The National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) as part of its contributions towards the celebrations of Ghana’s 60th anniversary, has launched the translated versions of the National Anthem and the National Pledge into 11 Ghanaian languages.
The languages are Akwapim Twi, Ashanti Twi, Dagaare, Dagbani, Dangme, Ewe, Ga, Gonja, Kasem, fante and Nzema.
The translation and compilation was done by Mr John B. K. Amoah, a researcher. The translated versions have been certified by the Bureau of Ghana Languages to be accurate to convey the meaning of the original pieces.
The objective of the programme was to engender patriotism and nationalism for civic consciousness, active citizenship, national commitment and responsibility in Ghanaians.
The National Anthem was composed by Mr Philip Gbeho in 1957, while the identity of the patriot, who composed the National Pledge – remains unknown.
Mrs Josephine Nkrumah, the Chairperson of the NCCE in her address at the launch said the significance and importance of such national pieces could not be overemphasised; adding: “They engender patriotism, national unity and a sense of national pride”.
“Today, on social media, we often find it humorous or comic, when clip goes viral on a Ghanaian fails an attempt at reciting or singing the National Anthem, both young and old alike.
“Often than not, this failed attempt further reveals a lack of understanding of the lyrics in the English Language.
“In essence, this implies that the sense of national pride and patriotism is lost on us, if we lack an understanding of what we recite or sing,” she added.
Mrs Nkrumah said: “A few of us have paused with somber reflection on this clip and its implications on us as a nation with national pride and patriotism or to engender some civic understanding of what we are as Ghanaians.”
She said it was for this purpose that the translation of the National Anthem and the National Pledge into 11 local languages had come at a time such as this.
“We are saddled at a point in this nation’s history, where we are ridden with partisan issues; that are driving Ghanaians from different political divide further apart.”
She said after a peaceful election last year, it was necessary for all Ghanaians to rally together as one people in continuing to build our great nation with a sense of unity, patriotism and pride.
She said the translation of the National Anthem and the National Pledge was an important step in ensuring that every Ghanaian irrespective of their tribe or spoken language was able to sing or recite them in a language they understood.
Mr Amoah explained that what motivated him to translate the National Anthem and National Pledge into the 12 major local languages was the victory of D.K. Poison, the legendary Ghanaian boxer in the early 1970s, who won the World Super Further Championship belt.
He described the translated versions as his contribution to national development.
Mr Amoah called for the naming of the Ghana flag as “The Banner of Hope”.
Emeritus Professor J. H. Kwabena Nketia, the first African Director of the Institute of African Studies, University of Ghana, formally launched the translated versions of the National Anthem and the National Pledge.
The launch was witnessed by Mrs Charlotte Osei, the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Mrs Beatrice Asamani, News Editor of the Ghana News Agency and her Deputy, Mr Francis Ameyibor.