A girl in traditional Ga markings and dress
A girl in traditional Ga markings and dress

Ga people: Influence, nationhood

The historian, F.K. Buah, said a Fanti hunter, while having a leisurely walk along the beach, saw several boats disembarking people whose numbers made the hunter equate them to driver ants – Nkran in Fanti.

What brought a Fanti hunter to the beach was not made clear but another historical coincidence was that the word nkran as driver ants in Fanti had its equivalent in the language of the Ga people, as ga ga.

So the numerous people the Fanti hunter saw disembarking from boats at the beach can also be called the ga ga or Ga people.

This is one of the happy coincidences in anthropology.

The nkran fo in Fanti thus means the Ga people. Ghana's capital must then be called Nkran, the home of the Ga people and not Accra.

Like many words in our indigenous languages, which the colonialist could not pronounce well, we turn to retain the adulterated colonial pronunciations.

Words like Klepi became Peki; Akyem became Akim; Kwawu became Kwahu and Xɔxɔe is now Hohoe.

So our political capital is called Accra instead of Nkran.

The Ga people have not protested though.

They, however, own many words found in some other indigenous languages.

Words such as anukwade, agoo, soremɔ, akpeteshie, ayi koo and many others, used freely in Twi, Eʋe and other indigenous languages, belong to the Ga people.

Anytime you use any of these words in your mother tongue, save a thought of gratitude for the Ga people.

The Ga language did not only lend words to other native languages, but a Ga blacksmith by the name Tettey Quarshie in an unusual show of patriotism, succeeded in smuggling cocoa seeds from the island of Ferdinand Dopo, to the then Gold Coast, now Ghana.

This simple act of Tettey Quarshie formed the genesis of Ghana's political economy, which benefited all.

Ga people do not grow cocoa.

Ghanaians must be grateful and thankful that the Ga people form part of Ghana.

Gamei, ayi koo.

The writer is a pilot, formerly with the Ghana Armed Forces.

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