​Sebiticals Chapter 42: An Ecclesiastical Paulogue to the Manasonians

In the first year of the reign of Odekuro Odieasem Nana Tutubrofo Dankwawura, there were rumours and reports of malfeasance in the corridors of the temple. When asked for the meaning of the word ‘malfeasance’, the scribes of the land explained that it was the situation where the incense from the burnt offerings had malodor. One of the major scribes, a man from the Manasonians, took upon himself to open the windows into the temple so both Jews and Gentiles alike would sniff the nunu scent and testify.

Meanwhile, many years before Odieasem ascended the throne, there was born a man known as Saul. This Saul later attended the institute of high learning in Rome and was introduced to Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Kant, Hegel, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Marx and Socrates. He also learnt the ways of Sulla, Julius Caesar and Marcus Aurelius. Right from the high tower, he took a garment of pure Scottish fabric and, with letters from the bearded philosophers of the land, set off to uphold the virtues of the Universe.
One day, on his way to Okponglomascus, suddenly a voice sounded around him and a light flashed.
The voice called out: “Go ye towards the road to Fanoafa and ye shall be told what to do.”
In Fanoafa lived a disciple of the Brand, a Sammenitan called Hatta. The word came to him: “Go out on the Fanoafa road and ye shall find a young man in Scottish garb, who ye shall take onto thy fold; for he is my chosen instrument to build and sustain the Brand.”
Picking up his rod, the Hatta the Sammeritan went forth by the Way of Avenor and took the long road towards Okponglomascus where he met Saul. Then Hatta, the man of Sammenria, held the hands of Saul and blessed him, saying, “Brother Saul, ye have been found worthy of the Brand and selected by the Voice; the Voice that spoke to you on the Okponglomascus road has directed me to you, so you might be imbued with dumornic fervour to serve the Brand and build it and sustain it, as a standard to all who shall come after thee.” 

