"The Empire State of Mind is a two edged thing looking at the after effects of colonisation, from both the colony (which is nations like Ghana) and the coloniser (nations like Britain) and other countries in Europe colonising other parts of the world. We’re looking at the mentality and the after effects of colonisation, basically the fact that people from the colonised parts of the world still believe that the coloniser's culture, ways of living and standards of living are inherently better than theirs. The obvious fact is that yes it is better socio-economically, but then we’re looking at the mentality that drives the sentiment that Africa will always be less than their colonial masters."
“My main argument is that since we can’t turn back time and know whether we could have developed better without the white man’s input, or oppression, plainly put. I think that I can stand on the basis that we can never assume that a people and a race, with all their intellect, when you look at history, in fact civilisation started from Africa; we had our own systems, if you look at Ashanti, they had their own judicial system, in fact democracy was being practiced in many forms, because I know, I’m a Gah man, and I know my culture - chieftaincy doesn’t stay at one house forever, it moves around, and that’s a form of democracy in itself. So some of the things we allude to colonisation and the benefits of colonisation, as in the input of democracy and the input of civilisation I think they’re myths, and lazy ways of looking at how Africa could have developed without the input of the white man. So my main stance is that we can never assume that without the input of the white man, we as Ghanaians couldn’t have developed and evolved into our own sort of civilisation and democracy for that matter."
“I think there is no doubt the intentions of anybody who moves out of their own territory, goes to invade another territory, there is no altruistic or benevolent sentiment in there. It is clear and plain that the white man, Europeans for that matter, went to the other parts of the world for their own gain. They did not bring the guns for hunting, they did not bring the tools for our benefit, they came to exploit us, slavery being one of the biggest evidences of that. What I want us to focus on is the after effects, the mentality, because we gained Independence a long time ago, and I’m a Ghana boy, and one of the main examples I use is the fact that when I come to Ghana I’ll go to any place and if I want better customer service, what I do is switch up my accent. And I think that reflects the mentality I’m talking about. I want us to focus on a mentality that, OK, colonisation has happened and how much of a detrimental effect it has had on our mentality, as young people especially. The main reason I want us to focus on this British Empire State of Mind is for us to climb out of this notion that anything British is better than ours and anything British is where we should aspire to. Because one of the things it has also created I’ve noticed is a generational gap, our parents grew up being forced or being encouraged to always become as Westernised as possible and it being seen as the highest grade you can get in life, but I think we the youth these days, reclaiming our culture by getting more into African wear, wearing more of our jewellery, being proud of where we come from and taking away all these perceptions that Africa is inherently inferior. I think that’s where we should focus on because colonisation is undoubtedly a detrimental thing to us people in Africa, without even going into details, the fact that slavery happened, with the fact that in places like India there were concentration camps. I think that the argument shouldn’t be whether colonisation was a good or a bad thing, but then the after effects which is what I’m trying to focus on is the state of mind we go forward with and then try and change that state of mind, whereby we as the youth of Ghana, specifically, can bring ourselves together in a way that we progress without seeing that the ultimate goal is to become like Britain, to become like France, to become like America. We have to see that the best we can do is the best Ghana, not to become like any other nation, because they used to be our colonial masters and even mentally now, they still are."
"At the end of the day you have to ask yourself, what was the output for Ghanains and other African nations when it came to colonisation? In fact, Ghana, as oppressed as it was, seems to have had it soft, where if we go to other countries we see the after affects of colonisation whereby the map of Africa was redrawn and that is the cause for what? Most of the tribal wars and conflicts we have in this country. You have languages being spoken in three different countries, where there used to be a kingdom, so the detrimental effects of colonisation are vast and clear."
“My main purpose is to broaden the public understanding that immigration into the UK, because that that’s what a lot of Ghanaians aspire tp, as I know, is linked to the reaches of the actions of British imperialism because we are entitled to go to the UK. That’s one of the things that I find in the UK, there’s a growing negative sentiment about immigration in the UK…"
"If you look at the way and manner in which Britain, a small island, where nothing grows on it has so much wealth, it’s because if its empire. We in Ghana, we always say we have these natural resources, why are we not growing [our economy]? We have the human resource as well, we have the brains. It goes back to colonisation because as much as independence has been gained a long time ago, we have our professionals aspiring to move out of the country as soon as they reach the grade in order to help our own country"
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