stations in these communities will bring some excitement to the natives who will be curious to learn the language.

Apart from citing of Radio stations, I will also recommend the setting up of free educational classes that teach adults and pupils alike the Ga language. These classes will be cited in all parts of the country. Dedicated Ga teachers will be encouraged to teach the Ga language voluntarily.

In the interim, me and my partners will be embarking on massive publicity to encourage our youths to speak the Ga language. We have prepared our jingles that will be played on selected Radio stations in Accra, Takoradi, Cape Coast and Ho. These jingles will encourage our Ga youths to courageously speak the language wherever they find themselves. We are also preparing a video advert on T.V that will humorously drive the Ga language forward. Short documentaries on Ga language will be aired on selected T.V stations. We also plan to shoot movies exclusively in the Ga language that will be aired on commercial T.V.

While my partners and I have done our part, we are constrained with resources to prosecute our agenda. Taking on such a monumental task requires lots of resources to do so. While I will encourage all Ga entrepreneurs and businessmen to seriously consider the Radio station aspect, we will also appeal to noble Gas to support the project we are about to embark. If we succeed in once again making the Ga language dominant, posterity will judge us good in the eyes of our children and grandchildren.

We are setting up a fund to prosecute our agenda. All Gas living everywhere will be encouraged to contribute their widow’s mite to this fund which will exclusively be used to fund our projects. Gas who contribute will have projects named after them and recognized in brochures we are about to publish. Contributors will have the honor of being recognized as those that made it possible for the Gas to rediscover their language.

Let us all put our hands to the wheels and rediscover our language.

kpakpogh@yahoo.com

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