Hon. Andrew Dari Chiwitey, the Sawla-Tuna -Kalba legislator has appealed to indigenes of Northern Ghana, especially Birifors in the Southern sector to take pragmatic steps towards maintaining their distinct cultural identity.
Making a contribution on a statement made by his colleague MP Dzifa Gomashie, on the floor of Parliament on the need for us to use our mother language especially in schools in teaching our children, Hon.Andrew expressed worry at a growing situation where people from Northern Ghana especially Birifors tend to be giving Akan names such as Agyeiwaa, Ama Mansa, Abena Donkor to their children as well as speaking other languages with them instead of their local dialect.
“I get worried when I see these state of affairs. We may lose our identity and culture. If we continue on this path, we only risk being totally lost as a people and our cultural heritage will be on the brink of extinction,” Hon. Andrews observed.
“There is nothing wrong with learning and speaking other languages but your identity is what defines you,” Hon.Andrew reiterated, saying “…we could still promote unity in diversity. Our beauty as Ghanaians is our diversity.”
He called on all Birifors, Dagabas,Vaglas and Gonjas no matter where they find themselves to be proud of their personality and their cultural roots.
He urged traditional rulers to mobilize their people in maintaining their culture as modernization was fast eroding the Ghanaian culture saying: “as custodians of our culture you must take center stage in trying to mobilize our people in maintaining our culture and tradition because modernization is fast eroding our culture”.
We must work in maintaining our culture else it will be a big disaster.
Touching on naming of children, Hon.Andrew said the only way people in the Region (Northern) are able to identify their people is through their names.
He therefore appealed to parents to consider giving them their traditional names stressing that; “we now find a lot of people bearing Akan names without local name.
One means by which we can identify our people as Dagaabas, as Birifors, as Gonjas, as Vaglas and all other tribes in the Region is the traditional names we give to all of them.
“So let me appeal to all of us to give our children local names and not Akan names so that we can identify them in accordance with our tradition”, the MP noted.
The MP also expressed concern at the penchant of parents to teach their children only English Language or Akan at the detriment of their mother tongues.
He therefore appealed to parents to teach their children their language by saying;” we have to keep emphasizing our local languages. These days most of us teach our children English Language in the house, in the school, everywhere because of modernization.
Don’t let us do that at the expense of our local languages so that these kids grow up and they can’t speak their local language”.
The viral video of the MP on his contribution on the statement has since received praises across various social media platforms.