Culture vulture

2nd December 2005 at 00:00
Bashiru Abubakari likes to say it with a proverb

Best books

I have William Shakespeare at home in Ghana: I like Macbeth and Julius Caesar. They were so powerful, and then they fell. I read a lot of African literature: my favourite author is Chinua Achebe. I like his books Things Fall Apart and Arrow of God. The way he writes is educative: he uses simple language and a lot of proverbs. If you want to speak to move or encourage people, you have to incorporate proverbs.

Local reggae

My favourite music is reggae: it's a sound for everywhere in the world. We have a local reggae musician, Abu Sadik, who sings in our dialect, Dagbani.

He writes and records songs about what's happening in the community: if there is fighting he tries to reconcile people.

Search for truth

I like investigative films, where they investigate a crime or a problem and come out with the truth. There is a Nigerian film, The President's Son, which is about a son who thought he was above the law, and a Ghanaian film, The President's Daughter, which are both like that.

London calling

I've never been to England before. The interior of the Royal Albert Hall is a fantastic and spectacular sight; very, very marvellous. And I like Westminster Abbey. It was nice to see such a mighty building housing all the past heroes of the kingdom. All these buildings, they are so strong and well constructed, standing for hundreds of years. In Africa we have lost so much of our history, but here you did well to preserve yours.

Something for school

After I talked about life in Ghana to children at our partner school (Henham and Ugley primary in Essex) they wrote letters and made drawings for me to take back. And they have given me story books and textbooks and a video of Henham. My students will be able to see a child in Year 1 playing with a computer. Isn't that amazing? I will tell my children that they have the same potential. If they get the opportunity, they can excel in the way children here are excelling.

Bashiru Abubakari, 34, teaches a Year 2 class of 45 in Pong Tamale primary school in rural Ghana. He was among a group of Ghanaian teachers who recently visited partner UK schools via the educational charities Camfed and Harambee. Interview by Karen Gold

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