Take a peek into my half-caste world.

I’ve always been the “different one” growing up in Ghana (West Africa), where being a Ghanaian means having black skin and kinky hair. I have always been referred to as “obroni” or “blofonyo” meaning “white person”. My father of Lebanese origin felt, lived, and insisted on his “Ghanaian-ness” until the moment he died. He never enjoyed the satisfaction of complete acceptance by his beloved Ghanaian people and he knew it.

There are so many others like me who live the daily struggle of trying to fit in yet being constantly reminded that we are “half-caste”, we are “obronis” and no matter what we do or say, no matter how we speak or act, we are looked at differently. I feel it every time I take a walk down the street or drive in my car. I feel it when I go to vote and the official looks up at me and says mockingly, “Ei, you too are you a Ghanaian?” I feel it when sellers who assume I don’t speak the local languages discuss in those very same languages whether to charge me the regular price or the “obroni” price.  I used to get angry and indignant. Sometimes I would bark back in the local language to the shock and dismay of those who thought I couldn’t understand what they were saying. But eventually, as I upgraded myself in spirit and moved into a more positive frequency, I began to realize that most of these people who made sure they pointed out how different I am, are themselves caught up in their own dark, ignorant world of insecurity and sometimes even self – hatred. Those people can’t see or express their inner beauty, and they definitely don’t look like this:

image

This photo,  by the way, represents my loyalty to country and solidarity with nature, depicted by red, gold, and green.

Things may not change significantly in my lifetime,  although I have noticed some change no matter how gradual and how small. The first “rebel” who paved the way for mixed race Ghanaians to come into prominent view is the former president of Ghana flt. Lt. Rtd. Jerry John Rawlings. Over the years we have overcome many obstacles. Our national soccer team finally included the likes of Kevin Prince Boateng and now Akwasi Appiah, not to mention the movie, arts and entertainment industry where many mixed race Ghanaians are finding some joy.

Will we ever be considered just Ghanaians and not “that different breed of Ghanaians”? How long will it be before a mixed race person can walk down the street in Osu town, Labadi or Nungua township without kids skipping behind them and singing, “blofonyo! How are you! I am fine thank you!” This, by the way, happened to my 2 year old and I just recently in Nungua. I watched him as he stopped walking, turned around and looked at them quite curiously, as if wondering why the heck these people were following us and singing. Then my mind went back to my childhood in Osu,  and how I used to get that almost every time I walked down the street. Poor Nolly is yet to understand how different he is and how much he will be made to feel like he doesn’t belong here even though this is all he has known since the day he was born.

The struggle continues…. But someday, I believe that a very large fraction of the world’s population will look like this:

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One love 💚

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7 thoughts on “Take a peek into my half-caste world.”

  1. I have always been and continue to be upset when someone is called names associated with the color of their skin. And yes I get really angry when it is assumed that because my skin tone is fair I must have money so I must be ripped off. But then I remind myself that we all face racism in one form or another so we must be tolerant and educate each other

  2. The struggle is SO real. I’m not mixed race, but I have obronisem labels attributed to me as well. It used to bother me, but you grow and find there are more pressing thinks to occupy your mind.

    Just keep shining!

  3. hmm…when i was younger, I always felt” between the chairs” white ppl told me I wouldnt be “really black”(oh yes I definetly am), black paddies told me I am “talking white” and called me “obroni”, “halfcast” and “mixed race” and refered me as their “white ladyfriend” Today mabr3! I dont allow ppl to define who I am.Pll can call me afrogerman or ghanaian german and I dont allow ppl to apply racism,shadeism, sexism or exotism on me.I refuse to pay “obroni-prices” and who try to play tricks on me,like the lady who wanted to charge me 80 GHS for sponge will be given a lesson in history and the basics of gh loyality and the meaning of Akwaaba!!! And the gentlemen who want to date me bcs I fit “their preference” or send me on Fb without knowing me weired requests to hv babies with me because of my color def.regret the idea!!! I only surround myself with ppl who value who I am and not how I look like.I might be “to known”-that are my “borger-roots”but I embrace so much who I am and am a proudly ghanaian capital girl-no matter what ppl say or want to see

  4. Although the alienation you feel is relevant, you must understand where these kids who chase your son are coming from. In a world where lighter skin is immediately associated with whiteness and therefore ‘betterness’ it is simply not unusual for dark-skinned Nima kids to imagine that you are from somewhere else. Yes, it hurts and yes it is unfair that you are continuously singled out as ‘not Ghanaian’ but mixed raced Ghanaians who are finding some joy in the movie industry are doing so because they are privileged in their looks. Ghanaians think mixed raced people look better and so many people are trying to bleach their skin. It is difficult to always feel like an outsider, I’m sure, but this is not divorced from the reality that mixed race people are close to whiteness, and whiteness will always be a fascination of poor, black people who are constantly told to worship whiteness.

  5. I have biracial children, and I am from Osu. They are loved so much in Ghana as good respectful human beings (not because of the colour of their skin). When they are called blofonyo, gbomo tsuru (fair skinned human being), it is simply a description of their uniqueness as individual being, and not a reflection of the content of their character or behaviour. People in Canada often describe people, using such references as the colour of their eyes or hair. In Ghana, we sometimes use descriptors such as size, height, shape, skin tone, gait, behaviour , even type of laughter, to identify and make distictions among people. What is more important is self acceptance, respect for self and others. Ghanaians in general are more influenced by behaviours and conduct, than by culture and skin tone. Love yourself and your skin tone. You are loved because you love and deserve to be loved.

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