A US based Ghanaian medical doctor, Dr. Nathaniel Acorlatse has penned down an open letter to all Akans who live in Ghana and in the diaspora.
The founder of Acorlatse Medical Center has, in a long write up revealed what he went through in the past in the hands of Akans.
Nathaniel, a native of Kedzi, Keta in the Volta Region of Ghana raised issues of serious concern which should be addressed as they have the potentials of causing mayhem in the country in the future if the next generation of Ewes could not be that tolerant.
Hi fellow Ghanaians, I wish to share an issue of grave importance with you.
Acolatse Family of Kedzi and the Royal Dzakpasu Dzokoto Family of Anyako Paternally but Maternally the Kuada Family of Kpando Aziavi and The Amponi Family of Wusuta; all in the Volta Region.
By this brief introduction it is clear that God brought me into this world as Ewe – 50% Anlo and 50% Wedome, that’s not a mistake.
The issue is this: For the past 63 plus years, my Cultural Identify has been injured badly. This denting of my Cultural Identify reached its intolerable climax on Saturday the 5th of September, 2020.
On this faithful day, a 70-year-old retired teacher with telephone number 0208812988 and a resident of Abease visited my consulting room in Ga West Municipal Hospital to seek health care.
Our conversation was smooth while I was clerking until I got to Social History. When I realized that he could speak English, I politely said: “papa since you can speak English, why don’t you speak directly with me to avoid the time we are wasting on translation in order to reduce the waiting time of your other colleague patients who are waiting in the queue to come in too”.
For making this suggestion, this supposedly educated man lambasted me with the following submissions;
1). You kraaa where are you from that you don’t understand Twi?
2). Twi is our national language in Ghana.
3). Everybody in Ghana understand twi.
Since I couldn’t tolerate this false perception that has been handed over to Akans by their forebears which some current living Akans are using to look down on we Ewes, I decided to school this old man who is rather expected to educate our public appropriately but has miseducated all his audiences while in active service as a teacher.
These were my words to him; “I can’t take it any longer papa. All 46 spoken languages and 9 written languages in Ghana are equal and important.
I insist that you have no right to force your language down my throat. I speak 3 Ghanaian languages; Ewe, Ga and Dagbani. I don’t mind if you ask me to speak any of these to you thus if you want me to go local but definitely not forcing your language which I don’t speak on me.
I’m sorry to say that the question you just asked me is a stupid one. Not you as a person but the question is a foolish one” Immediately her daughter came in to confront me saying I’m tribalistic which is another false perception.
Since there’s no single ewe man or woman worldwide who have forced an Akan to speak ewe, no single ewe can be branded as a tribal bigot. A lot of Akans, however, have forced ewes to speak their language, their language too, their language and once you insist on your right, they call you a tribal bigot. Is this not a case of “kukw3 ni k33 ka hendi” a popular Ga proverb meaning the pot calls the kettle black?
While the interaction was ongoing, a colleague of mine requested I hand over the client to her to attend to but I insisted I will attend to him and the patient himself can confirm that I did my work so professionally despite all the insults he raised at me.
For the past 63 plus years I as an Ewe have had my cultural identity insulted every second, minute, day, week, fortnight, month, year and over six decades by Akans only.
One of the numerous psychological tortures I received from Akans in 2004. I was to administer chemotherapy to six patients. After the general health education to all, I normally give specific education to each patient based on the cytotoxic(s) to be administered because of the radical nature of the treatment.
I approached the first patient to counsel her before I start. I as usual spoke in Ga since Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital is in the Greater Accra Region.
I said to the woman “Mame ofaan3 tsofaani obahe3….” meaning “madam please the medicine you will be receiving…..” and before I could land, this patient shouted at me and said “minti saaa kasano” meaning “I don’t understand that language”. So sarcastic.
I switched to ewe since that is my mother/father tongue. I said “dada medekuku adzike yaa h)genalaa….” She shouted at me again before I could finish and said “kasa bei nunu” meaning “what kind of a language is that?
I further switched to English since ENGLISH is Ghana’s formal language and it was the last I understood then.
I said “madam please you’ll be receiving a drug called Taxotere…..” but as usual she shut me down and sarcastically said “jai wubr)fo sem n3ka twi w)h)” meaning “stop your English matter and speak twi over there”.
Since time was flying I moved towards the second through to the sixth patient and soon I had finished counselling all five, pre-medicated all five and main treatment of CAF, Methotrexate, Epirubicin & Taxol administration of all five had begun. The first patient who didn’t allow me to start her treatment continued “Hey! Wumba beyen mami?” meaning “Hey! Won’t you come and do it for me?”
The question is how can a cytotoxic drug be administered without counselling? She rushed out to report me to my boss who came in with her.
My boss angrily addressed me as follows; “Hey Nat! When will you stop this your tribalism” I answered politely by saying “I’m administering treatment to 5 patients now, none of them is my tribe mate. They are all Akans. Who’s the tribal bigot? Of course you!”
I suffered dearly for speaking this truth and fighting for my right.
Again one of the many suffering I went through in the hands of Akans in 2012 is as follows.
A lecturer by name professor danso came to the class of Master of Public Health – Health Services Planning & Mgt, Community Health Department, School of Medical Sciences-KNUST. After speaking Twi for a while I raised my hand to prompt him that there are people in this master’s class who don’t understand Twi.
For speaking this truth, a supposed educated lady by the name Dr. Konadu who’s a classmate lambasted me by saying “you like complaining too much! Why don’t you understand Twi? Are you not a Ghanaian?”
I suffered the consequences of speaking the truth and guiding this academician who should know better that the university is a formal institution.
There are times Akans confidently address us as follows without any fear because they have the backing of the powers that be;
1). ”na ayigbe kasa su y3 kasa? Meaning is the ewe language also a language?
2). ”ayigbe fu) y3 mua” meaning ewes are animals
3). ”saa wukunu ayigbe ninu” meaning that your ewe husband
4). ”saa wuyiri ayigbe ninu” meaning that your ewe wife
5). ”Ghana y3 y3ndia” meaning Ghana belongs to us”
6). ”wuy3 Togo ni” meaning you are a Togolese
7). ”ewes don’t deserve to be treated as Ghanaians”
8). ”all voltarians are foreigners”
9). ”we shall reduce Volta Region to a slave region”
10). ”ayigbe fu) su y3 nipa?” Meaning are ewes too human beings?
With all these and others I hope you understand the reason behind my 05/09/2020 confrontation with that Akan man who misled an entire population of Ghana while in active service by teaching that an Akan forcing other tribes to bow down to theirs is okay and not tribalistic.
A very important ewe proverb has it that “the words of a grey hair is richer than silver and gold” By experience, I wish to add that “Don’t take counsel from all old people because not all foolish people die young”
– For how long will I stomach these without exploding?
– Don’t you think this false supremacy of Akans will lead to all other tribes breaking away gradually leaving them to rule and deceive themselves?
– Where then will that beauty of cultural diversity be found amongst you after all have broken away?
– I humbly appeal to Akans who GENUINELY believe in cultural diversity to arise and fight monoculture beliefs else you will one day bring my stone to me.