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You’re not Ghanaian!

I’ve  hear them  say it a couple  of times

“You’re  not Ghanaian “,

Look  at us!, clad  in our “syto”  school uniforms

Depending  on government  school feeding plans. 

Look  at our  torn back  pockets, look  at its weariness 

You’ll  just say  we’re poor.  Go ahead. Say  it. 

So  I tattooed  it on my light  skin to be sure because  I really did wonder

Their  words made  me constantly  ponder. 

They  called  me “dadaba”  on several occasions,  I don’t know if they  thought I lived on a different  planet, streets laced with gold and  cars made of emerald stones. 

But  I am  Ghanaian,  I told them. 

Was  it because  I had never  been to a government  school, because from preparatory to  international and all the affiliates 

I  saw  Me as  Ghanaian.  

Was  it because  I tried so hard  to be eloquent in  English? 

But  I ate  waakye like  they did, I adored koose  more than them , the ever  so evident children of mother  Ghana. 

I  know  the politics  of this place,  of how they fought  about NDC and NPP and  how I didn’t even care. 

I  knew  what banku  tasted like,  the “aburo ne nkati3”  which I so much disliked -at  least I knew it. 

Don’t justify, you don’t speak -Ghanaian. 

You might eat Ghanaian, but you weren’t brought up –

I  spoke  three Ghanaian  languages-seldom 

I  would  constantly  look at the  tattoo that read-

“You’re  not Ghanaian”

Then  I’d silently  ask myself, 

What  really  made one  Ghanaian? 

Was  it because  I was never  called disrespectful  when I said how I felt? 

Was  it because  I always got  what I wanted -true  story. 

Was  that why  they said I  wasn’t Ghanaian? 

What  really  made one  Ghanaian? 

Was  it the  food? The  currency? What  was it?

There  were Ghanaians  who lived lavish  right? 

I  also  knew the  words of the  national pledge 

I  spent  an entire  eleven years  reciting it, morning  after morning 

Or  was it  because I  was red in  colour?

If  so, others  were yellow,  blue and even orange!

But  why pick  me to tell  this?

I  went  to a boarding  school too 

I  know  what shitor  tastes like, I’ve  fetched buckets and numerous  buckets of water 

Doesn’t  that make  me Ghanaian?  Knowing our struggle?

And  besides,  I know the  names of important political  figures – the president, most definitely 

I  could  tell the  meaning of  the colours in our  flag 

So  why then  am I not Ghanaian? 

I  can  speak  like one,  think like one,  I can eat like one, 

Was  it that  I didn’t live  like one?

Definitely  I did live  like one. 

Or  was it  because of  my untamed bravery and  sharp mouth?

But  I never  bit anyone,  I don’t cut either 

What  could possibly  make me One? 

I’m  left in  the middle  of a phrase  at a dagger point 

The  sun, the  stars and moon  I continue to ask  my identity 

And  also bask  in my eternal  confusion. 

Why  am I  not Ghanaian?    

Asaase  Yaa, could  you please tell  me?

The  children  of mother  Ghana, 

Why  am I  not Ghanaian? 

Courage Bansahhttps://ghdispatch.com
I am all that you heard about me


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