8 toxic Ghanaian narratives you should unlearn in 2019

Source: Kobina Ansah   
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One’s environment has an influence on their mindset. The way we think is directly or indirectly due to where we have lived and what we have been exposed to. Little wonder some narratives we grew up exposed to have eventually become a part of us. Though some of these are toxic, we have never noticed because we have been exposed to such for so long a time that they have become a norm.

2019 years after the death of Christ, we can’t still be accommodating such toxicity in our minds. The world has advanced. 19 years after the second millennium, there are a lot of unhealthy narratives we should be unlearning. It is long overdue!

“If she was raped, it’s her fault. She was in skimpy clothes!”

A rape victim is not the one at fault. It’s the culprit. Babies, just like teens and adults, are raped and it has got nothing to do with their skimpy clothes. The problem is not how skimpy whoever’s clothes are. It’s how uncontrolled the culprit’s libido is.

In 2019, you must unlearn that a rape victim enticed her perpetrators. If you can’t sympathize with them, at least, don’t make their plight worse. There’s ever no excuse for rape!

“Wedding is a once-in-a-lifetime event. It’s OK to borrow to make it memorable!”

At every point in life, one must remember to cut their coat according to their size. If we fail to realize this, we go through a lot of avoidable stress. It’s a dangerous move to start life as a couple on loans. If you are a couple planning to marry, you should know your wedding should be according to the size of your bank account. If you end up wanting to please others despite your little, you’re only preparing your marriage on a bed of loans… and trust me, it’s a terrible experience!

“Until I travel abroad, I can’t be successful!”

Yes, America has opportunities. There are quite a plethora of advantages in UK. However, you should know that there are a number of opportunities here, too. You don’t need to be abroad to have your dreams actualized. Many have invested their lifetime savings into travelling abroad when they could have prospered with that money here in Ghana if they had channeled it into some business and built it day by day. Travelling abroad only changes your location, not your destiny. Stay here and build. You can succeed in your homeland!

“Marriage makes you complete and having children makes you even more complete!”

When I hear such messages from the pulpit, I burst into laughter. If marriage was what made anyone complete, neither Paul nor Christ was complete then. And even talking about “completion”, who defines what makes another complete after all? It’s 2019. Know that marriage is great but just like bearing children, it is not for everyone. Some people will never marry nor have children of their own due to so many circumstances. It may be by choice or by some other factors. Those who are married or are parents are not any more complete than those who are not.

“Your wife should give you a son. If she’s giving birth to only daughters, she’s infertile!”

I have been confronted with many toxic comments but one I find very appalling is when a man blames his wife for giving birth to a particular gender of children. It’s 2019 and you should know the sex of a baby is determined genetically and not by a woman!

“Ewes have juju. Northerners barely understand anything easily. Don’t marry them!”

It is interesting how we allow ethnicity to put a wedge between us yet turn around to complain about racism. It’s utter hypocrisy if you see nothing wrong with looking down on another man/woman because of their ethnic belonging yet feel aggrieved when a Caucasian discriminates against you.

Many marriages never saw the light of day because of some hasty generalization about some ethnic group. Some people have been falsely accused just because they had some tribal marks that presupposed they came from a particular place. In 2019, if there’s anything you’d have to repent from, it should be your bigotry. If there’s anything you ought to unlearn, it should be the stereotype you have put on others just because of their ethnic group. If someone with a particular ethnic background did you some wrong, it’s unfair to assume every man from that ethnic group is same.

“If my friend is an entrepreneur, I should get all their products/services for free!”

Entrepreneurship is a tough road to travel on. There’s nothing as unfortunate as having friends who are not ready to support you, especially when you make little or close to nothing from your startup. It’s toxic for one to think their friends owe them free products.

If you have friends who have started a business, patronize their products/services. Help them promote it. Witchcraft is not only flying at night. It’s also taking advantage of a small business just because the brain behind it is your friend. Our friends’ businesses can only expand if we give them the needed support.

“As a young Ghanaian woman, the greatest thing to happen to you is to have a man from abroad come marry you!”

Neocolonialism is fuelled in many ways in modern African society and one of such is the mindset that the greatest blessing is to go abroad or have a man from there come marry you. By so doing, we find many of our young men putting their lives on the line just to have a taste of this paradise while our young women wait for their angels to come from there to take them out of their generational poverty.

It’s quite unfortunate such toxicity is even perpetrated on the pulpit without most of us even knowing. Blessings are never mentioned without abroad being on the bucket list.

Listen, young woman. The greatest thing is not to be married to a man from abroad. It is to be married to a man who helps you become a better you each day. Happy New Year!

The writer is a playwright and team leader of Scribe Communications (www.scribecommltd.com), an Accra-based writing company.

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