Thursday, 1 August 2013

Could our national anthem have more?

Is it possible to alter our national anthem just a bit. I'm not talking a massive reconstruction effort don't worry. It's just that my sister and I have always cringed at times when listening to the national anthems of former European colonies. Many of them are clearly based on a European score. They reflect the use of European instruments and because of their form, European languages. I think more of the indigenous culture should be infused into all national anthems, especially Ghana's. Just like many people might know and enjoy singing the American anthem even though they are not American, I enjoy singing the first verse of the South African anthem "Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika" if for any reason, it is relevant as much to me as an African in general, as it is to South Africans in particular - "Lord Bless Africa" (literal translation from Xhosa). And yes I know that the tune itself is actually based on Welsh hymn "Aberystwyth". The fact that I can overlook that piece of trivia attests to the power of the African language.

I saw a clip of Samini singing the national anthem before a boxing match. Now Samini doesn't really have a singing voice, I knew I wasn't going to be moved by his singing. But then I was moved by a little extra-curricular thing he did straight after. He set off the "Ghana, Ghana, Ghana Oseyie" call-and-response. In that moment, I had a clear idea of how many Ghanaians were really in the room. The men (I can only assume it was majority male) belted from their guts. Bellies full with fufu and kenkey it felt like a war chant for a moment (highly appropriate for the type of sport about to be undertaken). The Kiwis have their haka, we are equally as superstitious when it comes to our ancestors (maybe more!) The call and response is our haka equivalent. It envokes the Ghana of the past, present and future all at once. That, or "Tsoboi!", although I think Oseyie is better and in keeping with song time.

So yeah, Brazil 2014 is coming up guys. Wouldn't it just be amazing if when the world thinks our national anthem is over we catch them with "Ghana! Ghana! Ghana! Oseeeeyieee, yieeeeee yieeeee Ghana ooooo! yie, Ghana oooo yieeee ayieee!" just imagine.....

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