Communal Transformations: A peak into Ghanaian cultural changes

Communal transformation is not a matter that happens over night. But rather, it is a phenomenon observed by many as they utilize cultural and religious customs to change the overall makeup of any one society. With reference to this, music has been one of the many ways with which influential people can reach the masses and unite them under common suffering. When it comes to Ghana, the interesting thing about it is the fact that it’s a peaceful country. And the communal transformation didn’t come from direct violence. The complexity comes from people voicing their struggles regardless of what region they found themselves in to create a better future for themselves and the artists that they listen to hit that nail on the head. Nearly all Ghanaian artists at some point will have a song that resonates with the struggles of an African individual ideally trying to pull themselves up by the bootstraps to begin an all around better living experience for themselves and immediate family members. While that might not always come to fruition, there are a plethora of music references that they have access to that would allow them to keep pushing forward. These artists include, but are not limited to, Obuo, Obrafour, Stonebwoy, Sarkodie, Kofi Kinaata and Ebony. These solidified musicians are using their talents to not only connect with their fans but display to the western masses what life is like to be a young African with big aspirations. Stewart Hall explains in his theory of representation that meanings of representation are constructed for us via  TV, film, music, literature and so forth. As such we are able to understand individual cultures as they are presented to us globally or locally through social, cultural and political lenses. As such it is up to individual artists to construct new narratives especially as they pertain to their explicit lived experiences. Each tribe in the country has their own qualities that make them unique from the languages that are spoken, to the way people carry themselves, there is always an inherent need for what they consume to resonate. As such, this playlist has been curated to display that the same themes that were brought up nearly twenty years ago are still the same themes present in music today. Everything matters, from the clothes they decide to wear, the pace of the drums in the background all the way down to why they are ordered the way they are. The complexities of being a modern-day African are not easy. The daily fight for less corrupt governments, economic improvements coupled with issues like climate change are leaving many hopeless. As such life moves on but in everything, it feels as though the fight is being fought uselessly. Without much reprieve’, many are being forced to travel outside of Ghana in the hopes of economic stability elsewhere. Many of the songs are social commentaries on what the average Ghanaian goes through, but with the redemption aspect at the end. While the country contends to be one of the most progressive of the west African states, rhetoric about the daily struggles of abuse, tireless work and so forth seem to be continuously left out. Ghanaian music has always leaned into being more cookie-cutter than some would expect and while many have not rated the duo as being favorable, they are making the necessary steps in creating those conversations and ensuring a brighter future for Ghana. This mixtape is a reflection of common sentiments all across the state. It is not linear nor can it be encapsulated in 4 minute intervals. What this project does is display how themes of community, empowerment, awareness and religiosity is present in all of these songs, in one way shape or form. This was done intentionally to signify how the country cannot be boxed in with one definition of what the practices are or how people think but rather to delve deeper into assessing that while the differences are there, those are what inevitably bring us together in the long-run. 

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