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Twi is taking over in Bolgatanga as Gurune goes to sleep.

Twi is taking over in Bolgatanga as Gurune goes to sleep.

There is no doubt that Twi is a language which is widely spoken in Ghana. The factors are varied and I wouldn’t like to go into detail.

However, we can point to the fact that it is a language that is spoken by the ethnic group that has the majority of the population. Go to any region in Ghana and you will realize that there is a bit of a dominance of the language.

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There is no dispute about this and no one is complaining or getting worried about this.

What is the major concern in the Upper East region and for which reason I am writing this article is the deliberate attempt by people who want to kill their own language and switch to another person’s language.

 Twi is taking over in Bolgatanga as Gurune goes to sleep.

Twi is killing Gurune and other languages in Bolgatanga.

I went round to some offices in Bolgatanga, the capital of the Upper East region, and discovered something strange. This strange phenomenon is occurring not only in offices throughout the region, but also in markets, salons, schools, and other public places.

I see two Gurune brothers conversing in Twi. There are instances where, in a  particular workplace there is  only one southerner in the office, but all my northern brothers and sisters are forced to kowtow to speaking Twi to him or her and even among themselves.

Twi is taking over in Bolgatanga as Gurune goes to sleep.

How nice it would be if we could speak either Gurune, “Kusaal”, “Kaseem”, “Buuli” or any other language to that fellow.

They will be willing and glad to learn at least one new language, which they can take back with them when they are going back.

I have schooled in Cape Coast for four years and I observed with admiration that almost every place I visit, they speak “Fanti” and no other. I will gladly speak Twi if I move to any area where they don’t understand my language.

But, I will not speak Twi in Bolgatanga. An Ashanti man or woman will ask you in Kumasi where you are coming from if you don’t understand Twi. I think we should be proud to ask the same question with the confidence with which it will be asked in Kumasi.

I was embarrassed just last week when one of my co-workers, an Ashanti, told us that the English is becoming too much for  him.

He said he wants to learn any northern language, but we don’t speak it to him.

There are NGO’s and many international bodies, who are spending millions of dollars to revive languages that are becoming extinct. Why must we deliberately kill our language?

Twi is taking over in Bolgatanga as Gurune goes to sleep.

It is worst in our secondary schools.

The issue is becoming worse in our secondary schools across the region. Twi is the second official language after school. The problem is that there are barely any real Southerners among us in our secondary schools. It is the northerners who sojourn in the South and refuse to speak their local language to their own children. These children, who come back to school here, see themselves as southerners and are busy promoting Twi and leading their own language to extinction.

We usually make an excuse.

The excuse we normally give is the plurality of languages in the northern part of Ghana. This makes it difficult for  us to communicate to each other. For example, a Gurune man or woman cannot freely express himself or herself with a “Kasem” man or woman.

There always seems to be a barrier, and we think the only way out is to speak Twi or English. This may be partly true, but not the whole truth. The good news with this analogy is that there seems to be some commonality in certain words in our languages. I can easily understand “Buli” even if I am hearing it for the first time. If I add a little effort, I can easily understand it.

When it comes to the English, we are all worst offenders.

There are many who say colonization has never left Africa. They say the whites have enslaved us in their language. This is very true, and I am as guilty as anyone else. We speak English with our children at home. This is a clear demonstration that we don’t want our children to speak our own language.

Twi is taking over in Bolgatanga as Gurune goes to sleep.

If we are speaking English to our children at home, what language will they also speak to their children too? If this cycle continues, then you can easily determine the lifespan of our Gurune and other northern languages.

Please? It must be noted that I am not against Twi or waging a campaign against its dominance. What is true and is clear for all to see is the gradual decline and imminent collapse of the Gurune and other minority languages, which is my concern.

Please be reminded that this is my view and it may vary significantly from yours.

If you think that there are inaccuracies in what I have just authored, please contact us at with your reply and we will gladly publish it if it meets our standards.

You can also express your views in the comment section below to have a better national discourse aimed at restoring our minority languages from extinction.


By Robert

One thought on “Twi is taking over in Bolgatanga as Gurune goes to sleep.”
  1. With all the reasons and more you have enumerated why wont some people say “THEY ARE MORE GHANAIANS THAN OTHERS” But am also a victim of what you mentioned, i will take steps to correct my ways. Thank you.

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