“Wouldn’t you just wish you were British” Hmm now me personally I haven’t heard that line or question from anyone in my lifetime and to be quite frantic, a place where over 270 nationalities and 300 different languages remain in London alone, So I wouldn’t be surprised if I never get to hear those words come out of a person’s mouth. So, in this twirl up of immense diversity and multi-cultural city, one may ask – How exactly do you embrace your individual culture?
Well me, I’m Ghanaian. That’s’ all I’ve got in me loool. Of course, I was born here in London and I’ve lived here my entire life. I know that my origins and roots are instilled in Ghana. Both my parents are from Ghana and that’s where they were born and raised. So, I’ve automatically been brought up and surrounded by Ghanaian traditions all my life. To start with, my name is Efe which is Ghanaian, Fante (tribe in Ghana) to be more precise, meaning I’m Friday born. So when people meet me they automatically know I’m from Ghana (or I get the occasionally odd Nigeria…) but overall my name just sets me back to my African roots.
I feel like surrounding yourself with people from your country really helps too. All my life I have been surrounded by Ghanaians in pretty much everything I do. From nursery, even till now I have had Ghanaian or at least African friends, my church is mainly Ghanaian and my area of where I live has a high percentage of Afro-Caribbean members in the community, so I’ve always learnt the ways of people from not just Ghana but Africa alone, honestly I can tell whenever someone is walking past me, if they are Ghanaian or not. They have a certain look to them lool. Obviously, areas of Britain with a low percentage of Africans in the community can make you feel quite remote.
Music and Social Media play a HUGE part in me Embracing my culture, you may think me living in Britain, I’m subjected to listening to Take That and eating Sausages and Mash yeah… Hell No. Africa is literally everywhere in terms of music and lifestyle. UK Afro beats have absolutely taken off and has grown over the years. Before, people would of been embarrassed to listen to the likes of Kwabena Kwabena or Sarkodie when they’re out with their friends. But literally I find listening to them and even the classics a normal thing to me, as I’m learning to embrace my culture in terms of music. With the likes of DJ Abrantee, giving us the sounds of Fuse ODG, Kwamz and Flava, J Hus, Moelogo, Mr Silva, Mr Eazi, Jaij Hollands, Lola Rae etc. the list can go on and on. The point is as well as UK artist and sound that we get to enjoy, we also get to enjoy Africa in our sound as well
Almost all social media platforms incorporate culture in their pages, posts or in their videos. Instagram has thousands of Ghanaian food pages, clothes pages and lifestyle pages that get likes upon likes all the time. This helps in me embracing what my country as well as other countries have to give unto the world. Hashtags and popular sites are nearly impossible to miss if you have a great community of friends having discussions and debates about their own country, especially about who makes the best Jollof rice (obviously, it’s Ghana, but we will leave that for another day)
Overall, I encourage anyone struggling to be proud of their culture, even if you’re not from an African country, may it be Asian or Caribbean, to learn more and have a deeper understanding f were their lives are fixed in. Ask friends and relatives to understand your countries traditions, food, clothing, lifestyle, music etc. and before you know it Embracing your culture will come naturally !