President calls for more research to fully understand Guyana-Ghana ties-At Ghana Day observance
Georgetown, Guyana – (March 6, 2017)
President David Granger called on the Ghana Day Organisation to place emphasis on the heroes of Ghana to help Guyanese, particularly those with African ancestry, to better understand themselves. Speaking at the Ghana Day ceremony at Congress Place, Sophia, yesterday, the Head of State said, “What we need to do in Guyana to ensure that the traditions of our forefathers are continued and that those traditions help to give our children the good life that they struggled for and they deserve,” he said.
The President said that Guyanese need to do much more research into their own history and that of the history of the Akan people and of modern Ghana if they are to find the linkages between Ghana and Guyana. “I think this educational experience will help us to understand ourselves better. It will help us to band together, not to hate other people, but to give ourselves strength in order to achieve the objectives of our society,” he said.
He reminded that when the ancestors of Afro-Guyanese left the plantations 178 years ago, they established villages in which they built their livelihoods on four strong pillars. These are: the home, the church, the farm and the school. He said that emancipation for them meant re-establishing the family home and that is why today Guyanese, particularly Guyanese men must understand that the home is a sacred place. Equally important he said, are the women and their role in the family. “Motherhood is sacred because it is the mother that transmits her education and love and values, care, affection and compassion to her sons and daughters and if we abuse women, we abuse generations to come… When I talk about equality, I mean equality, matrifocality is important and this is something we need to reinject into the Guyanese society,” the Head of State said.
The President also spoke of the various rites of passage, foods such as metemgee and conkee, names like Kofi and Kwasie, folklores like the Anansi stories and music, which were brought from Ghana to this country by the Akan people. “Many people do not understand what the Akan society was about. They feel that by crossing the water, all of those traditions were erased but they weren’t erased by our fore parents.
Yesterday marks the 60th Independence Anniversary of Ghana, which was the first British Colony in the Southern Sahara to become a free State. This country used to be called the Gold Coast and after Independence, its first leader Kwame Nkrumah changed the name from the Gold Coast to Ghana.