Ghana’s Happiness Culture

Ghanaians are often described as a “happy people” and just the other day in a group of Ghanaian young adults I was thinking to myself, somewhat grumpily: “what on earth are they laughing about?”

So it is roaring with laughter that I read my GhanaBlogging colleague  Graham‘s grumpy, but on-point, observation about the “enforced happiness” (Graham’s words) or “happiness culture” (mine) of Ghana. He takes us through everyday life cheer, party fun, church enjoyment and with an eye for detail he notes that Ghana’s most popular radio stations are called Happy FM and Joy FM! Graham continues his rant:

Even the music coming from the radio is happy! Hip-Life, High-Life, Happy, Happy, Happy. The music’s light and fluffy drum beats and the synthesised sounds have far too much sugar in them – give me vinegar any day!

Almost in a reply, Anti-Rhythm argues that the play in learning was taken away by the colonial influences on Ghanaian education.

In these our lands, many years ago, we used to learn by playing. Through song and dance and theatrics, we learnt what was relevant for our circumstances then.
When the colonialists came to inflict their cut of formal education on Africa, we left the fun behind.

Does that mean that Ghanaians were even more happy in ancient times?