Immediately, Saul started speaking in slangs and praising the Voice, rejoicing that he had been counted worthy of the working for the Brand. When the power of the Voice had descended on him, the Sammeritan blessed him and said, “Henceforth, you shall be called Paul Grace, for upon this foundation I will build the Brand.”
The Voice was with Paul and worked mighty and great deeds through him. And the Brand grew and many were added to their numbers. Among the deeds wrought through Paul and the servants of the Brand included a one-on-one with Junior Jesus, after his second coming and when he had visited the temple to cast lots. This feat was unprecedented and the fame of the Brand soared and soared. The philosophers of the land saw all that Paul had done and were pleased and honoured with a coat of many colours.
In the church at Fanoafa were many teachers and prophets: Rekced who was also called Sonny, Romud from the house of Oheb, Neerod who was one of the mighty women who had served right from the beginning of the church and Paul. As the Brand grew and grew, one day, as the servants of the Brand were meditating on the Way, the Voice spoke and said, “Set apart for me Paul Grace and Hatta the Sammenitan, for they have more work to do in unearthing and nurturing more disciplines to serve in more churches modeled after Fanoafa.”
So it came to pass that after the disciples had fasted and prayed, they sent them forth as apostles of the Voice. The two of them, sent on their way by the Voice, went down via the Appian Way and turned towards the place called The Blood Is A Crowd and over the Bridge towards the Road of Liberation, proclaiming the Way of The Voice wherever they went, doing good and making disciples of all men. 
The first church they planted was at the centre of The City, where Paul found and converted a young man known as Elva, who was full of grace and power. Elva was beloved of Paul.
Sometime later, Paul said to Hatta, “Let’s go back and visit the brethren between Fanoafa and here and see how they are faring.” Paul wanted to take Elva with him, but the older apostle from Sammenria wanted to keep Elva at The City. The two apostles had such a sharp disagreement that they parted company. Elva remained at The City but didn’t lose his relationship with Paul. Paul loved Elva with all his heart. Paul set forth and went through Ganaria and Sankaria, eventually pitching his ministry at Labonicia, from where he continued to speak to the churches, including the church at Manasonia.
And it was at Labonica that Wofa Kapokyikyi met Paul Grace and fell in love with his sermons from the Mount every evening. Wofa wasn’t along: people from far and near would come and drink deep as the Apostle Paul taught and instructed and also brought philosophers to espouse on Plutonian and Aristocratic ideas as well as those for the down-trodden.
With the passage of time, the Brand continued to grow and expand and more where added to their numbers, including a man called Azur, from Manasonia who came wailing and sniffing and looking under the eyes of corpses. In the meantime, there arose in the land a leader of the scribes called Yennom son of Frail. He was learned, both in letters worked for and those acquired. 
In the eighth month of the first year of Odekuro Odieasem Nana Tutubrofo Dankwawura, Azur went looking into coffins in the house of Paul of Jos. Some of the coffins had been closed and sealed and locked in the vault. Not only did Azur open these caskets, but he did them in the open, just outside the temple gates. The harmattan winds carried the nunu scent into the corridors of the temple and permeated everywhere. 
The ‘shenanigans’ of Azur, with the support of the Brand, didn’t go down well with the retired priests and servants of the temple. And some of the scribes, who began releasing epistles upon epistles cautioning against exorcism. Azur retorted that exorcism wasn’t banned under the Torah.  
Things came to a head when the major Scribe, Yennom bar-Frail, released his epistle, directed towards no-one but targeted towards the discerning. 
There was uproar in the land, from both Jews and Gentiles and from the Sadducees and Pharisees. Counter epistles were written and posted on the city gates and on the walls of the land. One epistle was jointly written by the Watchmen. One of the signatories was a Nyarkonite, who was a retired opener of caskets.
That is when Paul gave his seminal ecclesiastical paulogue to Azur, reminding him of the tenets of the Brand and admonishing him not to dilute the Way of the Voice, keeping it holy and sacrosanct. The Sermon covered over forty scrolls, according to the scribes whose duty it is to record the annals of the land. The Sermon chronicled the history of the church of the Brand and the canons of the Way. Paul spoke with spiritual vehemence, saying “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death.” 
And being in anguish, he spoke more earnestly and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.
After the Sermon, there was uproar in the land, with the Watchmen saying perhaps the apostle had been affected by his association with the house of Jos. And when the Nyarkonite, who was used as an example of how not to behave in the Way, came to affirm the methods of Azur the Manasonian, the people of the land looked up to the heavens, for a word from the Voice.

In the meantime, the people reached out for their favourite book in such moments: the book of Nahum. Even Wofa Kapokyikyi, who is not usually bereft of words, is reading Nahum.

Hmmm

As for Yennom bar-Frail, he won’t be forgetting his epistle in a hurry, as we await the casting of lots soon. Will it be the one epistle that determines how he gets to manage the letters after his name, either procured or awarded?
Till I come your way another day with another sebitical, I remain:
Sebitically yours,

Kapokyikyiwofaase

Advertisements

Sebiticals Chapter 39: Once Upon A Post So High

Once upon a time, in the land of KwaMan, the natives of the Bibiman forest decided to hold a drinking and thinking bout with their counterparts in the forest across the Talantic river, called Bronikrom . After all, didn’t the elders say that yɛ nom nsa, na yɛ fa adwen? Truly, as we drink, we think at the same time.

Considering that it has been long decided that alternating venues was a good idea, the leaders of both forests decided to hold the drink-think session in Bronikrom. Also, due to the long distance between the two forests, the herdmen of each Bibiman tribe was selected to go on this journey.

However, there arose from the tribe of Bongo a man crying in the wilderness, questioning and lamenting. The Man from Zeh family of the tribe of Bongo wondered whether the food in Bibiman was not enough to feed the herdmen from the two forests, whether the hamlets of Bibiman were not worthy enough to house the Bronikromers and whether enough Bibimanian houses and donkeys could not be marshalled to take the natives of Bronikrom around during the drinking and thinking festival.

