In a brief and impressive keynote speech delivered by the Ewe Dukor President – Mr. Daniel Torkornoo, he highlighted and laid much emphasis on formal education opportunities in Germany especially, the German integration courses and advised that without the knowledge of the language, one could not achieve maximum benefits in the society. Mr. Torkornoo reminded the participants, precisely those from Ewelands NOT to forget their birth roots and therefore urged them to contribute meaningfully to the development of their hometowns. ~ Mensah Dekportor (HAMBURG)
Ewe Dukor, Germany e.V., the umbrella union of Ewe Unions in Germany, convened at the Bayern city of Nürnberg on the occasion of Germany’s Pfingsten holidays (6th -8th June 2014) to celebrate their usual summer union.
But a speech by the President of such an African organization is what surprised most. The above summary is the circumscription of the import of that speech. To put it bluntly, this speech smacked of innate ignorance and indicated a loss of a deep sense of African-ness.
Mr. Torkornoo ‘laid much emphasis on formal education opportunities in Germany, especially the German integration courses and advised that without the knowledge of the language, one could not achieve maximum benefits’ in German society.
This is, perhaps true if you live in Germany and are intent on becoming German. It may also be true if you just really want to stay in Germany.
But how is this relevant to Ewe Dukor? How does this help the growth, development and expansion of African culture, Ewe culture, which they are only apt to recall whenever they deem it necessary? How is laying an emphasis on the German language, which is not Ewe, which is not an African language, help the Ewes, or any African, culturally, spiritually and developmentally?
Furthermore, when Mr. Torkornoo reminds his fellow Ewes not to forget their ‘birth roots’, whatever this means, how does he expect the next generation of Ewes in Germany to retain their African-ness when they can only speak German, dabble in German cuisine, and watch German television?
It is even more absurd, albeit without some candid well-meaning hope, that he would continue to urge Ewes to ‘contribute meaningfully to the development of their hometowns’, while at the same time encouraging them to quickly settle down and integrate into German society; this makes it doubly obvious that Mr. Torkornoo himself does not plan to return to his homeland and engage in the kind of development that is necessary.
So why burden us and his fellow Ewes with this sort of mentality – thinking of our homelands as villages needing aid from abroad to grow? Why burden us with the mentality that we can never escape the iron grips of Western Civilization to rebuild our own Civilization? Why should we be burdened with such a spirit of cowardice and backwardness?
Even if the wicked King, Togbe Agokoli, was around today, he would whine and whimper, and huff and puff at this apparent loss of stimulus and belief among his Ewe People. He will be shocked to see that his people can no longer surmount obstacles, be they economics and social mobility – real and imagined. He will be flabbergasted that they allow foreigners to siphon their resources away unchallenged.
Are these the same Ewes who gathered the world’s first most revered and most feared Women’s Army – the Amazons of Dahomey – and showed the world that African Women, and Women in general, notwithstanding childbirth and child-rearing, can be just as powerful, if not braver, in battle?
What sort of Ewes do we have here now?
Are these the same Ewes of the Gbe-Speaking Peoples, who founded Dahomey, that West African war machine that was feared across the continent and in the world?
Are these the same Ewes who fought the Portuguese, defeated them, the French, defeated them, the Germans, defeated them, other European alliances, and defeated them, until only after the invention and mastery of the weaponry of the canon could the French eventually overcome them at Cotonou in 1894?
Are these the same Ewes who, during the 1400s, until the better part of the 1800s, ruthlessly dispatched European traders from their coasts until their terms of trade were met? Are these the same Ewes who commanded much of the slave coast of West Africa, albeit with unacceptable notoriety, causing fear and havoc among communities around them?
Are these the same Ewes who, in the last West African stance against the colonizers, collaborated with Yaa Asantewa of Asanteman to divert some of Britain’s forces to the East in order to fight them from two fronts, rather than a sole Asante front?
Are these the same Ewes who once prided themselves with some of the oldest known African pluralistic religions – otherwise known as Voodoo – and are these the same people who embodied a combination of a carefully constructed social structure and a spiritual and emotional ethos of always improving, not surrendering to invaders, not losing hope and never giving up in the face of terror and suffering?
When you take a critical look at who the Ewes once were and what they seem to have become today, it begs still yet the following questions:
Are these the same Ewes, now in the 1900s and the 21st century, who support Africa’s begging for aid from Germany, France and Britain, every step of the way?
Are these the same Ewes who can no longer join forces, collaborate with Asantes, the Twi-Speaking Peoples and the other ethnic groups of West Africa to forge formidable cultures and nations that can rub shoulders with the likes of the USA, the EU, Russia, India and China?
Are these the same Ewes we are talking about?
What a shame! What at all has become of them?
Even Togbe Agokoli, and his notorious self, would be thoroughly disappointed.