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About obronikwaku

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  • Birthday 04/17/1972

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  • Location
    Ghana / UK
  • Interests
    British Twi-speaking Obroni in Ghana.<br />Love reggae, palm wine and walking in the forest

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  1. lol that's me. Here's another one for you:
  2. Where's the best spot in Koftown for a night out with the KOFORIDUA FLOWERS?
  3. My wife makes the tastiest shito in the world. I'll have to see how yours compares
  4. Anomaa entu a, obua da If the bird does not fly, it goes to sleep hungry ~ If you do not work, you do not earn (The early bird catches the worm?) Abɔfra bɔ nwa, na ommbɔ akyekyede A child can crush a snail, but he can't crush a tortoise ~ Do not attempt something which is beyond your capabilities (Don’t bite off more than you can chew?) ɔkoto nnwo anomaa A crab does not give birth to a bird ~ You pass your own (unpleasant) characteristics onto your children (Like father, like son?) Ahwene paa nkasa Quality beads do not talk ~ If you are worthy, you do not need to boast (Actions speak louder than words?) Obi nkwati kokurobeti ho mmɔ pɔ You cannot tie a knot without using your thumb ~ You should accept help when it’s needed (No man is an island?)
  5. Are you serious?
  6. One year on, and we still miss you. RIP brother
  7. Get your copy now: http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vie...em=270287448088 Also available in French: http://cgi.ebay.fr/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewIt...em=270287447700
  8. That's right. There is no reason why a visitor HAS to learn a local language, but lots of reasons why they SHOULD. Anyway, it's always nice to receive comments. CHAPTER TWO: WHY TWI? WHY TWI? ‘Lingua Franca’ Twi is the language spoken by the Akan people of the southern half of Ghana and parts of the Ivory Coast. Ghana has more than 50 indigenous languages, but native Twi speakers account for around half of the 22 million population, and many others learn it as an additional language. Twi is the predominant language in 6 of Ghana’s 10 regions, and can be heard in the other 4. Basically, most of the green on the language map overleaf. The non-Twi speaking regions, though none the less beautiful, are those generally less visited by tourists. These are the 3 northern regions, where languages are much more diverse, including the internationally spoken Hausa (and where the elephants and peaceful crocodiles live!), and the Volta Region where, along with Togo, Ewe is mainly spoken (although a trip to the Volta Lake area is not to be missed!). Accra is the stronghold of the Ga people, although it is difficult to find a Ga of the current generation who doesn’t speak Twi as well. If you are perhaps a volunteer or aid worker staying in northern Ghana, you are recommended to learn the language of your particular region- tuition can be provided in this by native speakers, and a CD / DVD of basic conversation in all major Ghanaian languages is available. Otherwise, the language you encounter during your time in Ghana is without a doubt going to be Twi. It is accepted as the ‘lingua franca’ of the country and is thus the most useful for you to learn. Although there are several different groups within the Akan family with their own linguistic idiosyncracies, all Twi dialects are mutually intelligible. Examples of Akan tribes are; the Asante (Ashanti) around Kumasi, Fante in the Central Region, Bron in the Brong-Ahafo Region and Akyem and Akuapem in the Eastern Region. My own first experiences of Twi were with the Akyem People. Twi you will see The vast majority of the aforementioned entertainment industry uses Twi or a mix of Twi and English. It is also common to find names of businesses, taxis, tro-tros, kiosks, literature, bars, etc., written in Twi. Names of some products are often in Twi, and you need to know what you’re buying (would you really buy a jar of ‘SHITO’ for your dinner if you thought it was in English?!). Famous Ghanaians Whenever you meet any of the Ghanaian communities around