“Is this rocket science or common sense? Or something I am missing?” the man from theZeh family of the tribe of Bongo concluded.

All of Bibiman listened and nodded and wondered, not for the first time, where the Zeh man got his wisdom from. Efo Dogbevi was the first to respond: that the love of borborbor precipitated such wisdom from the innermost parts of a man. Teacher Johnson added that it could be the Zeh man’s love for nsempiisms. Obaapanyin Potisaa said it was rather the nectar from the serwaanic well that was making the Zeh man so bold, especially in the year when the entire universe was singing ‘Be Bold!’.

As the Bibiman still reflected in silence, a loud voice, with a high pitch, rose from the heart of the forest. Eyes and heads turned. Few ears could recognise this voice and not many eyes could recollect this face. But his words were to enter the book of legends.

Wofa Kapokyikyi was one of the few who indicated that they knew the owner of the voice and told me that the man was from the Kwa family of the tribe of Meh, from an old family of high priest.

The Kwa man delivered his high words and also wondered why after many years of waiting with serwaanic patience, the Zeh man didn’t hold his return to Bongo to receive the daughter of his father-in-law and swim in the Tonga river of Bongo. The Kwa man wondered whether the kofi brokeman along the banks of River Bongo were not fit for the guests at his nuptial festival and whether the canoes on River Bongo were not deemed worthy to cater to the transport needs of his guests.

“Is this rocket science or common sense? Or something I am missing?” the man from the Kwa family of the tribe of Meh concluded.

Again, all of Bibiman heard and nodded, and wondered whether the men of the Kwa family were related to the Zoom-Zoom.

But as Bibiman reflected in silence, a chemical reaction was slowly taking place. It turned out that according to the laws of manasematics, a punch delivered on social media in the presence of trolls and enabled by the magic of screenshots underwent a chain reaction into a high post.

This was a very high post, which flew high and was shared by many high people who were either high on admiration or on payback vim. My friend Jeffrey Tong put it more sebitically, stating that the post “flew high with the banner of nsempiism across the Talantic oceans and beyond”. Which is true, because when the goat was using its backside to spread semi-solid effluent on the walls of the village’s house, its posterior was also getting painted. In this high post-erio-painting, the nsempiic cover of the nkrataa that Kapokyikyiwofaase penned was an unintended beneficiary.

Many years ago, on the hills of Menya Mewu, a boy who had just arrived in the school that Osagyefo built was asked what his favourite food was. He hadn’t been around too long to know that the delicacies from his village didn’t sound too well in the city and needed some brofolisation when being mentioned. Same reason why Nii Okaitey responded to the same question by saying that his favourite food was corn balls in tweed jacket on a plate of calamari with ogyemma sauce and a guard of honour of sliced shallots. This other boy wasn’t that suave yet. He said his favourite meal was brɔdze dwow (what the Fantis call roasted unripe plantain). His friends started calling him Brɔdze Dwow. But this boy was a fast learner. He decided not to protest the name and fight the teasing. With time, his nickname was upgraded to Brɔdze J and by the time he got to the senior stage of his education, everyone was calling him Senior BJ.

It was on the Menya Mewu Hills that Kapokyikyiwofaase discovered that a tease should expect to be teased. Learning to manage your period under teasing fire was part of the game of learning teasing ropes. To ride the crest and manage the trough and glide the waves.

But this strategy was not employed by the Zeh man who decided to shot from the trough. And the Kwa man countered again.

The KwaMan trajectory then went through block factories, radio studios, Zuckerberg deactivations, back alleys and front alleys. Until the next big thing happened in Sikaman when, as usual, the KwaMan saga was thrown under the conveyor belt that brought the next saga.

Oseeey, Sikaman!

Meanwhile, somewhere in Sikaman, a manager of a celeb is planning to rent a Nana Kwame to deliver a high comment so the celeb can block to follow a KwaMan trajectory. Not a bad idea but this is what Wofa Kapokyikyi says: not all animals can run and not be classified as crazy. Indeed, not all celebs who bring their hands close to their heads are called Abodam.

