Mother tongue: the lost inheritance of diaspora

This is an insightful piece.

Media Diversified

Derek Owusu talks about what it means not to speak the language of your ancestors

“The limits of my language mean the limits of my world.”

I wonder what kind of person I would be if I could speak Twi. How my thoughts would run, how I would interact with my surroundings. For a long time, I underestimated the impact language had on shaping who I am. I used to think of it just as a way of simple communication between groups, not as something containing the history, culture, self-perception and mythology of a people.

My mother came to the United Kingdom at the age of 18. She had no plans to move back to Ghana, her past in West Africa being darkened by the military rule of Lieutenant Jerry John Rawlings and the poverty of her small town, Jamasi. She was thinking, I’m sure, that the UK was a…

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