The translation of Ghana’s National Anthem and Pledge into 11 local languages Mrs. Nkrumah said, is a good way of bringing back the country’s sense of oneness, value and patriotism…
Ghana’s National Anthem and National Pledge is now available in 11 different local languages; thanks to Mr John B. K. Amoah, a researcher who thought essential, the need to simplify the two national assets for better understanding.
The National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) on March 10, 2017, launched the translated versions of the National Anthem and National Pledge at the College of Physicians and Surgeons Conference Auditorium, Ridge, Accra.
This was part of the NCCE’s contribution towards the celebrations of Ghana’s 60th anniversary. The 11 languages are; Akwapim Twi, Ashanti Twi, Dagaare, Dagbani, Dangme, Ewe, Ga, Gonja, Kasem, fante and Nzema. The translated versions of Ghana’s National Anthem and National Pledge, have been certified by the Bureau of Ghana Languages to be accurate to convey the meaning of the original pieces.
The launch of the two national assets was witnessed by Mrs Charlotte Osei, the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Mrs Beatrice Asamani, News Editor of the Ghana News Agency and her Deputy, Mr Francis Ameyibor.
Why 11 Local Languages?
The purpose of the move was to reinforce patriotism, respect and value for the Ghanaian identity amongst the people. According to Prof. Emeritus J.H. Kwabena Nketia, who launched the translated versions; the spirit of nationalism, self-confidence and unity could be fostered if the country found innovative means to depend on herself instead, of being over-dependent on what the colonial masters left.
Prof. Nketia, a musicologist and composer spoke against the disregard for Ghana’s National Anthem and Pledge in educational and public atmospheres, which has fueled great neglect among Ghanaians for their identity. This situation has also led to a surge in the number of Ghanaians who cannot boldly recite their anthems and pledges to the country.
NCCE Chair Admonishes Ghanaians
Also speaking at the launch was Mrs Josephine Nkrumah, the Chairperson of the NCCE. During her address, Mrs. Nkrumah dissected into the tremendous significance of the launch of the two national pieces. She also bemoaned the alarming rate at which many Ghanaians disregard the national Anthem -a situation which she explains is as a result of a lack of understanding of the English language lyrics of the piece.
This according to her, is where the significance of the translations come in. She explained that lack of understanding of what is recited, is the major reason why there seems to be little or no regard in the people for their identity.
“A few of us have paused with somber reflection on this clip and its implications on us as a nation with national pride and patriotism or to engender some civic understanding of what we are as Ghanaians.”
Mrs Nkrumah explained that the translation of the National Anthem and the National Pledge into 11 local languages, was a good way of bringing back the sense of oneness, value and patriotism among Ghanaians.
John B. K. Amoah’s Take on the Mother Tongue
The brain behind the translations, Mr. Amoah also appealed to Ghanaians to limit the use of English language in running the affairs of the country. English he said, is not Ghana’s mother tongue and should not be treated as such.
He called for the acknowledgement of Ghanaian language in schools, as it can make for better learning and understanding among school children. Mr. Amoah also called on government to publish parliamentary proceedings in local languages to increase the understanding of issues.
The National Anthem was composed by Mr Philip Gbeho in 1957. However it still remains unknown the identity of the individual who composed Ghana’s National Pledge.