Wofa Kapokyikyi is also drinking and thinking; after all, he is also a person! As for me, I know no rocket science and I am still searching for common sense.

But the Kwa man’s response to the second epistle of the Zeh man had me muddled. He wrote, thus: “Your response fit (sic) into fundamentalist theories of epistemic justification”.

Eish!

So let me ask a common man’s question o. What is the best way to understand this second response: rocket science or common sense? Or something I am missing?

Till I come your way again with another sebitical, I remain:

Sebitically yours,

Kapokyikyiwofaase

Kofi Akpabli reviews Manasseh’s Voice of Conscience

BOOK REVIEW
VOICE OF CONSCIENCE
BY MANASSEH AWUNI AZURE
NO. OF PAGES: 267
PUBLISHER: WRENCO
 
REVIEWED BY KOFI AKPABLI
 
Voice of Conscience by Manasseh Azure Awuni is a collection of articles on the investigations and reflections of a young Ghanaian journalist. Published mainly in the Daily Graphic and online between 2009 and 2014, the 36 feature stories showcase the compelling writing ability of the author as well as the broad range of his interests.
 
The book is divided into five sections to include: ‘Motivation’, ‘Anti-corruption’, ‘Politics’ and the captivating obituaries of leaders such as John Attah-Mills, Nelson Mandela and Komla Dumor. The inclusion of photographs of personalities connected to the topics and the cartoons depicting the lighter side brighten up the pages.
 
Another exciting feature of this 267 page book is the title given to some of the stories. ‘Joy FM is not for my Father’; ‘I’m not a Neutral Journalist’ and ‘Mensa Otabil and the Mad Women of Kete-Krachi.’ The good news is that there are more; just that they couldn’t find space. An example is Manasseh’s article entitled ‘What Audrey Gadzekpo and Joyce Aryee do in secret.’ (http://www.myjoyonline.com/opinion/2013/December-9th/manassehs-folder-what-audrey-gadzekpo-and-joyce-aryee-do-in-secret.php).
 
In ‘Voice of Conscience’ readers do not only get to read some of the best feature stories of our time, they also learn about the stories behind these stories. Though the issues are eclectic, I could glean the themes of self-determination, integrity, accountability and inspiration for a personal turn-around.
 
One narrative style of the writer is to mention public figures and involve them directly or indirectly in his story-telling. While this may be distractive or intrusive, the author’s ability to establish relevance and stay focused on the issue consistently redeems him. Manasseh also buttresses his points with quotes from literary greats such as Chimamanda Adichie and, especially, Chinua Achebe.
 
As one journeys through the work, one encounters episodes which are conscience-piercing. The inefficiencies, the indiscretions and the impunity we face as a nation stain some pages like the mess of an open sore. The book disgusts you about the inertia of our systems and the refusal of some of our institutions to live up to expectations. Notably, the author’s reports on Gyeeda and SADA epitomise this.
 
‘Voice of Conscience’ transcends the collection of news features by a journalist. Manasseh inserts his own biography into the affair. We learn as much about his personal life as we do his reporting. Titles such as ‘Graduating with Second Class Upper’ and ‘The Bongo Boy in America’ are two chapters which illustrate this point.
 
Throughout the publication, we see the author mention his humble background. He never gets tired of referencing that destiny-shaping journey from Bongo to Kete-Krachi where he and two siblings joined their father who had secured a new job as a watchman at the local hospital. To Manasseh, Kete Krachi is a metaphor of the metamorphosis of the impossible becoming possible.
 
My own connection with Manasseh Awuni spans different levels. The rocky terrain of Bongo, his hometown, had in the past provided fodder for my own savannah musings. Indeed, while I reminisce my bicycle treks through Bongo Soen, Namoo, Yelowongo, Navrongo and my pito encounters on the backstreets of Bolgatanga, Manasseh nurses his nostalgia about the Volta Region, where he romanticises ‘borborbor’ and his much-beloved Kete-Krachi. Here, I appeal to those who haven’t done so to visit both Bongo and Krachi in the spirit of domestic tourism.
 
