The Deputy Upper West Regional Minister, Hon Hamidu Issahaku Chinnia, has ignited a debate on names given to children in the country. He called on parents to consider giving their children traditional names instead of only Islamic or Christian names.
Speaking at the 2018 edition of the Upper West Regional Art and Cultural Festival on Wednesday 15th November 2018, Hon. Chinnia argued that traditional names given to children will help give them an identity regarding their culture which Christian or Islamic names cannot.
He urged traditional rulers to mobilize their people in maintaining their culture as religion and modernization were fast eroding the Ghanaian culture saying: “as custodians of our culture you must take center stage in trying to mobilize our people in maintaining our culture and tradition because modernization and religion is fast eroding our culture” He mentioned that a time will come when our children will not know about their culture. We must work in maintaining our culture else it will be a big disaster.
Touching on naming of children, Mr. Chinnia said the only way people in the region are able to identify their people is through their names. He therefore appealed to parents to consider giving them traditional names stressing that; “we now find a lot of people bearing Christian and Muslim names without local name. One means by which we can identify our people as Dagaabas, as Waalas, as Sissalas and all other tribes in the region is the traditional names we give to all of them. So let me appeal to all of us to give our kids local names so that we can identify them in accordance with our tradition”.
The Deputy Regional Minister also expressed concern at the penchant of parents to teach their children only English Language at the detriment of their mother tongues. He therefore appealed to parents to teach their kids their language by saying;” we have to keep emphasizing our local languages. These days most of us teach our children English Language in the house, in the school, everywhere because of modernization. Don’t let us do that at the expense of our local languages so that these kids grow up and they can’t speak their local language”.
He further urged the elderly to involve their children in the performance of traditional activities in order that they grow up with it.