Culture has everything to do when the projection of a country is concerned. During the elementary days in school, we understood that culture is a way of life. It is what defines a person or a group of people. It includes language, art, clothing, food, economic activity and settlement. It also includes customs, beliefs and values, norms and ideas.
Basically, culture is grouped into two; material and non-material culture. The material is briefly the part of culture that can be seen and touched and the non-material is that part that is abstract.
Even though the material part of culture is easily noticeable, it is not as powerful as the non-material. This is because the non-material which consists of customs, beliefs, values, laws and ideas help shape the society we live in, and directly affects the material part of culture as well. For instance, our moral values controls how we clothe ourselves. And yet, it is very saddening that that is what we have lose as a once cultured nation.
Ghanaian culture was characterized by strong moral values, customs and beliefs, laws which have drifted now. Respect was one of the values that cut across all the ethnic groups. Even though they have varying cultural activities most beliefs and customs teaches same virtues. And respect for the elderly and for another and trustworthiness were the eyes of all the values and parents saw it as their main and basic responsibility to inculcate these values in their wards. They believe these are what project the image of the family to the outside world.
Unfortunately, this is not how Ghana is now. We have lost it all, we have misplaced our sound moral values with behaviors unworthy. We praise the deviant and condemn the moral. The bad is hailed and made famous and the good is ignored and cornered. We honour and defend the affluent who is vulgar and dishonor the penniless who is gentle.
It shows in how the affluent upon their abundant wealth, still steals the nations wealth and we call for mercy on their heads, we sympathize and stand for them, condemning the law for harsh verdicts. But we never defend the penniless who would rot in jail for stealing a fowl in the cause of trying to feed his family in this hard times. It shows how our culture is blemished with insanity that never existed.
Our culture has been drifted in a way that deviancy has come to stay. So the few that try to be good are branded as hypocrites. That is why ‘A’ and ‘B’ would be in the same industry. ‘A’ openly insults people’s mothers and carrying vulgarity on his shoulders, but he is praised as being real, and the youth, the future of this nation adores this so much. However, ‘B’ tries to keep his calm on issues but he is tagged as hypocrite, arrogant and bitter because he is not spewing nuisance as they expect him to be. Since when did violence and vulgarity become our way of life?
When you go to our workplaces, the good are not recognized and promoted and don’t have friends. They are called all sort of names just because they dare to be unblemished.
The saying “Good name is better than riches” doesn’t hold meaning in the affairs of the current generation. They would tell you good name neither puts food on the table nor pays the bills.
Our culture now adores the uncultured, and the uncultured cultures the cultured. Who is to be blamed –
Is it The Failing Arms of Government?
What happens to the tail if the head of a snake is crushed and rotten? Those who make the laws and defends it fall prey to it so they are reluctant in pushing it. They have formed allies among themselves so there is no one to prosecute anyone. You press charges against them and it would never hold. It fades out as time passes by.
When this is observed by ordinary citizens, they lose hope which generates misconceptions about our values, laws, beliefs that we have held on for so long. Now, even children admits there is no law in Ghana. If respect for elderly, disapproval of deviancy and many others are values enshrined in the Ghanian culture, why don’t our honourably elects who bear the titles honourables do the honourable things?
They sit on the media and spew claptraps and issue threats and yet walk about freely. They insult themselves and I wonder if they really are adults and fathers of a nation.
Lawlessness started rampantly when people became conscious of how dirty our leaders are. And how they are not shy to show it publicly. If they are still walking about freely, what motivates the ordinary citizen to live by good moral virtues?
Could It Be Failure on the part of Parents and Religious bodies?
The home and the church is the first institution where a child is nurtured morally. How many moral homes exists now?
The economic pattern in Ghana has revolved and has affected the roles parents play as compared to the early days. Currently, both parents are workers in formal institutions and hardly spend much time with their wards.
Some even send their wards to boarding schools at a very tender age so that they would be free to go about their activities.
It is certain most parents don’t really know their wards, that is their behavioral make up. You tell them what their children are capable of doing and they look at you like you just landed on earth from Mercury.
The only time family meet is in the evening. During weekends too parents have events to attend, and wards have weekend classes. The day they are all home, they are busy tackling the chores undone when they were busy, hence don’t spend quality time among themselves. This absence causes lots of uncultured behaviours amongst the children unchecked and they grow up with it.
Parents also now adores deviancy on the part of their children as far as the children’s activities bring something home, especially their daughters. In some areas parents advice daughters how to be smart and dupe men to bring something home.
There is nothing like disciplining someone’s child these days, not even in schools. If you report a child to his/her parents about deviance behaviour, you stand the chance being an enemy to the family.
Also, most religious bodies now don’t care much about the inculcation of good moral values into their members. Their aim currently is to have massive members and properties. They preach about prosperity and it sounds like it will just fall from the thin air, so they spend all time praying and fasting but without actions to support. This breeds laziness and irresponsibility.
Lots of activities concerning some leaders of some religious bodies has made people lose hope of what they thought is a place where morality is imparted.
What About The Lost Entertainment Industry?
There is one thing that characterizes the youth all over the world, entertainment. The Ghanaian entertainment industry is now interesting than ever as there has been a wide display of talents of all sorts.
The workers of this industry indirectly cut a niche of the population for themselves with their arts.
This niche is influenced by the activities of their icon. This plays much concern on what the industry has to offer. Is it nudity or profanity…? That’s the trend now. The only way to enter and stay relevant in the industry is to go a fellow artists and the entire nation would shake for you with praises and awards.
The local movies are full of vulgarity and nudity that are unhealthy for the youth. Our arts lacks our cultural values, we instead embrace the arts of other countries and swag it well, you are mocked as uncivilized if you’re not able to adapt to the foreign culture. Those trying to go by ours are tagged as archaic and non-dynamic. Majority of our songs contains lyrics you have to look right and left before singing.
Or It Is Advancement in Technology and the Use of Social Media?
We are in the 21st century, the information age. Everything you want to know is on the internet. Communication has become more easier. About 90% of mobile phones used are smart phones. Children below ten years receive smart phones these days as birthday gifts.
The problem is how we are abusing technology and social media. For hunger for fame people do all sort of uncultured activities and put it on the internet hoping it becomes a nationwide topic, and by grace of social media it even travels to the shores of other continents.
Social media is where you can find celebrities nudity, video recordings of people expressing their views and with contents that are uncalled for. Its shocking how people hide behind social media and shoot bullets of insults on leaders of the nation and great icons the nation has born. Meanwhile, if they are to meet in reality, they can’t utter a word. In fact, democracy didn’t do the black man a favour.
There are lots of factors I would run out of pages trying to talk about that has drifted our culture to the state it is now, and what these factors do is to print indiscipline on our minds, because that is what we see and hear all around us, our elders are into it, and shockingly our role modeled so called intellectuals are indifferent.
It then eats into us, gets immune into our system and starts manifesting in all aspects of our lives, and eventually shows as the image of our so beloved country. No respect for laws, no moral values and this clearly depicts what the future could be. I’m not a doomsayer.
The nation is falling not because of any other thing except the effects of the accumulated pieces of deviant behaviors and activities we have accepted as norms and have been incorporated into our cultural system.
Let’s go back to the good old days. The days when a Ghanaian was an individual with integrity; trustworthy, respectful, law abiding and patriotic.
Change is good, adapting to the standards of this advancing world is good, but we shouldn’t lose our sanity in the process. A change that is making us blind to who we are and where we came from is a curse.