I have written extensively on tribalism in Ghana and despite my inherent detest for all acts inspired by tribal allegiances, I’ve come to realize the Ghanaian is deeply glued to this barbarism and it may take centuries to fully blur it out of our dealings.
In an article I published about 2 years ago titled-The ‘Ewes Have Bad Body Odour’, the ‘Ashantis Are Thieves’ the ‘Akwapims Are Fools’ & the ‘Fantis Are Lazy’ | Tribalism in 21st Century Ghana, I stated among other things that;
A lot has changed over the years in Ghana. Education has played a huge role in reshaping our human direction and interaction. The law has taken up the challenge in bring justice to all those who deserve it. Morals have strengthened our relationships and exchanges with one another.
Nevertheless, one thing seems to have not been touched and unmoved—TRIBALISM. Reasonably, the closer we get, the gaps found in-between the walls of divisions such as tribes should be bridged but this has not been the case.
Even though you do not often find Ghanaians playing the tribal card when dealing with one another face to face (except of course the politicians), the tribal war continues—but it has taken a different form and it is at its peak on the internet.
As I mentioned above, except the politicians who occasionally take up tribal stance, hoping to win votes or upset others, the ordinary Ghanaian has succeeded in camouflaging his tribal sentiments—making it seem the era of division has ended.
Even with education, civilization, the need for togetherness and the fact that it is impossible to avoid other tribes, some Ghanaians still hold tight whatever misconception or belief they have in relation to other tribes.
Obviously, it is of no huge benefit to dictate your dealings along the lines of tribalism. This together with some sort of over-reaching moral consensus has made it unattractive for people to be ‘openly tribalist’—-but that has not been able to quench the fire of division in Ghanaians.
You may not be hearing of one tribe throwing stones or insults at the other in Ghana. But it does not mean this is not happening. It is just that, the insults and stone throw have taken a different form and shape—it is actively happening online and behind closed doors.
Yesterday, one of my friends in UK-Jake invited me to his place for dinner and apart from the fact I love the fufu and light soup his wife serves on such occasions, the accompanying dinner table conversations are too humorous to be missed.
Jake, a proud Ga man lives with Efo, also a proud Ewe and mostly, you would catch them friend-jabbing each other—on tribal lines, mainly ignited by the firewood of politics.
Jake is fully NPP and Efo his co-tenant is an NDC zealot.
And as always, the two kick-started the evening yesterday with their tribal clothed in political jabs which I recorded mainly for those who can catch the fun and ridiculousness in their absurd submissions.
Jake claims the Ewes are pretty useless and that their men marry so many women. He also asserts that, the Ewes love to live in wooden shelters and would mostly build a nice block house which they will give out for rent—to mount a wooden kiosk in front of the house where they will pathetically live.
Efo who was eating wasn’t mute either: he had series of arsenals to fire, a clear indication that our tribal sentiments still live with us.
This conversation perfectly captures the Zeitgeist of our time in reference to tribalism, compared to the past—in that, today, we air our tribal views behind closed doors and carefully employ tribal notions so we wouldn’t be easily judged.
Tribalism is not out of the picture, we’ve just succeeded in shifting it away from its transparent position to a murky yard.
Listen to the audio below…