I have never associated sexual acts with any local Ghanaian language. Sex for me has always been synonymous with the English language. I have never questioned why. I have never even been conscious of this fact till I read a post here titled “Fucking Ghana into me”. Since then, I have been doing some soul-searching. I have been trying to understand what prevents me from associating anything sexual with my local language which is Ga. After all, I spend more than half of my time trying to convince myself and everyone else that I am a Ga through and through.
Perhaps, sex to me is synonymous with English because I think in English. Even though I am a born and bred Ghanaian (forget the numerous 2 week camps, workshops and vacations outside), English is the language I grew up with. My parents mostly spoke English to me. My relatives followed the same trend. My childhood days were spent at school where vernacular was strictly forbidden. My friends were from school and we spoke English. It was only after I was older that I learnt Ga. Therefore, I think in English. My desires, needs and cravings are better expressed in English. It is the language that I unconsciously use at all times. So I guess it should be of no surprise that anything sexually related should be expressed in English. It should therefore not be an earth shattering revelation to me that my demands, responses, questions, exclamations and comments with regards to sex should be in English. After all, I think in English.
This association of sex with English could also be because my earliest exposures to sex were in the English language. Not just the act itself but the names of the various sexual organs too. I knew penis, I knew vagina but I sure as heck did not know d)l) and toto. Besides I could always check the English dictionary and find such words. Even if I found a Ga dictionary, how was I going to read it? I still can’t read Ga to save my life.
Most importantly, I realize that my inability and reluctance to associate sex with any local language is as a result of my socialization. A good girl did not say toto or gbemi. She didn’t even know it. After all, good kids covered their eyes whenever the characters on T.V started kissing. Never mind that some of us kept peeking through our open fingers.
It is interesting how traditionally sexual words have somewhat of a negative connotation. These words are taboo and among young people, there is a stigma attached to them. Perhaps, this is a mechanism put in place to discourage young people from engaging in sexual activities. Therefore, words like gbemi and k)ti are utterly forbidden in public. My early memories of such words are of them being quietly uttered or shouted as insults by “bad” boys and girls. They are shrouded in so much mystery that they are ultimately taboo words. The stigma attached to these words ensures that the mere thought of a sexual word is accompanied by feelings of disgust, shame and guilt. Etwe and s)) make me feel the need to see a Catholic Priest for confession regardless of the fact that I am not and have never been Catholic. In English however, I can say dick and pussy just fine. I don’t feel the need to purge myself of abominable thoughts. After all, fuck is just a word and the act in itself a pleasurable one. In English, this is a comfortable thought. For me, after years of having been conditioned to view sexual matters in Ga as issues to be discussed in hushed tones behind closed doors, English allows me to freely express my sexuality.
I guess years and years of this socialization has automatically tuned my mind towards English with regards to sexual words and acts. This in itself is not a problem. I do not think that the choice of language affects my sexual life in anyway. Besides, I bet the kind of dirty talking my grandparents did in Ga years ago is the same as a German couple would do in Germany now and my best friend would be doing in English now. 🙂
Yet years of perceiving anything sexually related as a mystery that happens only behind closed doors with sexual words being taboo has left me with undeserved shame at the mere thought of any such word in Ga. This for me is the problem. That this Ghanaian girl, born and bred under the blazing Accra sun should feel guilty for thinking of sex in Ga is ridiculous. That this Accra girl whose earliest memories are of eating kenkey together with family in the same bowl cannot say toto without performing what Wanlov the Kubolor calls the ‘African blush’ (head sideways, looking down) in his song ‘Rapipi Jay’ is absurd. That this socialization has made my indigenous language the evil one is sad. Most importantly, that consequently, I have resorted to expressing my desires and feelings in English leaves me with feelings of regret.
Now, I’m not saying that every Ghanaian equates sex with English. On the contrary, most Ghanaians express their sexualities better with their various traditional languages. To say I admire such people is an understatement. I have found myself in awe whenever I hear people say toto in public without any hint of embarrassment or discomfort. Now, I find myself wondering when I would get to that point of fully expressing myself in Ga without the mortification I feel at present. Who knows, I might one day speak Ga during sex. Now, that’s a very future one day.
What language do you express yourself in sexually? Do you ever fuck in your indigenous language? If not why not?
17 comments On Guest Contributor Dede: I wish I could f*ck in Ga
This made me think. I grew up in a predominantly Ga neighbourhood. It had a lot of lewd old men who when they got some dutch courage in them, would try the shock factor (at least that’s how I think of it. They may have actually thought it romantic or sweet) on ladies, married or not.
These were the men who would say things like ‘Hey, look how sexy your butt is looking in your cloth (wrapper). I can even see your waist beads. Given the chance, I will stiff you real good’ Or enter a ‘drinking spot’ and announce “I am real horny tonight. Any lady who brings herself will get it for sure. I will stick it in her and make her screamod’. These are a few of the more sane pronouncements I remember.
