Don’t demonise African traditions, religion

Don’t demonise African traditions, religion

Kwame Akoto Bamfo

 A Ghanaian Sculptor and Cultural Activist, Kwame Akoto Bamfo has urged Black people to stop demonising African traditions and religions.

“We must rather striveto encour­age tolerance to foster develop­ment,” he said.

Kwame Akoto Bamfo, speaking to the audience
Kwame Akoto Bamfo, speaking to the audience

In a presentation to climax the Black History Month celebrations by the U.S Embassy in Accra which ended in February this year, he said, there was a lot in black people and Africans, hence the need to be tol­erant with one another and undemo­nise African tradition and religion.

His presentation was themed, “Through the Eyes and Hands of the Mounted Abstract: A look at the ‘Image’ of African Traditional Reli­gion and Arts during and after the Trans-Atlantic Trade.”

According to him, “We need to learn to see our own through our own lenses. Let’s be tolerant with each other, engage with tradition­alists and find out the truth,” he stated.

Kwame Bamfo said it was wrong for people to be called demon be­cause of the beliefs and practices as that could cause disturbances in the country.

“Let us give ourselves time to see the benefits of religious toler­ance and desist from discriminating against our own people,” he stated.

“We must respect each other’s culture and most importantly not look down on our own and stop the unnecessary friction. We need to start questioning anything that would let us not accept another African and make one feel less of a person,” he said.

He added that, Africans can be better and provide adequate services without getting educated through the European system.

“We have reduced craftsman­ship and excellence to education and everything we do have to be filtered through European eye and language,” he stated.

“We need to demystify knowledge and intelligence which is not mea­sured by how best you can speak En­glish but rather a matter of problem solving,” he added.

“If we uphold our language and traditional systems, we would be better as a people. We could have access to intelligent craftsmen and pay less for it. We are currently misusing our human resources,” he stressed.

He said, there were very intel­ligent individuals who could not survive since they could not afford education or the educational system was not favourable to them.

“It is about time, the educated class or elites give way to traditional language and belief systems for our own good,” he stated.

The event brought together students from the Pentecost Uni­versity College, Achimota Senior High School, Accra Girls Senior High School, Oreilly Secondary School, UNIMAC-NAFTI and Holy Trinity Ca­thedral Senior High School.

The Black History Month is marked every February to honour the con­tributions of African- Americans who have shaped the history, culture, character and diversity of the United States of America (USA).

 By Michael D. Abayateye

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