Help revive traditional values among children - Former First Lady tells African writers

BY: Politics Desk Report
Mrs. Agyeman-Rawlings (4th from right) and Dr. Zanetor Agyeman-Rawlings (4th from left) displaying a copy of the book after the presentation by Dr. Wale Okediran (3rd from right), General Secretary, PAWA
Mrs. Agyeman-Rawlings (4th from right) and Dr. Zanetor Agyeman-Rawlings (4th from left) displaying a copy of the book after the presentation by Dr. Wale Okediran (3rd from right), General Secretary, PAWA

A Former First Lady, Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings, has urged the Pan-African Writers Association (PAWA) to help revive traditional and cultural values among children because it is “within their power” to do so.

She said there was nothing wrong with good, old fashioned ways of bringing up a child, stating that it was important that the child grew up in a way that was acceptable to society.

The former First Lady stated this at her office in Accra last Tuesday when PAWA’s General Secretary, Dr. Wale Okediran, presented advanced copies of a book the association has authored in honour of her late husband, former President Jerry John Rawlings, to her.

Titled “J.J. Rawlings: Memories and Mementos”, the book is a collection of poetry, short fiction, tributes and essays from contributors across the continent.
The book was edited by Professor Bill F. Ndi, a Cameroonian Professor of Modern Languages and Philosophy.

Mr. Abdourahamane Diallo from Guinea, who is the current head of UNESCO in Ghana, wrote the foreword to the book.

What our children see

“We have to instill in our children a certain traditional way even as we become modernised so that they do not move too far away from who we are as a people,” Mrs. Agyeman-Rawlings said.

“Who is in charge of what our children see and emulate? Education is a tool; your upbringing is your tradition and your life,” she further stated.

Poor language

She thanked PAWA for the gesture and expressed concern about the low standards in the media in terms of the quality of language used by some practitioners.

She recalled how in the good old days radio and newspapers were a good source to learn how to speak and write the English language.

Tribute

Making the presentation, Dr. Okediran said President Rawlings impacted writers across the continent and it was under his tenure that the continental association was established in 1989.

The book, he stated, was a tribute to how the departed former Ghanaian leader inspired many on the continent and beyond.

The PAWA General Secretary said the book was brought about by the outpouring of emotions by many African writers and commentators from all over Africa.

Dr. Okediran explained that it was a collection of writings and poems from 15 countries.

His impact

The first daughter of the former President and Member of Parliament (MP) for Klottey Korle, Dr. Zanetor Agyeman-Rawlings, who was also at the meeting, said it was always refreshing when something happened spontaneously, referring to the manner the book was developed.

“It is an opportunity for people to realise that JJ had a broader impact on the region (Africa) than many seem to realise. It is an opportunity for PAWA to speak about the role President Rawlings played in the organisation’s inception.

“There is a whole generation who do not know some of these issues because some of his contemporaries have not publicly acknowledged the role he played in the establishment and expansion of other sectors such as the arts,” Dr. Agyeman-Rawlings said.

Launch

PAWA, which is an umbrella body of writers’ associations, plans to launch the book in Accra in the middle of next month.

Also present at the meeting were Amina and Kimathi Agyeman-Rawlings, both children of the former President.

The PAWA delegation included Mr. Louis Mensah, Reine Fioklou and Mr. Oswald Okaitey, Media Consultant.