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General News
Let''s make oral tradition relevant - Prof. Nketiah 11/2/2007
Accra, Oct 31, GNA - Professor Emeritus J. H. Kwabena Nketiah, Chancellor of the Akrofi-Chrisaller Institute of Theology, Mission and Culture, on Wednesday called for the expansion of Ghanaian oral tradition in a manner that would make it relevant to the present generation.

He made the call when he delivered the 2nd Asante-Opoku-Reindorf Memorial Lecture on the topic Referential modes of Meaning as Strategies of Communication in Oral Tradition.

The lecture, a series was jointly organised by the Ghana Academy of Arts and Science (GAAS) and the Akrofi-Chrisaller Institute to project the wisdom of the three past Ghanaian scholars it was named after and also to bring to the fore the institute''s commitment to the highest ideals of scholarship and academic excellence in its chosen field of interest, research and engagement.

Prof. Nketiah noted that the real meanings of Ghanaian oral tradition, as captured in thousands of originally unwritten poetry, proverbs, names, nicknames and in drum language constituted a strategic tool for communication.

"We need to look at our language critically from the oral tradition point of view and begin to consider ways of enlarging what our forefather handed down to us and make it relevant to this and prospective generations," he said. In his lecture, Prof Nketiah narrated several of the oral poetry, proverbs, drum languages all in the local Akan language and interpreted them to the delight of the rather scanty audience. Most of the narration were taken from Asante oral tradition, particularly those with reference to late Asante Paramount Chiefs, Osei Tutu I and a few in reference to Nana Sir Agyemang Prempeh.

Dr. Leticia Obeng, President of GAAS noted that Ghana really did have a rich oral tradition and also stressed the need to look for ways of inculcating oral tradition in present day language use. "We make mistake speaking the English language and yet we try hard to learn it; it is about time we did the same with our own language and oral tradition," she said.

She noted that it was sad that lots of Ghanaian scholars were proficient in the writing and speaking of the English language and other foreign languages but could not write their own mother tongue. Dr. Obeng charged her colleagues in the GAAS to lead the campaign to ensure that oral tradition became an integral part of language use in the present and future generations of the country.Source:

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