Development Doesn’t Mean Letting Go Of Culture

By fiifi DZANSI

Culture dictates who we are. It’s our identity – what we wear, eat and how we speak.

Western influence has eroded many cultures and taken a chunk out of who we are.

There are days I wake up and ask myself who I am.

As a designer, I take many inspirations from design studios in the UK, watch DW tv and Hollywood movies, listen to the BBC.

Everything around me is Western.

Because they are well presented and easy to come by.

Now, though, I make a conscious effort to stay true to the culture where I live through my designs.

When Hip-hop gained grounds in Ghana, Highlife music lost its appeal to the masses.
You only hear Highlife music – the genre that put Ghana on the map – at funerals these days.

Ghanaian men don’t wear cloth to the big occasions as they did in the past.

Indigenous crafts such as batik and tie-dye, sculpture, weaving are barely seen.

Also, fried rice and chicken, chicken and chips, pizza are pushing our native dishes to the sidelines.

It’s dangerous to throw away our identity and embrace foreign ways of living.