Bridging Ghana’s Generational Divide, One VHS Tape At A Time

If there’s one aspect of society COVID and its accompanying lockdowns brought into sharp focus, it’s our need for social interactions and family connections. 

Sure, regular Zoom, FaceTime and Skype calls helped bridge the video divide, while WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Signal made connecting on the fly easy and affordable, yet somehow, it just wasn’t the same.

For a close-knit family group such as the Ghanaian diaspora, staying connected in a time of global pandemic proved especially troublesome.

Making A Rich Contribution To Australia’s Diversity

Some 7.6 million migrants call Australia home with 29.8 per cent of the population having been born overseas as of 30 June 2020. According to the 2011 census, there were 3,866 Ghana-born people residing in Australia.

So, millions of people throughout Australia have connections to places other than their countries of residence, while thousands of Ghanaians call Australia home. Nowadays, they stay in touch with family and friends abroad thanks to the magic of the Internet. Digital has largely replaced cassette and VHS tapes.

Distributed Memories In Peril

Dip your toe in the United States, Canada, Europe, the United Kingdom and even down under Australia and you’ll encounter members of the Ghanaian community proudly working to keep their heritage and family links alive.

The first wave of intrepid Ghanaian immigrants relied on regular exchanges of videotape packages to stay up to date and in touch with family and friends. They swapped family updates and their favourite television shows on VHS tapes that crisscrossed the planet.

Today, for many of us, some of our most treasured family memories are captured on old VHS tapes. As our grandparents, parents and friends grow steadily older, those VHS tapes are under threat from dust, grime, heat, humidity, decay and neglect.

Happily, help is at hand whether you’re sitting in beautiful Perth or enjoying liveable Melbourne, thanks to the wonders of modern digital conversion technology available through VHS to USB Melbourne or VHS to DVD Perth.

Now, you can simply convert your family VHS tapes to either USB or DVD format to preserve those vibrant family memories.

Not The Easiest of Retirements

VHS tapes rarely enjoy a leisurely retirement in Australian conditions. Humidity, high or fluctuating temperatures and the ever-present threat from mould combine to play havoc with the magnetic strip on your VHS tapes.

This strip stores the image and sound data on your VHS tape. An unsympathetic storage environment can also damage the actual materials in your videotape. Naturally, the cumulative effects of poor storage accumulate over time.

Now, if your air-conditioning or climate control isn’t up to scratch, your VHS tapes are going to suffer. Similarly, the humidity and heat commonly experienced in garages and other storage areas provide a breeding ground for mould.

Preserving The Good Old Days

With so many popular Ghanaian movies and television shows dating back to the late 1960s sitting on VHS tapes for the viewing pleasure of posterity, your collection of Ghanaian home videos similarly risks disappearing in a blizzard of white static one day.

The appalling part of this horror show is the audio-visual heritage of our vibrant Ghanaian community is in danger of being completely lost.

Preserving Those Early Experiences

Ghana’s diaspora doesn’t just maintain connections with their homeland from a distance. The people, locations, and experiences they encountered carving out their new lives gave them inspiration and the opportunity to inform us about the true meaning of being mobile citizens in a global society.

Final Observation

Those aging VHS tapes typically enjoy a life expectancy of around 20 years before their magnetization becomes degraded through time and use. With Tapes to Digital Melbourne or Tapes to Digital Perth, you can preserve your favourite family memories of friends and family as well as those classic Ghanaian TV series and movies for years to come.

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