The Ghanaian’s Attitude Toward Children

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For the past recent years, much have been said on the Ghanaians’ attitude towards children, using different archival research. It has therefore been brought to light that, the Ghanaian’s attitude towards children can characterized as being positive or negative. The attitude which refers to the habitual mood towards children is termed as positive when it contributes to the general wellbeing of the children. On the other hand, it is also termed as negative when it causes physical harm, mental harm and emotional harm or may result in either the death of the children or traumatizing them. These archival research as stated earlier is another form of the observation method where the researcher examines the accumulated documents and archives of culture. These documents show and explains great ideas about people their society’s values and culture. This done by consulting archival sources such as, novels, music, movies, journals, television shows, newspaper article, and to mention but a few. To answer the questions that, “using three archival sources, explain what the Ghanaian’s attitude is towards children”, this work will only focus on three archival sources that is highly prevalent and factually depicting the Ghanaian’s attitude towards children. These prevalent archival sources from which information was gathered are (i) journal, (ii) song, (iii) movie.

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One important attitude of the Ghanaian towards children is that, Ghanaian are much more concerned with the education of children, that is, what they learn or are socialized to do. Most Ghanaians express their attitude towards children, that is, children being important through wise sayings or proverbs, especially among the Ashantis. As the Akan adage goes,” kwae biara a, dua nketewa nni ase no ye bu no kwae wa”, this literally means,” the forest with no smaller trees will later no be called forest”. Here the bigger trees in the forest represent old humans or adults and the smaller tree represents children. This depicts that a society of older people with no younger ones will soon cease go to in to be in existence. Generally, Ghanaians believe that children are very important because they are the future leaders, that is, these children will succeed the older ones and there they must should be properly socialized and therefore should not have their minds corrupted with information above their level of intelligence, most especially issues of sex. It is for these reason that barren women are often mocked at. In Ghana, cultural, religious and geographical factors have rendered sexual and reproductive health issues highly a taboo for decades. (Mack,2011). Most Ghanaians attitude towards children are religiously explained and it is based on morality to ensure discipline. According to the population housing census, Ghana is religious, that is 69% Christians and 15. 6% Muslim. Therefore, moral education is much upheld and praised at the expense of sex education. This is because they believe that, exposing the children to sexually related activity or issues might corrupt the minds of the children to be immoral in the sense that, the children are curious and adventurous and might intend practicalizing what has been said or seen that is in relation to sex, as issues of sex arouses their sexual desires and make them sexually active. Being sexually active can end up in unplanned and unwanted pregnancy which immoral in the Ghanaian society. Ghanaians most at times confront who ever tries exposing the children to sexually related issues because they are too young for such discussions with the intension of keeping the futures leaders morally upright. They also are concerned with what the children watch on the television to keep them away from pornographic materials. All these are done because globalization, foreign influence and technology has sexually corrupted children’s mind that even children between age 8 and 17 are sexually active. (Ansa-addo,2008). Their attitude is to prevent unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases.

Furthermore, Ghanaian attitude towards children is a collective provision of needs, love and care. This is shown through songs, especially, lullaby. Most Ghanaians love babies and would not want to see there suffer or cry. As a result of the collective provision of needs, love and care, for instance in a situation where a child cries because their parents not around, among the Ga people the sing lullaby such as;” Baby kaafo mgbe o mami e te?”. They also can sing, “tutu gbovi” (Mamalisa. com). Here, they try to find out what the problem is and tries to console the child till their biological parents are in. Ghanaians show love to children even if they are not biologically related. This love is shown in the lyric of the songs or lullaby earlier mentioned above. Therefore, the Ghanaian’s attitude towards children is based ensuring the collective provision of need, love and care.

Also, despite the fact that Ghanaians show positive attitude toward children, they as well show negative attitudes. The Ghanaian’s attitude towards children that is negative are most often shown in films. In a film titled,” Spirit Child”, by a journalist named Anas Aremeyaw, its was shown that, unknown number of disabled children are murdered in the Norther part of Ghana. This attitude towards these children is that, the people believes, these disabled children are in some way possessed by evil spirits that brought ill fortune to those around them. This was based on ancient traditions and customs. It was revealed in the film that poverty and ignorance also contributed to this evil act. According to the journalist, Anas Aremeyaw, this evil act was a way of getting rid of these disabled children. Their parent calls on a concoction man, usually an elderly, that they suspect their disabled child to be the so-called spirit child. And later, as planned by the family, a soothsayer who has never seen this disabled child before affirms that the child is evil possessed and is blamed the misfortune in the family. These children are made to drink concoction by their family that causes or take their live, knowing well that the children is innocent of what they are been accused of. This film by Anas Aremeyaw show how the attitude Ghanaians can be inhuman.

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