On the Badu Nkansah Textbook Debacle; Mensah Thompson expresses Concern

Mensah Thompson of ASEPA writes…

*On the Badu-Nkansah Textbook Debacle*

Folks I am going to be as less sensational as I can be in this piece, it’s the reason why my personal thoughts on this controversy has taken such a long time, because I am directly affected by what is happening.

A number of people have asked why ASEPA hasn’t waded into this conversation already as we usually do on a number of national issues, I have always shrugged it off jokingly.

Folks tribal bigotry and ethnic divisiveness as we have witnessed under the leadership of President Akufo-Addo affects some of us a great a deal, much more than anyone can ever imagine.

I am a product of an inter-tribal marriage, my mum is a royal Ashanti from the Kumasi Amakom royal family, the current Amakomhene is my maternal grand-uncle.

My dad on the other hand is from Anyako in the Keta area.
My dad is the grandson of Togbui Tenge Dzokoto.
The Dzokoto’s are the royals of Anyako.
The two had to struggle for approval with both families throughout their entire marriage.

We lived most of our lives in Obuasi where my dad worked at Anglogold Ashanti and later in Kumasi, in a traditional Ashanti environment.

Anytime I mention that I am an Ewe, people doubt it, they ask “but why don’t you have an Ewe name” or anytime I mention my name “Mensah Thompson” people ask are you a Fante? That’s what I get all the time.!!

The loss of identity I have personally suffered from this has had a huge impact on my personal development.

I’m sure by now you are wandering why I am an Ewe and I bear an Ewe name.
My original name should have been Manuel Mensah Dzokoto.

But in the typical Akan setting where we grew up, Ewe names were up for ridicule anytime they were mentioned.
We witnessed how our fellow Ewes were teased with their own names in the community and in school, to the point where they were so ashamed of their own names.
These were children teasing their fellow children oo…

My parents saw this and how it impacted on the self esteem of the Ewe kids and decided to protect us as young children in a hostile Akan environment from all that hostility with my dad giving up his surname and giving us his first name as our surname.

“Thompson” is actually my dad’s first name not his surname; Mr.Thompson Dzokoto.
All four of us his children uses Thompson as our surnames.

Much as protective as it was at the time, it was when I grew up that I realized that it was worst the mistake my parents ever made.

Later when I came of age and saw the influential role Ewes play in our Country, when I met a lot of influential highly accomplished sons of the Ewe-land, I became heartbroken!!

I was brought up to feel Ewes are some difficult, worthless, inferior people only for me to grow up and find out that Ewes are the most brilliant, powerful, educated achievers in this Country.

I felt ashamed for the many times I have denied being an Ewe.
I felt angry at my parents for not allowing us to keep our Ewe names.
But most importantly I feel lost anytime I am in the midst of Ewes, always trying to fit it in when I can barely speak the language.
It’s just difficult!

My story is a classical example of how these tribal bigotry penetrated by the current Government can impact negatively on the lives of our children and their future.

Apart from the needless enforcement of outdated stereotypes, it’s impact on the mental health and self esteem of our children is dangerous and the over all effect is the outright loss of identity for Ewe children.

If you think that the Badu Nkansah publication is mainly to defame Ewes then you are mistaken, if the idea was to defame Ewes, it wouldn’t be in children textbooks.

The idea is to tag the Ewe tribe as inferior, something that has existed informally in our societies for a long time.
The idea is to get Ewe children to shy away from their tribe, their root, their culture.
If the next generation of Ewe children feels uncomfortable with their own tribe and shy away from their tribe(like I did before) then they pass it on to their children and it’s only a matter of time and the Ewe tribe, it’s people, it’s culture, all goes into extinction.

That is the plan, has always been the plan and the long term goal is to extradite Ewes from Ghana completely!!!

Folks as for Badu Nkansah publication the least said about their lame excuses the better.
For them to conceive such an idea, let alone put into writing in a book meant for 7 and 8 year children requires much more severe repercussions than we have seen thus far.

These are things that sparks ethnic conflicts easily in other jurisdictions and for that the publisher cannot be allowed to go scot free, they must be sued for inciting one tribe against another.
Apart from that they must be made to stay away from the publication of children textbooks for a very long time even though none of these can completely appease the People of Volta.

What we shall take solace in is the fact that no one can tell us who we are, because we know who we are; we are warriors, intelligent, diligent, loyal, assertive,disciplinarians, loving, hospitable and above all we are leaders!!!

The only tribe who defeated the British and the Germans, and no amount of concocted, exaggerated stereotypes can make us feel inferior, superior we are and shall always be!!!

Source: Mensah Thompson(Dzokoto)
Executive Director,ASEPA/


Exclusively Newslinegh 

About (1280 Articles) is run by a network of politically non-aligned and progressive Ghanaian citizen Journalists, who are committed to affecting positive change, promoting national development and improving information access.

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