The GaDangme of Ghana are quite a mix of peoples, in fact. For many generations, their immigration policy was summed up in the pithy Ga phrase, Ablekuma aba kuma wɔ (pronounced wor). It translates to, ‘let strangers come and enjoy our hospitality’. The policy enabled our small community to grow quickly enough to acquire, possess and protect a large tract of coastal lands in what is now known as the Greater Accra Region of Ghana. Ewe, Asante, Akyem, Akwamu, Fante, Denkyira, Afro Brazilian, Yoruba, Igbo, Akuapem, Awutu, Kwahu as well as persons from the more northern tribes of Ghana all found common language in Ga (or Dangbe) and integrated harmoniously with the indigenous GaDangbe, to build a cohesive society. They maintained community by looking out for each other. They shared and protected their communal source of capital; the land and marine fishing rights controlled by the GaDangme.
Urbanisation and the emergence of a central government in the larger region called Ghana have changed all that, but the need for community remains with us. Indeed, its even more pronounced now than it was in the early years of the GaDangme. That need for a safe haven is equally pressing for persons of recent Sub-Saharan African descent, such as I am, for reasons too numerous to list here.
I look forward to starting conversations on this blog to help us build community together and repossess and protect our own, while saying to all persons of goodwill, irrespective of their origin, Ablekuma aba kuma wɔ.
– Martei Markwei
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