I still can picture that quiet student who sat at the back of class when I was invited to the School of Communication Studies to deliver a lecture. By then I had read a few of Manasseh’s reports in the ‘Daily Graphic’. But when I saw his article entitled ‘Kofi Akpabli and Northern Ghana’s Single Story’, I knew that this is an individual who was heading somewhere. (http://www.myjoyonline.com/opinion/2014/september-8th/manassehs-folder-kofi-akpabli-and-northern-ghanas-single-story.php)
 
To place the achievement of this first book in context, we need to establish the place of a catalogue of a journalist’s reports. We also have to note that by this feat, Manasseh has joined the ranks of Cameron Duodu, Merrari Alomele, Ken Bediako, Kwasi Gyan Appenteng and other such illustrious commentators. If the publications of these forerunners continue to serve society it confirms that like we learn in journalism school, today’s news item may become a page in tomorrow’s history book.
 
And it is for this reason that accuracy and staying fair to all parties concerned become imperative. Does the book under review exhibit these? Positively. Page after page, ‘Voice of Conscience’ provides verifiable evidence as the basis for the author’s actions and conclusions. He even intimates on some behind-the-scene events.
In his brilliant foreword to the book, my friend and senior colleague, Kwaku Sakyi Addo said Manasseh is bold. I say Manasseh is a professional risk taker. And I cite the very first chapter in which he mentions names and designations of real people who supported or thwarted his efforts in his various news enterprises.
 
Efo Kojo Mawugbe, a mentor who Manasseh and I shared wrote a thought-provoking play called ‘G-Yard People.’ In that piece, the late playwright artistically highlighted how the writer and by extension, the journalist is the collective conscience of society. For Manasseh to frame his book title to contain the word ‘conscience’ implies that as a journalist, he is poised to make his knife cut both ways.
‘Voice of Conscience’ teaches us to judge people against their own progress and circumstances. We learn that it is futile to compare professional talents. The chapter on Anas Aremeyaw Anas and Manasseh comes up for mention. Here, and amusingly, I couldn’t help but notice that one can derive ‘Anas’ from the word ‘Manasseh.’
Another lesson from the book is the virtue of sacrifice. In pursuit of his professional development, the author forwent frivolous lifestyles. One is also touched by his rejection of a prize trip abroad in favour of using the amount involved to invest in equipment for his reporting activities.
 
Like many of us, Manasseh might have made a fundamental mistake or two in news gathering and news writing. However, this doesn’t dim the brightness of his rising. Still very young in his career, he has enormous potential to make a much broader impact.
My advice is for him to explore literary journalism. I also wish to introduce Manasseh to an icon whose works have inspired me- Ryszard Kapuściński. (http://culture.pl/en/artist/ryszard-kapuscinski) During his lifetime, this Polish writer and journalist nearly nabbed the Nobel Prize in Literature.
 
He had reported across all the continents, and quite naturally, very few reporters have been translated as Kapuściński. His stories on the Congo, the Rwanda genocide and Bosnia are touted as the very best. This man from Poland had lived through twenty-seven revolutions and coups, been jailed 40 times and survived four death sentences.
 
He had seen it all, you may say. While at it, let me reveal that Kapuściński had visited Ghana, right after our independence, just as he had other 50 African countries.
 
His journalism reports were so artistic that folks referred to them as literature. His family background was so humble that when he visited Africa and saw poverty, he said he felt at home. His posture was so unassuming, that he never in his life asked a single question at any press conference.
 
The simplicity of Kapuściński’s life and his merging of art and journalism are ideals recognisable in the spirit behind ‘Voice of Conscience’.
 
Finally, what we do with a Manasseh Awuni Azure? What does a nation do to the diligent journalists who are working hard to bring dignity to the profession? I dare say we leave them alone.
 
