The Bureau of Ghana Languages (BGL) has launched a book on the translation of the poems by Professor Lade Wosornu, an astute Ghanaian poet, essayist and retired surgeon.
The book titled ‘Inspirational Poems,’ containe 17 of Prof. Worsonu’s popular poems including ‘Master Brewer,’ ‘Desert Rivers,’ ‘A Re-discovery,’ and ‘Raider of The Treasure Trove,’ which had been translated into fifteen local languages.
They include Ewe, Ga, Twi (Asante and Akuapem), and Fante, Dagaare, Dagbani, Kasem, Dangme, Guren, Gonja, Kusaa, Kasim, Likpakpaan, Mfantse, Nzema and Sisaali.
The exercise formed part of the Legends’ Works Translation Project of the (BGL) to translate works of poems, prose and plays of Ghanaian literary legends into the eleven Ghanaian languages.
It is also to promote academic works in Ghanaian school and also offer broader readership opportunity beyond the boundaries of Ghana.
Nana Kwasi Gyan-Apenteng, former Chairman of the National Media Commission (NMC), who delivered the keynote address, said Ghana had to recover it lost confidence in its own culture which needed to begin at the policy level.
He observed that the country had not fully appreciated the role culture could play in the overall development of the country.
“In the era of globalisation and contemporary technological challenges, the people of Ghana must recognise that their culture is the basis of, and the most important factor in the nation’s human and material development. Thus our history, cultural values and institutions must continue to exercise a deep influence on the nation’s destiny and play a key role in governance and national life,” he said.
Nana Gyan-Apenteng said language played a role in the construction of identities within the public and private spheres.
“In fact, in multi-ethnic societies like our own, maintaining the languages of ethnic and cultural groups is critical for the preservation of cultural heritage and identity. Therefore, the task entrusted to the Bureau of Ghana languages goes far beyond that of developing and publishing in our various languages. That institution is vital for the preservation of our national heritage,” he said.
The former chairman of the NMC suggested that the Ghana Cultural Policy, which was the mother document for all the various branches of cultures, needed to be revised and brought into line with the current digital world and its realities.
“We must not only revise and reactivate the culture policy, we must take another look at the architecture of the administration, including the funding of culture in this country. And I am referring to culture in its entirety. And in that regard, at a minimum, we need to ensure that our languages do not just survive but are strengthened,” he said.
Prof. Wosornu expressed gratitude to the BGL for the honour done him and acknowledging his works.
He said, he was surprised when BGL informed him of their intention to translate some of his poems into some local languages.
Prof. Wosornu commended all the stakeholders who supported the exercise to make it a reality.
BY VIVIAN ARTHUR