Ghanaians risk losing cultural identity – Prof. Agyekum

Professor Kofi Agyekum, director, School of Performing Arts, University of Ghana, said Ghanaians risk losing their identity if they replace their unique and rich traditional values with foreign culture.

He lamented that the youth adopted foreign culture as a way of life, instead of embracing Ghanaian values.
Speaking at the maiden conference of Ghana Culture Forum (GCF) in Accra on Tuesday, Prof. Agyekum said the present generation owed it a duty to teach the youth, relevant socio-cultural values bequeathed to them by their forbears.
The conference, organised by the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts in collaboration with the GCF was on the theme: “Projecting our national culture: The quest for creativity, excellence and relevance”.
Prof. Agyekum reminded Ghanaians that western culture was “personalistic and individualistic,” and could destroy Ghana’s culture, pointing to the reduction of reported suicide cases in Ghana because of cultural interconnectedness.
He said there was the need for Ghana to critique its culture, and promote good cultural practices and eliminate the obnoxious ones.
Prof. Agyekum said Ghana could project its culture to the international community through the use of technology, including the social media and documentation of music, dances, proverbs and languages.On chieftaincy, Prof. Agyekum expressed concern about the involvement of some chiefs in active partisan politics, and cautioned that those chiefs might lose the respect.
Mrs. Elizabeth Ofosu-Adjare, the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, said the GCF had been instrumental in the disbursement of government allocated funds to the creative arts sector.
She said the ministry was committed to supporting the development of creative arts and culture, towards national development.
Mrs. Ofosu-Adjare, urged the practitioners to take advantage of Ghana’s 60th independence anniversary next year, to project creative arts and culture.
Professor Esi Sutherland-Addy, Co-convener, GCF, said the forum would use funds allocated to them judiciously.
She commended the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) for supporting the formation of GCF.
Mr. Kenneth Ashigbey, Managing Director, Graphic Communications Limited, expressed concern about the inundation of the Ghanaian media with foreign music at the detriment of the local Ghanaian music.
He bemoaned the lack of patronage of made in Ghana products, including local prints and sumptuous local dishes.
Mr. Ashigbey tasked stakeholders in the creative arts industry to make local music attractive to Ghanaians and the international community.

By Malik Sullemana

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