Whoever thought the Shatta-Stonebwoy feud would lead to near-firing of a bullet on stage amid over thousands of music lovers. If you ask me, politicians are not far from this reality. Just allow the Mahama-Akufo-Addo snub or the Mahama-Otumfuo denials to go on and believe you me, the process leading to election 2020 may be disturbing especially if they continue to engage the media on such prolonged fracas. Or maybe you haven’t heard the MP for my hometown, Sam George, say to the media why he and his predecessor ET Mensah do not gel. He answered few months ago ahead of the NDC primaries that he had stopped greeting the old boy because he (ET Mensah) had disrespected him on several occasions. Also, encourage Vice president, Dr. Bawumia’s bone he is gradually picking with General Mosquito and you might be surprised the naked jabs the slim macho would dish out to him if ever the former gets trapped by his plasmodium. If you are struggling to get the future picture, cast your mind back to the almighty JJ Rawlings virtually doing ‘self-put-put’ on the former mayor of Accra, Oko Vanderpuije after the red-carpet shovel. In some months to come, I can only imagine Mahama before the mighty warrior Otumfuo after almost a week bout of who may be telling the truth on the 2016 post-election concession process.
These feuds and political shovels in high places of public service are becoming very personal. The president few weeks ago at a peace and security lecture snubbed the former president. Respecting diplomacy, could the president have at least feigned and shook the president with some happy cheers at least for the cameras? Could he have said to Mahama ‘hey, wo na woteete me ne m’asraafo) eeeh’ which could mean “hey, you who is terrifying my government and disciples”. Would this had called for some laughter amid tension from the two? Your guess is good.
Secondly, the Manhyia palace is at ‘sagrenti war’ with the NDC for attempting to brand the Otumfuo a liar before right thinking society. Difficult as it may be, could both parties have ended the banter somewhere without the other reminding the other of a pending elections? Well, I do not have a wisdom of neither a president, a former president nor that of a sacrosanct deity like the King, but certainly something, I means something else could have saved us these embarrassments.
But more importantly, these incidents at high public services remind me of when I was a child. I did not benefit from any intervention like a free SHS or school feeding program. I benefited from the ‘kanzo food’ under the school neem tree. With just two thousand (old currency), I was okay, and the joy it brought me could be likened to the cheers from rural Ghana when the ambulances finally arrived.
I went home filled with so much energy in me to perform tradition at my family’s empire. The tradition was putting on a fake smile to greet all my bully brothers, hostile sisters and sometimes my poky neighbbours who but for my mother’s inability to face me squarely are licensed to lay hands on me when I went wrong. It was so much against my wish; so much so that few minutes from the door my grimaced face suddenly turns into a cheerful one. One by one, turns after turns and fake smiles after another, I looked for their annoying faces to greet them. But few days ago, they had spanked me and embarrassed me in the presence of my ‘jolly jolly’ friends. These bullies said things which could be termed as exaggerations on my stubbornness but again, as my Akan friends will say ‘panyin de panyin’; this could mean ‘the elder is always right’, so I would go on with this tradition despite the annoyance.
But I always end up winning. They would fall for the rehearsed and smiles; they would bury the hatchets of stubbornness on my part and trade some kind words with me. They would ask how school was, if I had eaten, if I needed help with my homework but if it happen they want to concede defeat to a notorious opposition force, like myself, they would apologize boastfully.
The lesson is sometimes, the feeling comes with the edge to knock back or retaliate, unfortunately your office, age or status may not permit you to show your human tendencies.
Currently and arguably, most public service lives in high places are staged exercises so be careful not to goof with your body language, for you may soon meet up once again at the palace to break kola nut.
The writer (Kabu Nartey) is the 2019/2020 best graduating student in print journalism and the 2019 most promising student journalist of GIJ. firstname.lastname@example.org
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this write-up are purely the writer’s and do not represent the views of EIB Network.