As a result, I find anything sexual described in Ga jarring and shudder when I hear stuff like ‘Ma wie bo’ no matter how tender a tone it is said in.
Twi, on the other hand, is another story. Maybe it’s because I didn’t have vocal and lewd Twi men around me growing up. Or maybe because Kojo Antwi’s poetry reminds me everyday how delicate and sexy Twi can be in describing acts of love and/or lust. It wasn’t until recently I learnt his ‘Bo me nkomo de’ wasn’t about verbal conversation. And even Daddy Lumba tries to (unsucessfully) veil the sexual.
I am comfortable with English for the same reasons as you… And Twi, as the excitement I got from a recent sexual ‘threat’ cum promise (pun intended) in Twi testified. Ga, I don’t think so. It’s been spoiled for me.
I would love to hear about expressions in Ewe , Dagomba or Hausa. Anyone? I am interested to know what that is like.
*scream like she has seen God
Love this Article and yes it’s soOo true!!
I’m also Ga, though it’s not a language I speak very very well since I was raised in UK.
A few years ago, I had the pleasure of dating and having serious sex with a multi lingual guy who suddenly started speaking ga during sex
‘Naa oh gbeh mi aye, oh toto gour chor, mini oh keh wo mli?’ (Naa, you’re killing me, your pussy tastes so good, what have you put in there?) *sorry for my horrible phonetic Ga!*
LoL I didn’t think Ga could be sexy until that night and its something I’ve craved ever since
Ga for me is a language I speak to my parents in and deep down there’s a dirty feeling you can’t help but have when you hear it in a context like having sex.
Pretty much the same thing with me…I’m ewe and since childhood, saying kolo or ava just made me feel like one dirty dude….even now, it feels awkward…I can easily say those in twi or ga though.lol…heck my brother and I even invented a word for our avas….(not sharing though.hehe.)…maybe it’s cuz ewe is a rather heavily tonal lingo?? Light equals sexy imho…oh well…
I had the same effect after reading Fucking Ghana into me. I’m Ga-Adangme which is pretty much the same as Ga. I couldnt help by recollecting a sexual encounter i had a couple of years ago. He was Ga and right in the middle of the action, he asked me how to say pussy in Adangbe. It is “Piti”. He started going on ‘O Piti Ngoor!’ (Your pussy is sweet). It was so erotic. The best part was when he was ready to cum. He says ‘He mor osoorrmi oye! He mor osoormi oye! (i really dont know how to translate that, unfortunately)
After reading ‘Fucking Ghana into me’, i keep fighting the urge to call him up for some hot sex in Ga and Adangme! Or better still get a sexually confident Ga man and put it on him!
hi Korkor. I also have both the ga and adangbe elements in my genetic make-up. I however consider dangbe a sexier and more romantic version of Ga and thus more apt for the bedroom scenes. Sometimes Ga comes across as more apt for a battle of sorts. Lol. But maybe it depends on the eloquence and skills of the speaker. What do you think?
@korkor.. the literal translation is ” take your cunt to eat” so in common parlance he meant take my cum for your pussy to eat.
@Dede. good read…though I dunno where you grew up, but for me, ony3/ots3 s))mi, ony3 aye gbemi were fairly easy bread-n-butter insults in my compound house and Alajo/Nima neighborhoods growing up.
Also penis was puli in my Akuapem household.
I think it will depend on the language. The brazenness of Ga appears to make it ideal for such moments. Twi will not do. Imagine something like,”aha Efia, wo twe hi de eede se nnsa. Eden an wode Ashe mu?” But then at a funeral in Kumasi I heard one of a deceased’s three widows cry out in distress, ‘Ei KooKyei atopa! Wo he whana koka se wo’ngye no anopa?’ Everyone understood what she meant.
@ roots 4 life I got the kookyei atopa part (that one in itself is ridiculously funny, I grew up in Kumasi and I always laugh out loud when people merge two names like kojo and kyei into koo kyei) and atopa paa! hmm. but i’m not getting the 2nd line, please respell it as close to twi as possible I beg. lol
Ekuba, Roots4life: i got that as “who are you to say that you won’t give it up on morning” meaning the guy was up at the break of dawn looking for some…
@mike thank you for the translation. Lol quite helpful
@rootsoflife i agree with kofi. They mean the sex is so good, u’d want a refill in the morning. Doing it in twi is also quite hot. I”ve had a partner say ‘mi koti mu shishi mi ‘. ‘Ajie, bai wu tw3m’. Doing it in the local language gives it some raw erotic feel. Different and exciting
for the avoidance of doubt, meant to write “give it up IN the morning”
@Ekuba … Looks like Kofi sorted out my fat finger typing. It is indeed like “who the hell are you to refuse it in the morning?”
Can the Gas translate what this means, ” Owula, buuu fast fast m’aya”?
@ Kofi A: Thanks for the translation very comprehensive
@ Roots: rotfl, 🙂 that’s really funny. omg, only in Kumasi right! gosh I miss Kumasi so much now.