Today’s Ghanaian Woman And The Civilization of Nudity


A few nights ago I watched a video circulating on social media and I’ve been battling with myself since over the content of the video and what the motivation behind it was.

In the video that was apparently taken in an Accra based Fm Studio, two women are seen seated, one other woman standing, a man seated across the lady who’s gotten me thinking incessantly since I saw the video and another whose existence in the video is only felt through his voice as his face is not shown.

However, their positioning in the studio is not the point but the subject matter and what it escalated into.
There was an “on top of the voice” kind of argument (though friendly), about the colour of underwear of the said woman between her and the man seated across her.

This argument spiraled to a point where she had to literally show to all present and even those of us at our homes the colour of her underwear. This young woman actually raised her already provocative dress to prove she is wearing a red panty as she’s been hammering on since the beginning of the argument; and guess the bone of contention-Ghc50. Sad right?

I know many would say it’s none of my business; some would even ridiculously say it’s normal, the ish in today’s world; and the human rights fighters would warn me against infringing on her rights to display whatever she chooses to display- it’s her body after all. And they wouldn’t be wrong, it’s indeed her body and she can do whatever with it. But don’t the laws of our country succinctly speak against indecency?

The CRIMINAL OFFENCES ACT, 1960 (ACT 29), Section 278 talks about “Gross indecency” and it says: “a person who publicly and willfully does a grossly indecent act commits a misdemeanor.” But I guess; who cares, right?
However that is not my point, my point all this while has been we’ve torn into pieces our moral fabric as a people and that is incredibly unfortunate.

In the olden days, womanhood was revered so much so that a young woman was referred to in one of the Ghanaian languages -Twi, as “akatasia” and we were made to understand that the literal meaning of this word is – “to be covered up” (for want of a better expression). That is the word still used for a young woman in the Twi language but definitely not for what it stands for anymore, because this generation of young women and sadly even some of the older ones have reduced womanhood to ‘nothing’.

There used to be a time when women would never expose parts of their bodies considered ‘private’ more so in such fashionably eager manner even for all the cedis in Ghana. Each generational ‘civilization’ comes with its own baggage but the baggage of the 21century civilization is at a whole different dimension; we wear things that expose our breasts and some other areas considered ‘private’ and guess what? We don’t give a hoot about what some old woman/man who doesn’t know a thing about fashion would say.

Things have really taken a turn for the worse and for a country that prides itself as being religious (don’t get me wrong, I get that there’s a difference between being religious and being morally upright), it appears we’ve thrown morality into a ditch in the name of civilization and globalization.

I’ve been wondering ever since I saw the video on that fateful night and asking myself countless questions like; how did that lady feel after what she did; did the radio station owners take some sort of action; does she have kids or younger ones who look up to her; did she regret that episode of her life? Etc.

Judgement is indeed the Almighty’s but if we live with just that in mind, we’ll end up walking stark naked and nobody would care enough to cover us up.
It’s so easy to blame everything on the western world but I guess it’s time we focused on ourselves, because guess what? We are not on a leash, neither are we held at gunpoint to do some of the nonsensical stuff we do in the name of civilization and fashion.

Our traditional leaders, religious leaders, our mothers and fathers and all well-meaning Ghanaians should take up the challenge of stitching back up our torn moral fabric. We have a long way to go, yes! But a step is all it takes to start the journey.

Suraya Alidu Malititi


  1. Brilliant piece, but who is listening. One thing that baffles me is that in most of our music videos our ladies are virtually naked whiles the men are covered.
    Am I missing something?
    Like you aptly put it, perhaps it’s the ish
    and I may be old fashioned.
    But let us not allow foreign culture to devalue our sense of what is right.

  2. Nice piece, Suraya. The Ghanaian society we have today has lost its sense of morality. I wonder if it is a case of improper parenting or we young women of today are simply adamant. We have copied other cultures blindly and this is destroying us. We have developed the culture of normalising even the most pervert actions all in the name of civilization. Immediately a red flag is raised, we are quick to remind well-meaning commentators that it’s our bodies and we have the right to do what we want with our bodies. We conveniently forget that individual rights are only secured ‘in the community or society’ and for this reason, we have a duty to protect and contribute to the well-being of the community. We are oblivious to the fact that once the community falls, we all fall with it and consequently loose our right. A word to the wise…

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