Let us allow the fruits of their reporting and the ethics of their profession to judge them. It doesn’t help to antagonise, or patronise a journalist. It doesn’t even help to over-befriend them with ‘benefits.’ Committing any of these acts may be tantamount to tampering with a weighing scale.
 
kofiakpabi@yahoo.commanasseh book

Savannah View: Graduating With Second Class Upper – by Manasseh Azure Awuni

Manasseh Azure Awuni – The Author

Before authorities of the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ) released the list of the 2010 graduating class and how we fared, one lecturer who was visibly disappointed in my performance whispered my class to me. I had missed First Class narrowly, he said.
I was not surprised at my performance. Neither was I surprised when calls from disappointed friends started pouring in when the final list hit the notice board. What surprised me was the extent to which some of them went.
“In everything we give thanks to God,” a Christian sister remarked, as if she was consoling someone bereaved. “He knows why it has happened that way. Just accept it and give thanks to God.”
“Why have you disappointed us like that,” a female staff at GIJ’s administration called.
“How have I disappointed you?” I feigned ignorance about what she meant.
“Haven’t you been told that your classes are out?” she asked. I said I knew it. She went on to say how disappointed “everybody” felt about my class.

The reaction of friends and colleagues alarmed me about how to break the news to my family. For my father, it wasn’t a problem. He can neither read nor write and all that I had to say was that I had “passed all my final papers” and would be awarded a degree.
He would thank God and praise his ancestors for their mercies. “My prayer has always been that if God and my ancestors are really alive, they shouldn’t let any of my children suffer the way I’m suffering,” he would say.
Since 1989, he has worked as a night watchman at theKrachiGovernmentHospital. Sleeping on wooden benches and being exposed to mosquitoes and the vagaries of the weather is, indeed, suffering of no mean measure. And all he has to show for his toil is his children’s education. “Even if I’ll walk naked and educate my children, I will,” he often said even when we were still too young to understand the value of education.
So he would be happy I was getting a degree, never mind the class. But the trouble here was how to break that news to my elder brother, who had supported my father to sponsor my tertiary education.
His only response when I mentioned Second Class Upper was “Okay.” And after an awkward silence, I added the date for the congregation. He said he could not attend. And no member of my family attended my graduation, except my younger brother who was inAccra and went with me to Legon on March 12, 2011. It was later in the day that he asked about my class when it was clear that I was not going to tell him voluntarily. “It’s Ok,” he encouraged me after I told him.
I had stopped telling people about my graduation because the embarrassment in correcting them that I was not graduating with first class honours. At the Chiropractic and Wellness Centre, where I did my National Service, no one knew I was graduating until they saw the pictures much later. In my church I informed no one. Neither did I give any thanksgiving offering.
“Even if we had nothing to give you, we would help thank the Lord for your success,” they said when they heard that I had graduated. Thank God? I felt ashamed of myself.
Because of financial reasons, my elder brother could not pursue a degree though he got a distinction in the SSSCE. I was therefore the luckiest, the first in the family to earn a degree. My elder brother’s reaction meant that I had set the wrong pace. But did I actually fail my family?
I was not one of those students who think tertiary education is all about fun and chilling out. In all my four years in GIJ, I never attended any of their numerous beach parties. I never attended any of the night clubs and only heard about drink ups.

Women? No! The only fair and pretty lady who swept me off my feet went her way long before I had time to ascertain whether my infatuation with her was actually love or lust. Lust comes with an expiry date, remember? And that was a brief spell in the last semester and did not affect my grades.

