Married. 50 years. Never wed in the western way. My grandfather, Egya Kwesi Amoaful remains same. My grandmother Maame Ama Krah remains same. Names remain same. My mother's parents. Matrilineal as we are. Nobody took nobody's name. Marriage was contracted. Marriage was legitimate. God, the Ghanaian God, was present all right. No rings. Just drinks and wills and mills of kin.
The Ghanaian man isn't stronger than the Ghanaian woman. She farms, she sustains. She is an ɔbaatan, which means not only that she feeds and clothes but also that she protects with her spirit and her strength. These days, she even pays the electricity bill. She has no formal schooling, which often also means that her common sense is keen. She is not having a battle between careers and family. That she can have them both has never been in question. That woman has a career that takes her far from home. She has always experienced other lands, in her search for food to bring to her community. They call this kwando. In that way, perhaps she is worldlier than her husband. She belongs to a fraternity of women doing same. So why the hell are you buying into the notion that you too, are weak? What battles do you have to fight now that our grandmothers have not already won? You have never been inferior. Nothing has been denied you. All you have to do is accept your powerful role. That is how our family has worked.The Ghanaian feminist fights not for equality with man. She fights for equality as (w0) man. She fights not for women, she fights for her race, she puts her children through school, sometimes having to sell her expensive African cloth which she has bought for herself.
Now you, why do you tell me that unless I have a "wedding", that unless I become a Mrs. X that our marriage is illegitimate. Unless I wear some frilly lace or satin gown, in the sweltering heat of
Why do you think a translation of Mrs. is not possible in our language? In a desperate and unsuccessful attempt, they say Owurayer. But think, my dear, what does that mean? I will think for you, if your scholarship in the white man's land has overcrowded your forelobe with thoughts that bear no similarity to our way of life that you have become a stranger to the philosophy, language and thought of our land. Owurayer means the wife of owura. In the same vein, we could speak of Ewurakun, a title for a man meaning, the husband of Ewura. Now think again. What would be the equivalent of such a title in English? Mr.? Forget it. Mr. bears no mark of woman or the relationship to woman. Mr. exists without woman. Ewurakun, doesn't. Owurayer is not an exclusive title in the way that Mrs. is. This is our truth.