Carrying the War against COVID-19 into Ghanaian Communities: The Case of the Akan Community

Peter Arthur, ORCID iD  Charles Ofosu Marfo , Elvis ResCue ORCID iD

Issue: Vol.2  No.8  August 2021  Article 2 pp. 108-119
DOI :  |   Published online 31st August 2021.
© 2021 The Author(s). This is an open access article under the CCBY license (


Ghana is seriously reeling under the weight of the scourge of the COVID-19; while the scientists are doing their best to provide information concerning the dos and don’ts of the disease, its communication to the people has been a huge problem. This paper uses the qualitative research approach and the Performance and Communication theories to investigate this challenge. The study isolates the Akan communities for this investigation and argues that the Ghana COVID-19 communication uses too many elitist approaches and the local language is rarely used. Again, the paper establishes that the communication falls short of considering the Akans as oral thinkers and completely ignores their ideological identities as a group of people who rely on oral structures in language and morality. The paper further observes that the COVID-19 communication in Ghana fails to recognize the subtle creative processes of translating concepts in English into Akan due to the influence of the contexts of contact. These challenges have resulted in minimum or complete lack of cooperation by Akan communities thus throwing the whole COVID-19 campaign into jeopardy. The paper recommends that the COVID-19 communication should reconfigure its approach to reach the Akan communities.

KEYWORDS: COVID-19, Akan communities, Akan moral thought, communication and cultural shareability, Ghana.

Adler, Freda., Gerhard Meuller and William Laufer. Criminology and Criminal Justice. New York: McGraw Hill, 2001.

Atkin, Charles, and Silk Kami, “Health Communication.” In Don W. Stacks and Michael B. Salwen, (eds) An Integrated Approach to Communication Theory and Research: Communication Theory and Methodology (2nd ed.), (pp. 489-523) New York: Routledge, 2007.

Babcock, B. The Story in the Story: Metanarration in Folk Narrative. In Richard Bauman, ed. Verbal Art as Performance. Illinois: Waveland Press, Inc. 2015.

Bakhtin, Mikhai, Speech Genres and Other Essays. Texas: University of Texas Press, 1986.

Bauman, Richard, Verbal Performance. Illinois: Waveland Press Inc, 1977.

Coetzee, Pieter, Morality in African Thought. In Pieter Coetzee and A. P. J. Roux, The African Philosophy: A Reader, New York: Routledge, 2002.

Gaziano, Emmanuel and Cecelie Gaziano, “Social control, social change, and the knowledge gap Hypothesis”. In D. Demers & K. Viswanath (Eds.), Mass media, social control, and social change: A macrosocial perspective. (pp. 117-136). Ames, IA: Iowa State University Press, 1999.

Geetz, Clifford, The Interpretation of Culture. Basic Books, 1973.

Gyekye, Kwame, An Essay on African Philosophical Thought. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1987.

Knobloch-Westerwick, Silvia, Cornelia Mothes, Johnson Benjamin, Westerwick Axel., & Wolfgang Donsbach, “Political Online Information Searching in Germany and the United States: Confirmation Bias, Source Credibility, and Attitude Impacts.” Journal of Communication, 65, (2015): 489–511.

Noar, S., Benac C. & Harris, Melissa S. Does Tailoring Matter? Meta-analytic Review of Tailored Print Health Behavior Change Intervention. Psychological Bulletin. Vol. 133, no 4, (2007): 673-693.

Ong, Walter, Orality and Literacy: Technologizing of the word. New York: Matheun, 2002.

Self, Charles and Chris Roberts, “Credibility.” In Don W. Sacks, Kistern Campbell, Eichhurn Michaels and B. Salwen (eds) 3rd ed. Integrated Approach to Communication Theory and Research pp. 435-462. London: Routledge, 2019.

Silverstein, Michael. & Greg Urban, (eds). Natural Histories of Discourse. In Michael Silverstein and Greg Urban, Natural Histories of Discourse, Chicago: Chicago University Press. 1996.

Urban, Greg, “Engtextualization, Replication, and Power.” In Michael Silverstein and Greg Urban, (eds) Natural Histories of Discourse. Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1996.

Peter Arthur(PhD) is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of English, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi-Ghana.

Charles Ofosu Marfo (PhD) is a Professor in Linguistics in the Department of Language and Communication Sciences, KNUST. He has done a lot of research on the role of linguistics in the Akan language and has many publications to his credit.

Elvis ResCue (PhD) is a Lecturer at the Department of English, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi-Ghana. He holds PhD and MA in Applied Linguistics from Aston University, Birmingham-UK, and BA in Linguistics with English from the University of Ghana, Legon. His research interests lie in the area of Discourse Analysis (Language and Literary texts), African and General Linguistics, Language Contact/Sociolinguistics, Media Language, and Language Policy and Planning.

Arthur P., Marfo C.O. & ResCue E. “Carrying the War against COVID-19 into Ghanaian Communities: The Case of the Akan Community” E-Journal of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences 2, no.8 (2021): 108-119

© 2021 The Author(s). Published and Maintained by Noyam Publishers. This is an open access article under the CCBY license (