the world, they will be speaking Twi. It is the language of a wide gamut of talented people who have made their mark on world affairs, including: World Leader Kofi Annan; footballers Michael Essien, Marcel Desailly, Freddy Adu and Tony Yeboah; Paul Sackey of England Rugby; Super Bowl winner Joe Addai; fashion designer Ozwald Boateng; Paul Boateng MP; UK television stars June Sarpong, Frema Agyemang (Dr Who) and Belinda Owusu (Eastenders) and, of course, the great visionary Dr Kwame Nkrumah, to mention but a fraction. You can learn how to say hi if you see any of these famous faces! Children of Ghana? Of course, in the wake of a 400 year long atrocity which has seen many millions of Africans brutally ripped out of their homeland, who knows how far and wide the Akan seed has spread? Certainly, some aspects of Akan language, ceremonies, cooking and stories are direct influences in parts of the Caribbean. Some Ghanaians would claim that much of today’s ‘MOBO’ has its roots in Akan music. Many diasporans, such as Serena and Venus Williams, possess unmistakeable Akan characteristics. We still hear of the Ivory and Gold Coasts- the first areas plundered by the Europeans, but The Slave Coast is often conveniently written out of current maps. Modern Ghana was right in the middle of this ghastly trade: as history, and now science, tell us. With the advent of DNA testing, children of Africa can now rediscover their exact ancestral tribe. Many are finding an Akan bloodline, and a voyage to Ghana is becoming a very important experience for them. Ghana’s hospitality, safety, and plethora of historic sites cater extremely well for such visitors. I have met groups of African Americans, in America, who are preparing to take that trip. Invariably they are, obviously, excited about the advent of a magnificent holiday in the sun, but also looking forward to a sense of a long awaited family reunion, or ‘getting back to my roots’. Many achieve this and go on to build blossoming relationships. On the flip side, however, I have also met some black tourists in Ghana who admit to actually feeling a little deflated about it all. They can experience the same frustrations and barriers as any other visitor, feel out of place or, at worst, simply go down the very wasteful route of just getting drunk, going to the beach and flying home with a wooden mask and drum. Twi is the key to truly becoming part of the Motherland. Akan by heritage, Akan by tongue. It’s not as hard as you think! As many learners have noted, it is actually quite an easy language to get the gist of. Compared with Ewe and Hausa, for example, Twi has a much simpler alphabet and sound patterns. You should, with practice, be able to master the basics fairly soon; most conversations will, initially, be along similar lines. Then, you just learn a little more every day. You don’t have to be able to write it as well as speak it (some Ghanaians even find this hard), there’s no conjugation of verbs and you can even manage without learning any tenses, plurals or numbers. The sentence structure is different to English, but not difficult to understand; listening to Pidgin English can give you an idea of this, which is predominantly ‘broken’ English words in an African sentence structure; “I no dey come”, or “Make you buy beer give me”. And, yes, people will laugh at you when you get it wrong. Please do not get disheartened by this- Ghanaians are a happy people and are usually laughing at something! Relax- everyone makes mistakes. It’s part of the learning process. Indeed, you might find it funny yourself if the tables were turned. At least you’ll be providing some entertainment, and the effort is appreciated just as much as your fluency. You are welcome! What’s the first thing that greets you upon your arrival at Kotoka International Airport? Not only is it a sign of the renowned Ghanaian hospitality which awaits you, but also “AKWAABA!” is your first step into the wonderful, rich world of the Twi language. And when your friend meets you outside the airport and gives you another “Akwaaba!”, wouldn’t it be great to know the correct response? Then read on. (IT'S MUCH BETTER WITH THE PICTURES!)
