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Remembering Akora KB Asante

Remembering our beloved husband, Daddy, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother, uncle, cousin, and friend. Akora KB Asante, Achimotan, teacher, mentor, statesman, diplomat, and columnist

You left us a year ago. Words cannot express the loss and void we feel. To ease the pain we are forwarding the Voice from Afar article you wrote on 23rd May 2016.

May we reflect on the message and live productive lives Yours was a life well lived.

How do we truly appreciate our roots, heritage and culture? by KB Asante

I often stress the promotion of the African personality and self-confidence. But how do we truly believe in the equality of the African with other people without a proper appreciation of our roots, heritage and culture? Our educational system still highlights the contribution of Europe to modern civilisation and largely ignores or

belittles the achievements and contributions of Africa and the East. We were made to believe that we should aspire after European values and culture and keep away from the African way of life.

The contribution of our forebears to culture and education should inspire us to make our own impact on the world scene and strengthen our self-confidence. Often we do not know what Africans have done, and our ignorance impacts on our confidence. Many of our leading men and women were educated at the University of Ghana. Many know Mensah Sarbah Hall but do not know who Mensah Sarbah was.

Mensah Sarbah was the son of a merchant who traded in palm oil and rubber, and was so rich that he could educate his children in England. Sarbah was the first compatriot to qualify as a lawyer in 1887. While building up a lucrative legal practice, he did not neglect the progress of his compatriots. In his short life of 46 years he helped to found the Gold Coast Aborigines Rights Protection Society with J.W. Sey, J.P. Brown and J.E. Casely Hayford, and vigorously opposed the Land Bill of 1897 to stop the alienation of land by the colonialists.

He appreciated the values of education and promoted learning in Ghana not only by writing and advocacy, but also by contributing to the establishment of Mfantsipim.

I could not hold my head high when the British Prime Minister described Nigeria as fantastically corrupt. I know we in Ghana are not that much better. Some of our leaders spend their corruptly acquired money to lead extravagant lives while their people remain unnecessarily impoverished.

If only our leaders and those with money would follow the example of Mensah Sarbah. This great African not only encouraged farmers to grow cocoa, soon to become the economic mainstay of the country, but also gave them loans to do so. Surely Ghana would not be in its present economic difficulties if those who corruptly acquire state money invest them in the country instead of spiriting the loot into foreign lands.

The achievements of our forebears through the ages in difficult circumstances show that there is much more to the African than song and dance. In recent years great writers such as Chinua Achebe and Wole Soyinka have enriched English literature while Senghor, the Diops and Fanon have widened French literature and intellect.

Africans have contributed to science throughout the ages. In recent times, Ghana's own Joseph Dadson became a renowned biomedical engineer in Canada. He invented the first portable volumetric peritoneal dialysis machine in Canada. We should nurture and keep our scientists helping their countries.

The achievements and contributions of Africans from the continent and the Diaspora in sciences, technology, business, governance and human welfare should be publicised in our schools. This can only be done if the publication and dissemination of the appropriate books are actively encouraged in our schools and colleges. The young would then believe that they “can do it”. This is a sure way of establishing and promoting self-confidence in our people.

This confidence cannot be sustained if our mentors especially our leaders and the press accept and propagate the Americo-Euro-centred view of world events. Some of our leaders are bad but some only look bad if viewed and assessed from the Western viewpoint. Col Gaddafi might have been a ruthless ruler but he made a modern nation out of warring Cyrenaican tribes, brought water to the desert, built schools and colleges and promoted the African Union. Since his murder, there is chaos in Libya.

The West labels such leaders bad when their action threatens Western interests. We in Africa should view world events independently. We should support happenings which promote our interests, with true appreciation of our roots, heritage and culture. We should develop that self-confidence which enables us to promote our true interests and prosper.

News Source : OAA
Last updated at : 23 January,2019
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