A thousand miles is all it took to complete this journey.

A journey to find my true identity and what I represent.

I was forced out of my father’s house a long time ago,

By some wanderers who came in disguise as traders.

I was hauled to a foreign land,

And drenched in hopelessness and helplessness.

I was compelled to emulate their culture and neglect mine.

My culture was viewed as barbaric, but theirs was considered civilized.

Now, I have found my roots and I am back in my motherland.

As I hasten my pace to my father’s house, I notice many peculiar things.

What seemed to be the norm during the era of my forefathers, is now frowned upon,

And acts which were deemed to be taboos, are now embraced.

As I sweated under the hot incandescent sun,

I bumped into a woman whose skin was as white and pale as my abductors,

That I mistook her for one of them.

Had it not been for the fact that she spoke,

And for the pigmentation of some parts of her body,

I wouldn’t have  known she was one of us.

I could not cease to wonder why there was a sudden dislike for our beautiful melanin skin,

Which shone by the smear of shear butter.

As I walked further, I met a man who was pointing fingers,

And mocking his neighbour for eating tuozafi, in a beautifully molded earthenware.

I wondered what he found hilarious and immediately,

I heard him say his neighbour’s food was unhealthy,

And that he should adopt the delicacies of my abductors instead.

I gaped in awe and was at the same time heartbroken,

Because the same delicacies that developed us into who we are today,

Are being mocked at and discouraged.

I was a few miles away from my father’s house when I heard a small crowd,

Murmuring about a month called the “Ghana Month.”

My curiousity to know more about this strange month, made me draw closer to the crowd.

This month, I eventually heard, was a month,

Designated to celebrate and portray Ghana’s rich cultural heritage and diversity.

My eyebrows raised in astonishment.

I could not fathom how out of twelve months,

Just one was chosen to remind us of our Ghanaian identity.

I could not fathom why there was such a month at all,

When clearly we live in our country every day and not just once every year.

We need not be reminded of our heritage; we need to live our heritage.

It should be our daily way of life.

We are not Ghanaians only in March, but we are Ghanaians every other month of the year,

And that is why our culture should be inculcated in the next generation so it never dies.

I spotted the gate to my father’s house,  began striding.

My mind was clouded with many questions which I hoped to get answers for.

If all these were our new way of life, then we were striding the wrong path,

And something needed to be done urgently to prevent us from completely going astray.

Our Ghanaian culture should be our pride, only then will we not lose our identity,

And also be able to ensnare others with it.

 

 

Written by : Nasreen Zankawah

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