To Handle an Issue “the Builsa way” – Hanan-Confidence


To handle an issue “the Builsa way” has long gained ratification and acceptance in everyday English of Ghanaians. I’ve used it copiously in my write-ups and I have read it severally elsewhere too. Every word, expression or idiom has a genesis. “The Builsa way” is no exception. It tells a story of how one Builsa man wanted all his misunderstanding with his colleagues to be solved with fisticuffs in the olden days at University of Ghana. Granted that the origin of the expression is true, it will be statistically inconclusive to brand all Builsas violent.

Admittedly in Ghana, we have tribes that are playmates. And they can say the most offensive stuff at each other’s tribe without thinking through it. Dagombas and Moshies is one perfect example of tribes at each other’s throat harmlessly.

However, one does not require a platemate relationship with the Builsas to use the evolved expression that has become part of our daily parlance. In linguistic, there is a term called regionalism. Regionalism describes words or expressions peculiar to a particular region and may not be popular or standard in the country. So, is “the Builsa way”.

“The Dutch courage” expression means a courage gotten by drinking of alcohol. The genesis of this expression underscores the Dutch reputation for drinking. One does not need a playful relationship with the Dutch to use the expression. Or?

Let’s consider this scenario. A former deputy minister of the NPP government in a comment said people from Northern Ghana were difficult. On the face value, that was malarkey. Hurtful to the sensibilities of Northerners. Subsequently, language enthusiasts carved a simile (or expression) out of it: “As Difficult As Northerner”. That’s how language evolves though “difficult” and “northerner” may have no correlational validity.

So, Martin Amidu could be angry about the minority leader’s convivial use of the Builsa expression because the former thinks life is one big party. At least, many a people, believe there was no malice aforethought on the part of Hon. Haruna Iddrisu.


By: Hanan-Confidence Abdul


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