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Name: Ernest
Age: 24 years old
Occupation: University student in Computer Technology

Q: You mentioned before that you’re studying in University. Do you live on campus? A: I live in Accra through the year and bike to campus.

Q: Do you live there with your family? A: My mother and my father and my sister live here but I moved to Accra a couple years ago and they stayed. But I come back. I come back at least one or two times a year to see my family and to see my friends who stayed behind. This time, I came back for the funeral and to see my family.

Q: Why was it important for you to come back for the funeral? Did you know the person who died? A: No I don’t know them. I come back because its family, you know? Some of my friends live in Accra, and I see them lots at school, but some are still here and my parents and my sister are here. I come back because it’s important for me and for them that I come and see them.

Q: Do you see much change from year to year when you come back to visit? A: No, not much change. People sometimes come or some leave, but not too much. Not since I moved to Accra.

Q: How about any change that you’ve noticed throughout your life? Like computers, running water, that sort of thing. A: Oh, yes. There has been lots of change since I was young, but you see, change takes time. I’ve only been gone three years so not much has changed. But when I was a child, there was very little. Now there is much more. Banks in the town and things like that. And white people. More white people come every year! That’s a change.

Q: How do you think that’s affected the village, having white people come and go? A: We get more things for the village that way. They sometimes help with the school, sometimes with water and things like that. Cell phones are something we never had. My parents never knew what a cell phone was, but now you can buy MTN cards in the store. Coke, Fanta and things like that. There’s more to buy for sure.

Q: Is that a good thing? That there’s more to buy? A: Oh yeah. It’s a good thing because its more comfortable to come here. Everything is more comfortable now. We get new clothes and things like that. Not many people wear African clothes around here anymore. The old people do, but not many young people wear them. We have jeans and tee shirts that we get from the cities. It’s all more comfortable

Q: Have you noticed any change in the music since you were younger and since white people and all this technology started coming into the village? A: No, not really. There’s sometimes a new song or something like that or a new drummer, but mostly it stays pretty much the same. The drumming stays the same. There’s some music that you used to only be able to find in the city that has come here like cds or something. Rap and stuff like that are playing more and more, but the drumming stays the same. And that’s why the white people come here is for the drumming. Not the shrine or anything like that. You guys like watching the drumming.


Interviewed by Sean Groten, Summer 2010

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