  9. CHAPTER ONE OF "M'adamfo! The Essential Guide for all Obronis in Ghana" by Ian Utley, available now on www.ebay.co.uk WHY DO I HAVE TO LEARN A GHANAIAN LANGUAGE? You don’t! Ghana’s national language is English. Whether you’re living in Ghana or simply visiting, you can get by very well without using any local language. On the whole, Ghanaians are intelligent, well-educated and sociable people and almost everyone you meet, especially in a professional capacity, will speak very good English. The language of the workplace, and the language of instruction in schools (after 7 years of age), is English. Television and radio programmes are broadcast in English and you will hear English language music. Signboards, official forms, menus, newspapers and schoolbooks are all written in English. When making a purchase, the amount is always said in English and you can attend English language Church services and other societies. Due to Ghana’s Francophone neighbours, French is also common. Thousands of tourists come to Ghana every year and enjoy a perfect holiday without speaking a word of any Ghanaian language. Indeed, foreign business and tourism are at such high levels that it is entirely possible to spend almost all one’s social time in predominantly expat circles. Curiously, some people seem to decide to do just that. I recently met a foreign worker who loves Ghana so much he’s been working in the country for 30 years, yet couldn’t even say “How are you?”. If you have a similar aversion to learning a new language, then there is no reason why you have to. However, you will be missing out on a lot if you don’t! With very few exceptions, Ghanaians will always learn one or more local languages before learning English. Not only are these different mother tongues to ours, but also they possess something inherent and idiosyncratic to the Ghanaian culture, something which can be lost in translation. Thus getting to the heart of the people requires getting to the heart of their language. It also means that different people speak English to different degrees. Yes, you can get by with English, but you may have to forsake establishing meaningful relations with whole swaths of people, including; children, uneducated people, the elderly, some vendors, and families from poor or isolated communities. Strong accents or those of non-Queen’s English speaking visitors, including Americans, can be difficult for Ghanaians to understand. Foreigners can often become frustrated by language barriers affecting their daily or working lives, some to the extent that they leave their job and go home, or at least fail to benefit fully from their time in Ghana. Recently in the UK it has been proposed that immigrants should be made to take a test on English language and culture in order to gain entry to the country, due to some, mainly Asian, communities settled in Britain but not integrating and speaking only their own languages. As an immigrant in Ghana, would you be prepared to take such a test in Akan in order to gain your visa? Respect By far the most important aspect of learning a local language is that it shows respect to the people whose country you are visiting. Even the most faltering attempts are warmly welcomed and enjoyed. There is no reason why anybody who is in Ghana for any length of time should not at least be able to say “Hello” and “Thank you”. At worst, some people may consider it rude if you don’t. The response you get if you try will be more than worth it. Integration Again, with some exceptions, when Ghanaians are talking amongst themselves they will tend to use their own language. This means that you could be sitting in a bar, bus, office, or under a tree drinking palm wine, without a clue what everybody’s talking about. Wouldn’t you like to join in a bit, share the jokes and ask a few questions? And how do you know they’re not all planning to rob and kill you? (Actually, that would never happen, unless you’re REALLY stupid- Ghana is a haven of peace.) More realistically, speaking some of the language can offer you remarkable benefits, and help you to integrate easily into, and gain a deeper understanding of, the rich Ghanaian culture. You can learn how to haggle the best prices, ask for and understand directions, join in with the common practice of sending children to do things for you, and develop a repertoire of witty retorts for when people in the street shout at the white man as he walks by. On certain occasions, it would be customary to use some vernacular, for example when visiting a chief, speaking at a funeral, or praying before a meal. Much of the media and entertainment is in local languages, and Ghanaian films and songs can be very enjoyable, especially when you can understand them! They are also an excellent learning tool- music CDs with translations and subtitled DVDs of films and music videos are available. If you are employing or working with Ghanaians, it would be a pity to have to lose the services of an excellent carpenter / plumber / mechanic / security guard / cook, etc., simply because you couldn’t understand each other. And Ghanaians love to hear an obroni mangling their tongue! A successful trip It is possible to gain