Not long ago, I sat in the waiting room of a doctor’s office in Accra listening to a Ghana FM station. One of the songs was in great classic Country Western style, sung by a female vocalist. From its style and quality, it could have been on any classic Country Western station in the US – with one exception. The excellent vocalist was singing in the Twi language.
We live in a world where cultures are no longer nicely discrete things that only rarely interact with each other. Some stuff we export from the US makes me ashamed, but a Gospel Country Western tune in Twi by a Ghanaian Gospel group sounds pretty good in my ears. By the way, the staff and some patients were quietly singing along in Twi on many songs.
Where did a Ghanaian language group pick up Country Western style? Well, I don’t know, but we can get a clue from a Ghanaian word – Boga. It means a Ghanaian who emigrated to a different country, lived there for years, and then moved back to Ghana, usually with some money earned abroad. When a society has a word for something specific like that, it means that it happens a lot.