Feature Article of Wednesday, 13 June 2012
Columnist: Newton-Offei, Justice Abeeku
Nicholas Omane-Acheampong is a musician I can vouch for when it comes to the question of originality, content and message on our nation’s gospel music scene. This is the gentleman who came out with Tabitha-cum and the whole nation was taken by storm with that song. Children who hadn’t even started being audible with their speech were easily singing that song. Even old men and women that were not Christians, but share other religious faith, were singing that song 24/7. Initially, most Ghanaians thought that the words in that song were just meaningless compilation of some playground rhymes, meant to tickle the hilarious side of Ghanaians but little did we know every word in that song was actually a bible verse. We all got to know this Nicholas Omane-Acheampong granted an interview to the media and actually explained the song and very word used in it.Tabitha is also called Dorcas who had died but Jesus raised her up and back to life by shouting “Tabitha kum” which translates as “Tabitha arise”(Acts9:36-42). After that explanation, the song became even more popular since people could then sing with much understanding and therefore could appreciate the power of the gospel of Christ. Having chalked that amazing success and fame across the entire nation and ultimately becoming the topic of discussion at ever social gathering (wedding, funeral, outdooring, church services etc.), the gentleman went into a very long hibernation and completely out of both the media and musical scene. Some of us even ended up forgetting about him completely until about a month ago when he suddenly made a sudden big-bang on our television screens. And characteristic of him, his song was good and the video was excellent but I always struggle to understand the message he tries to put across.
AS a matter of fact, what actually attracted me to the song was nothing but the chorus. Anytime I see the song being played on TV, I would stop whatever I would be doing and simply pay attention to see if I could get the story line and also the actual message. But the harder I tried, the difficult it was for me to really get my head around it.
Consequently, eventhough I like the song, I still had to contend with my total state of gargantuan confusion until one Saturday morning when I happened to be watching Anita Owusu’s ‘morning ride’ on Metro-TV.I was so delighted to see the gentleman on set because I knew he was surely going to be asked to decipher his characteristically shrewd bible verses in all his popular songs. I therefore put my trust in Anita to get me out of my chronic predicament by finding out from the gentleman, the real meaning of some of the terms he had used in his song and Anita actually failed to disappoint. Nicholas Omane-Acheampong was asked to explain the very popular chorus of the song “saphenath-panea” and he said it was the name pharaoh gave to Joseph, when the latter who was just an immigrant servant at the palace, ended up becoming the prime minister of Egypt(Gen.41:45). When Nicholas finally let the cat out of the bag, I quickly googled the name and lo and behold, it was nothing but the complete exactitude!!
But you see, it is not the name “sapahanath-panea” which is actually making the name for the gentleman and once again making his latest song the tune of both the young and old. The attention and the juicy aspect is actually the response to “saphanath-panea” that goes; ‘edin yi ye hu’, ‘edin yi ye tough’, ‘din yi ye heavy’ and ‘edin ben nie?’ The zeal with which he repeats the chorus and the strangeness of the word alone is so much catchy. Basically, the message he tried putting across in this particular song is the sheer awesomeness of the Joseph’s new name.
I will heal wounds!!!
Now, the current administration led by Atta-Mills, has been in power for almost 4years now and the presidential oath of office taken on 7th January 2009, has now become a gargantuan hoax. But I’m not even going to dwell much on the oath since that was an official routine any president would have gone through, anyway. The real issue is with the content of the speech Atta-Mills delivered on that day which I have every right to hold him onto, since he made them out of his own free will and possibly believed he could actualize every word contained in it. That speech contained promises like “armed robbery shall be a thing of the past, hunger shall be no-more, there will money in your pockets, milk and honey will flow through your taps, every single man/woman will get a marriage partner and there shall be no-more tears in our land”. But the most striking of those promises contained in that speech which actually brings back the memories of that day were the ones about unity, peace and love. The man said “I will be father for all and will heal wounds”. Now, whether Atta-Mills meant to actualize those promises or not, the outcome is now clear for all to see as perfectly described in a famous English axiom that says ‘the prove of the pudding is in the eating’.
After plugging Atta-Mills from the confines of lecture hall and sub-planting him at the top of NDC leadership, at the risk of the party’s very existence, it was expected that the views of Rawlings were going to be taken onboard in the scheme of affairs of an Atta-Mills-led administration and those who contested him for the party’s flagbearership in 2008 were to have been integral part of the administration. As for uniting the whole nation, it is a promise which Atta-Mills himself doesn’t even remember he had ever made.
But what is much more worrying is his failure to unite even the infinitesimal group of workers right under his very nose at the castle. This simmering tension at castle has been brewing since the time Ayariga was pushed out by the ‘bull dog’ but because Ayariga decided to pack bag and baggage and left without a whimper, Ghanaians thought the sea encircling the high concrete walls of the old slave castle was all calm, until there was a partial power outage at the Baba Yara football stadium during a world cup qualifier between Ghana and Lesotho (1/6/12). Koku Anyidoho’s ‘fatwa’ Immediately the flood-lights went off, Koku Anyidoho quickly swung into action with his characteristic ‘agbadza’ communication buffoonery. He issued a presidential ‘fatwa’ dismissing a non-existent Ashanti Regional director of Electricity Corporation of Ghana (EGC) .And I believe it later dawned on him or whoever asked him to issue that ‘fatwa’ that; 1.there is no position as A/R boss of ECG. 2. The flood lights were not being powered by a source from ECG.Therefore, the hastily issued ‘fatwa’ fell flat on its face and that’s where the confusion really began.
Samuel George Nartey, also a member of government communication team, took Koku Anyidoho to the cleaners on the following Saturday on insult-laden ‘alhaji-alhaji’ on Ghana’s ‘Radio Rwanda’ (Radio Gold).This infuriated Koku Anyidoho and he retaliated by plunging Samuel George Nartey into the odor-drain by way of a blistering attack in the Monday 4th June, 2012 edition of one of these rented and criminally minded NDC press, ‘the informer’ newspaper.
And on the day of this publication, Samuel George Nartey also plunged Koku Anyidoho into the korle-lagoon by describing his utterances as “a litany of ill-thought and not-thought-through statements which are not only disgraceful to be coming from a communication director at the castle, but to Atta-Mills, as well”. The tower of Babel Atta-Mills lied his way to power and because he also lacks leadership skills, I can confidently say that the people and structures of NDC have now become like that of biblical Babel (Gen.11:1-9), where, in their self-conceited folly, the people thought they could reach the throne of God by building a tower to serve as their route. In the end, God struck them with spirit of confusion which made them speak with different languages. Consequently, communication amongst them became completely impossible and they had no other option than to abandon their delusional enterprise. This is what is happening under Atta-Mills’ administration; and all I can say is: Saphenath paneah, confusion yi ye hu! Saphenath paneah, confusion b3n nie?!! Saphenath paneah, confusion yi ye buei!!! Saphenath paneah, confusion yi ye tough!!!! Saphenath paneah, confusion yi ye heavy!!!!!
Justice Abeeku Newton-Offei E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org