I was fortunate to grow up in a society where cultural norms and values of Africans were fully practised.
When we see elders coming from the farm, we help them by carrying their farm products to their homes.
In our village, the elders finish eating, leave some, the teenagers among follows until the children follow. All these were to foster respect among the age group. A child never passes by without greeting the adult.
Through the early 90s to date, the situation has changed since Ghana became a Democratic state and freedom of speech coupled with press freedom. The repeal of the criminal libel law has given unmeasurable freedom to the press who many describe as the 4th arm of government.
The advent of social media would be seen by many as the “Messiah” of the new age but to many, it has caused more harm than good. Nevertheless, it has made information so closed and accessible than never.
Politicians have used these “borrowed culture” to criminalize our rich culture where respect to the elderly was prime, under the pretence of democracy and freedom of speech.
Our morning these days is pregnant with newspaper reviews, dominated by NPP & NDC on TV and radio stations. All one hears is insults against each other.
The Ghanaian youth has completely lost our rich cultural values, sit on radio and TV and cast insults on elders who are of their Fathers age.
It’s very disgusting to see on social media the kind of words young men and women ageing between 18- 30 uses on ministers even the president without remorse. My heart bleeds to see words like stupid, fool, idiot and many unpleasant words you can think of.
Our pride as respectable youth has been eroded by the influx of western culture branded in the name of democracy.
Our chiefs have lost it, our systems give less or no audience to our culture. The fearsome traditional settings which were ones seen as a bedrock to our conduct is now seen as uncivilised.
The over-reliance and embracing of democracy are likely to lead us to a situation where we may not be able to differentiate between a “child” and the “father” because will put them at par all in the name of politics.
Until we go back to our rules and reality as Ghanaians and allow our one’s rich culture which allows us to tolerate each other without insults, politics will surely disintegrate us.
Menkah Ofori Obed