Feature Article of Saturday, 27 October 2012
Columnist: AlWaiz, Husseini Y Baba
.... for free & making him popular
“Advertising may be described as the science of arresting the human intelligence long enough to get money from it.”
--- Stephen Leacock, (1869-1944)
The NPP would adopt multi-dimensional approach in their bid to make His Excellency President Mahama unpopular, (including advertising his books, unwittingly and enriching him). But the reason why they are not succeeding is that, President Mahama who has risen through the ranks and became a thorough bred in the government system, has some exceptional and extra-ordinary qualities that are lacking in most leaders in the political domain. Some of these traits are; humility, magnanimity, tranquility, honesty, integrity, tolerance, elegance, etc.
And it is obvious that any celebrity, be he entertainment or political, who authors a book, gets huge patronage with just few awareness by either lovers or haters, which is a way of advertising and publicizing his book. After all the simple 101 definition of advertising that those of us who read theory of advertising in college know is, “Making known in order to sell”. Hence the NPP cronies who wield the power of the pen, are writing myriad of articles, making references to the president’s book, while they would quote him out of context, but are unintentionally marketing the book and fetching him huge sums of money.
Their aim is to defame, denigrate and discredit him, but it is now becoming a blessing in disguise for him, in the sense that, a lot of Ghanaians in the Diaspora upon reading their articles would be eager to log on Amazon or Barns & Nobles websites to purchase on-line, or go to these stores to grab copies of this worth reading masterpiece of literature, which encapsulates a broad repertoire of socio-cultural, political and historical narratives in Ghana and African as a whole.
Interestingly, the NPP writers who are referencing from the president's book are rather advertising and campaigning for him for free, because those people buying the book are curious to read this book to see for themselves what these opposition writers are referring to, but only to come across so much stock of intellectual treasures that they would never expect to see, and would thereby end up admiring him for exposing such huge stock of knowledge to them.
The celebrity popularity that the NPP communicators are unwittingly helping the president to gain, reminds me of the poetic words from Jalalul Deen Rumi, a persian poet, who said over 800 years ago, “Sell your cleverness and purchase bewilderment.” Hence by virtue of this book,(which is on the verge of becoming a bestseller) and the NPP free “advertisement”, through their referencing from it, discerning people are buying and reading it, and are getting exposed to the intellectual and literary capacity of His Excellency President Mahama, who is gifted with the craft of connecting the dots and piecing together prose and poetic narratives to emerge with a masterpiece literature, which would make the president one of the best African and by extension, world leaders of this contemporary generation. This is a factual assertion, not a mere public relations gimmick for His Excellency the President. In that, who ever reads the best selling books of President Barrack Obama of the United States, (Dream from my Father & Audacity of Hope, some of which stories are quite similar to president Mahama’s, My First Coup D’etat…) which I did, would inarguably agree with this perspective. And would be acquainted with the obvious reasons why President Obama is crowd pulling, as people are willing to listen to him, and why he soars exponentially in popularity. And same thing applies to president Mahama as well.
For a president to be an author, is a great boost and bonus, because quite apart from being a political celebrity, he as well becomes an intellectual celebrity, due to his ability to perfectly ‘put pen on paper’. Just like how entertainment celebrities books attract huge sales, political celebrities also make money and gain more prominence and popularity through their books. That is why we(the entire rank & file of the NDC kith & kin worldwide)deem it necessary to express our profound gratitude on behalf of His Excellency President Mahama, for the free advertising and promotion that NPP communicators are giving his book and as a result, his personality.
Ralp Waldo Emerson wrote in an Essay back in 1871, that, “If a man can write a better book or preach a better sermon(or speech)…than his neighbor(Nana Akufo Addo?), even if he builds his house in the woods the world will make a beaten path to his door.” So going by this wisdom from Emerson, it is not out of place that president Mahama’s popularity is becoming viral, especially across the social media and the internet. It is even obvious for the readers of his book to like him, their expression of love towards the president reminds one of the adage by Abraham Lincoln, one time president of the United States who said, “My best friend is a person who will give me a book that I have never read(before).”
This is the first time I observed a politician in Ghana in the person of president Mahama becoming like a “brand” or better still, a “merchandise” that both positive and negative publicity and propaganda against him is yielding him a tremendous and terrific advantage. Belief it or not, president Mahama is the most dynamic and charismatic Ghanaian politician alive today, and the NPP is contributing a great deal in projecting his enviable fame, through their negative critique and campaign.
One catchy and captivating quote on the flip cover of his book reads as follows, “…Though non-fiction, these are stories that rise above their specific settings and transport the reader into a world all their own, one that evokes a time lost and explores the universal human emotions of love, fear, faith, despair, loss, longing, and hope despite all else.” Is n't that amazing and awesome?
President Mahama has undoubtedly blazed the trail and weathered the turbulent storm of the intellectual and political history of Ghana, African and the entire world, through the most powerful and pervasive tool of communication, which is writing. Hence the president is setting a pace for the up and coming generation, as well as making history for them to read and write.
His successful and meteoric rise in political and literary terrain is reminiscent of George Sheehan's words of wisdom that says, “Success means having the courage, the determination and the will to become the person you believe you were meant to be.” And truly the NPP is helping us create awareness of this literary achievement as sitting president.
It is therefore crystal clear that, president Mahama is the best candidate to rule this country, and my fellow Ghanaians should be proud to have such a personality, blessed with numerous qualities to selvage Ghana from the hands of the NPP, who through their criticism and castigations of His Excellency, are attracting him to you, the voters. Mr. Mahama has inherited so many qualities of his late predecessor, the Asomdwehene, John Atta Mills. So do not waste your votes, vote for His Excellency John Dramani Mahama and the NDC parliamentary candidates on December 7th, 2012 to continue with the Better Ghana Agenda, which is the legacy of the late President Mills.
Husseini Y. Baba AlWaiz, Press Secretary, NDC New York