My wife speaks Fante and her maiden name-Anthony-Williams somewhat suggests she is Fante but recently she told me she is from Ahanta or whatever—I don’t care, can’t be bothered and my family, even if they have a reservation about the tribe of others (which I am not aware) cannot have a say in who I choose to spend my life with.
I don’t even remember anyone asking me about where she’s from: I am the one making my life partner choice so who are you to tell me who to choose and who not to choose?
It’s interesting, perhaps, sad that in this day and age, families continue to hold invisible grudges against certain groups of people—so much that, their young men and women suffer and are compelled to make difficult choices in life
I was with a Nigerian (though born in the UK) for about 4 years, dated a wonderful woman from Barbados and have been with women I don’t even know what tribe they belong to.
It’s interesting that some Ghanaian families will accept a white person, a person they have nothing in common with, but would never accept another Ghanaian, just because the person belongs to a different tribe.
The attached screenshots are from a conversation I just had with a young woman who wants me to help her find a suitable partner through my effective hook-up service. I am making this post with her permission.
And it’s obvious that she does not, in particular, have a problem with Ewes or the people of Ada and has probably not had any bad experience with these tribes, but her family has placed a vicious sanction on dating any person from these two groups.
Now, she is forced to eliminate anyone from these tribes, irrespective of how compatible or lovely the person would be—and focus on some other tribes, in search for a life partner.
So who did this to us?
For long, we’ve tried to sweep the conversation under the carpet—dishonestly telling ourselves that tribalism or tribal stereotypes are a thing of the past when behind closed doors, that’s all the language we speak.
When people ask me where my wife is from and I say; I don’t really know—or whether I have been to her hometown and I say NO, they become shocked, as if this information is capable of changing anything important in my life.
The hovering Ghanaian political correctness is what has curtailed the needed aggressive combating of tribalism. The language, even if subtly spoken, is everywhere in our lives—from politics to common friendships.
Sometimes, I ask myself; what did Ewes really do—such that they are always painted “black” when it comes to meaningful associations?
I know several wonderful Ewe men and women, including my wife’s friend Mawu Dolla, Dr Felix Anyah and others. It’s therefore not fair, probably heinous, for a whole family to decide to blacklist a group in a manner that the young woman has described.
What has your experience been with tribalism in Ghana? And what do you think is the underlying problem?
I am Akan—and for many years, I’ve wondered where this false sense of superiority of some Akans come from? Because, there’s nothing really inherently special about where you belong–rather, it’s what you make of your existence that counts.
Now, this beautiful young woman is struggling to find a partner, because some old folks who have almost finished living their lives are dictating to her, who she can and cannot choose.
If I were her, I would have gone for exactly what they detest–to show them that, it’s my life and I should be allowed to make my own choice or make my own mistakes, if they regard it as so.