A series examining the colonial experience from the receiving end.
The Ghanaian writer Nii Ayikwei Parkes illustrates some of the absurdities of Empire: his grandmother can still dance an Irish jig and his father recited Mary Had a Little Lamb without having any concept of snow.
Nii searches out The History of the Gold Coast and Asante, by the native Rev Carl Christian Reindorf.
Published in 1895, the year before the Asantehene (the king of the Asante) and his entourage were sent into exile by the British, it ends on a positively welcoming note:
To lift the nations which she rules:
To educate and leave the gospel free;
One word from her, and murderous customs died!
Britannias rule then blest by all,
With superstition drive away,
And Christianity and Peace prevail.
but did the British fulfil that promise?