I did not see the need to tell my disappointed friends, lecturers and family why I missed first class. But looking back, I have no regrets.
I was my year group’s representative on the editorial board of The Communicator, a newspaper published by GIJ. I was also an executive member of the Campus Christian Family for three consecutive years and played active roles in other clubs and associations. I also started the Secondary Times newspaper for senior high schools and was the reporter, publisher, editor and distributer. I even helped in the designing. In my final year, I was also the Students Representative Council (SRC) President, which also took much of my time.
The actual reason I missed first class, however, was that I had my personal syllabus aside the one we all learnt. After my practical attachment with GTV in Level 100, I had a different perspective about the programme I was pursuing. I realised what was taught in the classroom was not exactly what was happening in the newsroom. And after having my appetite for journalism whetted in the newsroom, I returned with a different mind-set. I spent more time reading novels, newspaper articles and journalism books than my notes.
The best material I chanced upon in the GIJ library was a series of books titled Best Newspaper Writing. They are collections of powerful award-winning and shortlisted newspaper stories in the annual competition organised by the American Society of Newspaper Editors (ASNE). The library had quite a number of such books and I read them cover to cover. And the more I read, the more I saw lapses in our own system. The inverted pyramid format for news writing, which we have religiously followed and made journalistic writings more boring and monotonous than a civil servant’s memo, was nowhere in these award-winning hard news stories.
I did not end there. I explored and read other works by the award winners on the internet. I discovered Pulitzer Prize’s website and saw an inexhaustible source of learning. The website had the award-winning stories online. I printed and read all winning stories in the features category from 1995 to 2011. Some of them are really books, more than 40,000 words long. I also read stories from other categories and tracked some of the most compelling writers such as Thomas French of the St. Petersburg Times, who won the 1998 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing.
Jim Sheeler of the Rocky Mountain News, who won the same prize in 2006 with his spellbinding series, Final Salute, is now the Shirley Wormser Professor of Journalism and Media Writing in Case Western Reserve University. I felt privileged when he replied my email and agreed to mentor me in my journalism career.

While I explored the works of journalists across the world, one thing that struck me was the deficiency in the course structure. There were many areas to cover but very little attention was given to what we would be doing after school. Apart from the one-semester Writing Skills, which is a university requirement, we did not have English Language as one of the subjects.
But I knew from my reading that journalism was made up of the content and the language. Fortunately, the Diploma students were doing English Language. So at Level 400 I joined Mr Modestus Fosu’s English Language class in Diploma 2 usually in the evening when I closed.
Aside reading and straying into other lectures, I also wrote articles and published on the internet, newspapers and on trees and notice boards on campus. RadioGhana’s news commentary segment offered me a learning platform.
So my Second Class Upper was not because I went to fool about. In March 2011, I felt terrible when everybody thought I had disappointed them. But looking back, I have no regrets.
I started getting job offers while I was still in school. And I have rejected many job offers since leaving school. Prospective employers do not ask about my class. They cite my writings. In the year of my graduation, I also had a golden opportunity to redeem my lost image.
At the 16th Ghana Journalists’ Association Awards, my elder brother, who could not attend my graduation, was with me in the Banquet Hall of the State House. My father was also there. They followed me upstage when I was awarded the Human Rights Reporter of the Year. The smock-wearing duo also went on stage with me when I picked up the prize as the Best TV News Reporter. And my brother carried me upstage to pick my third award for the night: the Most Promising Young Journalist of the Year.
In Kete-Krachi Lakeside, the Awuni Adaboro family from Albert Abongo’s Bongo Constituency kept vigil and cheered. “We were so happy we couldn’t sleep afterwards,” they would say later.

At the Ghana Institute of Journalism, staff and students who were disappointed at my class now sang a unanimous chorus: “You have made us proud!”
On top of that I’m almost done with my masters’ degree. I was not a failure after all!

When I grow up and get a good woman, I will marry. Before my children go to the university, however, I will sit them down and give them one piece of advice:
The dogmatic cult called academia is not easily susceptible to change. In the university, you’ll be given too many things to learn without necessary focussing on what you’ll be doing after school. Figure out what you want to do after school and give 60% of your time to that and 40% to your course work.
First class graduates are not always the brightest!
Savannah View is a weekly column published in the Tuesday edition of The Finder newspaper. Writer’s Email: azureachebe2@yahoo.com