We now have Bono East and Ahafo regions. These new regions have been carved from the existing “Brong-Ahafo Region. I think this is the time to change the names of some of our regions and towns, which do not make sense or have any meaning.
We can collapse “Brong” Ahafo Region and rename it Bono West or just Bono Region. Our colonisers left long ago and we know the word “BRONG” is meaningless. The Region was named after the Bono and the Ahafo people. Our colonial masters called the Bono “Brong”. We know there’s nothing like Brong. Why should we continue to keep it? Why don’t we take this opportunity to rename the existing region meaningfully?
Can we also change “Ashanti” Region to “Asante” Region? We have Asantes and we have Asanteman. A person from that ethnic group is an Asante. We have Asantehene. So where from Ashanti?
Can we change all Kibi to Kyebi and Akim to Akyem? Can we stop calling the Gurune people”Frafra”?
India changed the name of its capital from Bombay to Mumbai in 1995 because they did not want to stick with the distortion of the British Colonisers.
In Ghana, however, we still stick to the corrupted forms of names, which do not make sense. Our leaders also use them in official speeches. The following couple of paragraphs were contained in President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s 61st Independence Anniversary speech last year”
“In many ways, we rose to the occasion. The many and varied peoples that came together, through happenstance or deliberate actions, to form the modern state of Ghana, have crafted a common identity.
“We might be Dagartis, Sissalas, Dagombas, Mamprusis, Gonjas, Konkombas, Frafras, Grusis, Kusasis, Gas, Krobos, Ewes, Fantes, Denkyiras, Gomoas, Guans, Nzemas, Ahantas, Sefwis, Akyems, Akwamus, Akuapems, Kwahus, Brongs or Ashantis; we might sometimes even lapse into ancient rivalry modes; but, as Ghanaians, we are comfortable in our skin.” [Emphasis mine].
There’s no word or Ethnic Group in Ghana called Dagarti or Dagartis. Those people in the Upper West Region speak Dagaare. Their ethnic group is Dagao (singular) or Dagaaba (plural). So where’s the Dagaati?
The Gurune people were named “Frafra” by the colonial masters because they greeted “farafara” which in Akan means “ayeekoo” when they saw the white people working. I have spoken about the “Ashanti” and “Brong” already.
Now that we are creating regions and giving names, we should take this opportunity to rename our existing regions and major towns to make meaning. It does not make sense to have “Brong”-Ahafo Region and “Bono” East Region when the “Bono” and “Brong” are supposed to mean the same thing.
Written by Manasseh Azure Awuni