Often times, I have heard words like “this tribe look down upon us” or “this tribe feel they are superior to us”.
These are almost popular sayings among certain tribes in this country, who consider themselves as minority tribes or irrelevant in the scheme of things, they are suffering from inferiority complex and it informs the decisions they make. How one person feel less human, than his fellow man, baffles me.
I consider it a sickness of the mind.
First of all, I am Kotokoli, and I am proud of my heritage. I am who I am and where I come from because it was a divine design. I did not choose who my parents were to be, or which family I should be born into.
Someday, although my tribe is a minority tribe, I am hopeful that, one of my kinsmen, will be president of this country.
That is the beauty of democracy, which gives equal opportunity to all, regardless of tribe or religion.
I have always wondered why, one will belong to a tribe, which so unique and yet inwardly feel, he or she is inferior to somebody from another tribe?
The situation has eaten so deep into some people to the extent that, they do not want to have anything to do with people from some other tribes. I
remember in my university days, anytime we are eating as a group, one of my friends will shout “stop, stop”, and will ask “why is the tani, referring to me, eating with us”. He was supposed to wait until we are done eating, so he could eat the leftover.
I never took offence, as I will laugh it off and tell him times have changed, the days that they never saw us as equals is past and gone.
Before and immediately after Independence, some tribes’ men were considered as drawers of water and hewers of wood. Even quota system, were given to
them, as far as education is concerned in this country..
It took the intervention of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, our first president, who said enough is enough, who believed that we all have inalienable rights, to abolish that system and actually encouraged people from a certain extraction by offering them scholarship, so they can catch up.
This was in the 50’s and today sadly, those prejudices still exist. Today in 2016, people still talk about superiority and inferiority. It is unfortunate that, it has taken roots in our body politics, where some politicians use it to whip up ethnic sentiments.
Dr. Abrefa Busia, made it worse when he introduced his Aliens Compliance Order, in which for the first time in the history of the world, a neighboring government drove out fellow Africans.
Although this move had nothing to do with tribe, but was purely on nationality, over time some people have interpreted it to mean, his political tradition, does not like people of northern extraction.
It is sad that, today some parents still dictate to their children, who to marry, who to associate with, this stereotyping, has now found its root in politics.
The worst disease that has ever affected this country is politics. Although it was to bring relief to our people, it has rather turn out to divide us, with politicians in the centre of it, taking advantage of our sordid past to advance their end.
Why should one tribe be superior to the other, why should somebody think that, he or she is inferior to another, because of where they come from?
Why should where we come from be the consideration for belonging to one political party to another?
The unity and cohesion that we seek, is only possible when we see and treat each other as equals. I have made peace with myself and accepted who I am, I will never in my life assume anyone superior than me, I will acknowledge peoples achievements and give them their due respect, but not because
they belong to one tribe or another.
We have a saying in our local parlance, which goes like; everyone is a royal from where they come from, so why sell yourselves cheap.
In the United States of America (USA), the president is a blackman from Africa, his colour which used to be a factor in that country, did not matter when Americans went to the polls, today he is the most powerful man on earth, controlling whites, who used to buy his ancestors like goods.
We cannot continue to think like, we are not part of the global village, we cannot continue thinking like we live in the ancient world, even then, tribe was not a barrier to becoming who one wanted to be, that was why people migrated from one territory to another.
We still in times, where one is guilty by tribe, you only have to mention your name and someone will look you in the face and tell you, you do not qualify for a job or position.
In other instances, an employer will indicate which people he wants to recruit to work for him or her; all these are happening in a country, where they are inter-marriages, where we attend the same school, fellowship together in one church and pray in the same mosque.
When we appear before our maker, we do not do so on the basis of tribe, he doesn’t judge us, based on which tribe or on the basis of our ethnicity, before him we are all equal, we are his children and it is our deeds that, will determine whether we find favour before him or not.
My anger is not to those who preach superiority, after all that is selfish human nature, but those who still accept and preach that, some tribes treat them as inferior.
You still hear people, still talking about it and looking down upon themselves, it is so pathetic and sad. Pride is all a man has, the day one loses it, one has lost the right to live.
For positive change we should use the instruments of the modern world. We should look to the blacks of the United States of America (USA) and learn from them and Obama. We should learn to tolerate one another.