great success with only a few key phrases, examples of which are set out later. You can learn by heart the basics of: “My name is…. I am from…. My job is…Yes I am/No I’m not married…”, because that’s what everyone who meets you will ask you. Try to ‘manage’ conversations so you only say what you can. And it’s common even when speaking vernacular for Ghanaians to use lots of English, so do the same and just pop in the few Twi words that you do know. As well as linguistic advice, this resource also contains information on Ghanaian culture and accepted behaviour. In many ways, this is far more important to be aware of than learning the language, as anybody who has ever paid the taxi driver with their left hand will no doubt have discovered! You will realise that, as well as what you say, your behaviour and appearance will also have a dramatic influence on how you are viewed and treated by Ghanaians. From my own experiences, I can wholeheartedly say that learning and speaking Twi has been the single most profound and enjoyable aspect, not only of my time in Ghana, but of my life. It is always commented how visitors find Ghana to be a most welcoming, friendly and peaceful nation which has a lot of valuable lessons to teach to the outside world. This sense of appreciation is only deepened when you get ‘under the skin’ of the people: the key to this is speaking their language. www.learntwi.com
  10. Endorsed by the Ministry of Tourism and Diasporan Relations Learn the Adapt to Twi Language! The Culture! M’adamfo! (MY FRIEND!) The Essential Guidebook for all Obronis in Ghana By Ian Duncan Utley Sing the Take a Music! Unique Tour! CONTENTS Who is this book for?…...................………...…4 Objectives.............................................................5 Why do I have to learn a Ghanaian Language?.6 Why Twi?………………..........................……...9 How Do I Learn Twi?……….................……..19 Beginners’ Twi…………......................……….27 Learner’s Notes…………….................………37 Advanced Twi…………….................………...40 Twi Music…………………..................……….51 Adapting to Akan Culture……..................…..59 Tuition and Activities……......................…..…67 Resources Available……….....................….....73 Internet Links……………..........…....………..74 Contact Details……......................................….76 Acknowledgements/About the Author............77 · Are you an open-minded visitor who wants to show respect to the people whose country you are visiting? · Are you an expatriate in Ghana with language and cultural barriers affecting your business? · Are you interested in why and how you should go about learning a Ghanaian language? Then read “M’adamfo!” Written from the perspective of a Twi speaking European, this book offers a unique insight into adapting to life as an ‘obroni’ in Ghana. If you like the book, the author also offers Twi lessons and language learning tours in Ghana. learntwi@yahoo.com 0243 680059 “A worthy attempt that will help improve visitor relations in Ghana and add value to the Ghana destination product.” Bridget Katsriku, Chief Director, Ministry of Tourism ABOUT THE AUTHOR Ian Utley is a British teacher and language specialist who first came to Ghana in 1998 to work as a Teacher Trainer with Voluntary Service Overseas, and now has over a decade of Twi learning experience. Since then he has performed educational research projects with Teacher Training Colleges in all regions of Ghana, worked as an In-Country trainer for new volunteers and taken the headship of an International Primary School in Accra, in between continuing to teach in the UK and develop links with Ghanaian communities throughout the world. He has also appeared in Twi language television and radio shows in Ghana and is a columnist for ‘Ghana What? Where? When?’ magazine. When not teaching, learning, writing or acting, Ian likes to relax with Rugby, Scrabble, reggae music and walking in the Atewa forest. 1 November 2007 Coming out in 2009: Culture Smart! Ghana A Quick Guide to Customs and Etiquette Written by Ian Utley, published by Kuperard, London www.culturesmartguides.co.uk
  11. http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Ghana-Twi-Guidebook_...id=p3286.c0.m14
  12. http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Ghana-Twi-Guidebook_...id=p3286.c0.m14
  13. :smilie_laugh: why in Ghana? It's got something to do with no being in any danger of getting beaten up in a bar in Ghana. And the atmosphere over there is more condusive to getting drunk. And it tastes nicer and is cheaper. And you don't have to go to the bar to get a refill. And because Star Beer contains happy juice.
  14. Oh my bogga brothers have u been living in aborokyire for too long? Nobody has yet mentioned Star Beer (S.it T.ogether A.nd R.elax), Nsa fufuo with Guinness (Malt and Milk), Ogidigidi, Herb Afrique (Help My Prick), Alomo Bitters and 'local'. I'm only an alcoholic when i go to Ghana.
  15. Thanks to everyone who offered me their comments- it was very useful. The final draft is now finished. The book will be published in May 2009. Loads of people received the book but never got back to me. Are you still reading? Me da mo ase bebree, Ian