Don’t modernise Ghana’s cultural heritage – Ms Gomashie
Ms Abla Dzifa Gomashie, a former Deputy Minister for Tourism, says some aspects of the country’s cultural heritage should be left untouched by modernisation.
“Even though culture is dynamic, some aspects of our culture should not be modernised for any gains,” she added.
Ms Gomashie said this in an interview with the GNA, on her return from the Seventh Ohio University World Music and Dance Festival and Concert in the United State of America.
The Seventh Ohio University World Music and Dance Festival and Concert introduces students, faculty, staff and Athens community to a variety of musical sounds and dance movements from all over the world, potentially opening up new avenues for creativity, expression and appreciation of the arts.
The celebration has become part of the university’s annual calendar of events, offering the community, both the University and Athens, opportunities to develop frameworks that support intercultural understanding.
Through music and movement, these events support the development of critical awareness of one’s own cultural influences by way of dialogue and exchange with other cultural influences in an effort to foster tolerance and appreciation.
The Festival is an initiative of Professor Paschal Yao Younge and Professor Zelma Badu-Younge, both faculty members of the University.
The two Professors led their students to Ghana on many occasions, where the University of Ohio collaborated with the National Theatre on many occasions.
They were the brain behind the Diema and Aza, a Celebration of Contemporary Ghanaian Music and Dance.
The former Minister was invited as a special guest of honour, where she visited classrooms and events throughout the festival and recited one of her poems accompanied by music and dance.
She said Ghana has ratified the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) conventions on cultural heritage and it was important to look at ways to preserve the intangible cultural heritage of the country.
Ms Gomashie said “we can preserve through our naming and marriage ceremonies, funerals and rite of passage.”
She explained that story writing, documentaries and audio visuals were all modes of promoting and preserving the country’s rich cultural heritage for onwards transfer to the next generation.
She gave examples of some notable playwrights, such as; Efua Sutherland’s Edufa; Archbishop Emeritus Peter Akwasi Sarpong and Ama Ata Aidoo’s Anowa, who through their books had preserved the country’s culture adding “Celebration of festivals is also a mode of preserving our culture.”
She said Africans especially Ghanaians in an attempt to embrace the development of the world were losing their identity in the process.
On international tourism, in Ghana, Ms Gomashie said UNESCO recognised Ghana’s contributions to the development and promotion of tourism in the world.
She said there were numerous opportunities in the tourism sector, where investors could invest and contribute to the development of the country.
The Past Minister, during one of her lectures told the University Students that Government of Ghana was looking for Public-Private Partnership to improve on infrastructure development of the sector.
She assured investors of their profit on investment, when they invest in the sector adding that there was more the country could do to improve on the tourist experience of visitors to the various tourist destinations.
Ms Gomashie as part of her two weeks visit also lectured students ontopics such as : ‘Gender and Social Activism in Ghana and Africa’, ‘the Arts of Traditional and Contemporary African: Dance’, ‘Gender and Politics in Africa’, ‘Preserving Cultural Heritage in Ghana’, ‘International Tourism-Opportunities in Ghana’ and ‘the Making of an International Artists’.