If anything at all, the large response to my recent article titled ‘The ‘Ewes Have Bad Body Odour’, the ‘Ashantis Are Thieves’ the ‘Akwapims Are Fools’ & the ‘Fantis Are Lazy’ | Tribalism in 21st Century Ghana’ has taught me that, the increased hostility of Ghanaians towards each other on the web goes beyond tribal sentiments—it springs out from our brutish nature as people.
The problems of tribalism and racism are not far from each other with Ghanaians (black people) always being the first to cry racial discrimination. However, in our little country, we seemingly cannot respect each other and close the various tribal gaps created by historical developments. The sad part of it all is that, we’ve taken the tribal fight and the gross manner we hate each other onto the internet, calling each other names—-supported by unfounded stereotyping.
Before my recent article, my ‘Nigerian’ girlfriend had it at the back of her mind that, majority of Ghanaians hate Nigerians and that is why anytime an article is published about Nigeria or Nigerians on a Ghanaian website, several insults and unpleasant comments are thrown out.
But having read the comments the above mentioned article attracted, she has accepted that Ghanaians do not particular hate Nigerians. Rather, a large number of Ghanaians on the web are hostile towards anyone who they cannot identify as being part of them. It is a matter of if you are not one of us, then you are an enemy. And I sort of agree with the position she has speedily arrived at…
I cannot understand why the different layers of Akans in Ghana cannot accept each other without stereotyping themselves. If the Fantis and the Ashantis cannot be sisters and brothers with equal respect, how can we expect the Ashantis and the Dagombas or the Frafras and the Gas to live alongside each other in total respect?
I wouldn’t rule out tribal divide as having an influence on the way and manner Ghanaians slash the throat of each other on the web. But I strongly think, some of us are inherently brutish in nature—and backed by tribalism, we have a good reason to be mean to those we can’t identify as being part of us.
The reason why I think we are brutish by nature is that, the resentment and insults we unleash from the back of our computer keyboards go deeper than tribalism. Without holding back to think twice, we attack each other and assume they are one or another tribe.
How can you just look at a person’s username or read his pretty decent comment and be certain that such a person is an Ashanti, a Ga or an Ewe and therefore deserves to be cut down into pieces?
On the face of it, the various on-going online attacks may be seen as a Ghanaian cyber tribal warfare but the truth is, we just want to fight or unleash our anger on someone—therefore, without any evidence, we assume a person belongs to an enemy tribe so we can attack him or her until the person surrenders.
From what I’ve seen and read, I will say a great number of Ghanaians on the web are naturally brutish, ready to tear down anyone who they don’t like or don’t find as being part of them—and together with the existing tribal divide, there is a good reason to thrash one another.
We can discuss things, share ideas, have interesting conversations and make efforts to move our country forward if we learn to control our brutish nature and stop pumping the tribal fuel into every argument or discussion we have on the internet.
Who starts it? I never get to know but it surely catches the fire…