An announcement by Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey that the government plans to adopt French as a second language, has ruffled some feathers.
The Minister reiterated plans by the government to include promotion of the French language in basic schools and across all other educational levels and labelled it as part of a general reform in Ghana’s educational sector.
A lot of Ghanaians are particularly not amused by the revelation that the decision, which was made known during the 2019 La Francophone Week in Accra, is in line with national priorities.
Hiplife artiste, Okyeame Kwame, who is among a list of personalities who do not support the move to adopt French as a second language, says the decision is disrespectful.
The tourism ambassador believes that the adoption of French as Ghana’s second language will hinder the nation’s development.
In a series of tweets, which also saw him take his time to respond to his fans who also shared their views on the issue, Okyeame Kwame expressed strong objection to the government’s plan.
“French as a second language is disrespectful to our pride and culture, it is bad enough that our first language is another person’s language. What is wrong with making one of our local languages our first language. @Hitz1039FM,” he said.
The musician, who is currently actively promoting his ‘Made in Ghana’ album, a composition of songs that sell Ghana’s cultural diversities, language, fashion and food, noted that “Every Country in the world developing teaches, works and interacts in their local language.
“We can encourage ourselves to learn more foreign languages like Chinese, Spanish and French. My problem is with making it a second language when we have local languages dying,” Okyeame Kwame further explained.
“English is Our First Language oooooo. Hausa, Ewe, Akan and even Krio are all around Us but we are too quick to choose English because we will fight over whose language to use,” he said and added that, “I know that it is not easy but we must try to make Our languages relevant and export it with our culture . That is how we arrest the dollar. By selling not buying.
“We have quietly accepted English [and now] pushing French through should be subtle not in Our faces however. [We] Must confidently Push our local languages and its associated history and Culture. That is how we grow,” the award-winning rapper replied a fan.
“…My Children love their language, culture and History,” he added.
Reiterate his point further, Okyeame Kwame told Andy Dosty in an interview on Daybreak Hitz with Andy Dosty on Hitz FM that “when I sleep and I ever have a dream and I speak in my dream, I speak in Twi.”
“When you talk to me in Twi, the amount of knowledge that I reserve because the language is not words that come out of your mouth, it is a combination of a shared history and a shared culture so it is important that we don’t only speak our language, we learn [and] we understand the idioms and the proverbs and the etymologies behind our language that is when we will develop. We cannot develop like the way we are developing with another person’s language and one is enough, two will be too much,” he said.
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