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Opinions of Saturday, 30 November 2013

Columnist: Mensah, Solomon

Abeiku Santana & Stacy’s day of shame

By Solomon Mensah
Throughout my Primary school days, I learnt of the infiniteness of counting numbers. That means one cannot count to the last number. Is that not so? My class three teacher, a lanky old man, whom I have forgotten his name would write “1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10” on the chalkboard with three dots (…) called ellipsis placed after the tenth number; “10 …”
Then at the Good Foundation Preparatory School, Sunyani, mathematics was not my arch enemy so I learnt everything that was taught. However, the subject became confusing climbing the ladder of education to the Senior High School level in 2003. My House Prefects added to my hatred for the subject by proving the very principle of counting numbers wrong. You won’t believe it.
It was our first year at the Sunyani Secondary School (SUSEC) now Sunyani Senior High School (I wonder how the School’s name would be abbreviated today). Senior Terror and Senior VanDaWal were among the four house prefects of the powerful Tano House. There at the Tano House, we the greenhorns worked incessantly like the hands of the clock. If we could draw any difference between the black slaves sent to America and the then SUSEC greenhorns, in terms of workload, it might probably have been that the slaves were at times chained and handcuffed.
Did you know one could count ‘1, 2, 3…’ starting from ½ (half)? Hahaaa! In a boxer short matched with a white singlet, Senior Terror (may he Rest In Peace) would stand at the forecourt of the Tano House before the cock crows. He would have beads of sweat forming pimples on his face. It became his ritual clapping to call on us to work at that hour of the dawn. “By the count of 3, all of you must be here; ½ (half), 1, 1 ½, 2, 2 ½, 3” and the feet of poor students sounded like that of thousands of horses running.
Ironically, after hours of scrubbing, sweeping, white-washing and what have you, randomly-sampled-unfortunate-greenhorns would be told without fear of the ‘Terror-VanDaWal principle of counting numbers’. “Numbers no asa”; to wit the numbers have finished. They would intentionally count (roll-call) a few of the students who have worked like camels and tell the others that they cannot count them as present for work. Yes, they have counted up to the last number in the world. Where were/are the mathematicians that posit that counting numbers are infinite?
Last Sunday, 24th November, 2013, Abeiku Santana and Stacy Amoateng, host and hostess for this year’s Ghana Most Beautiful of TV3, as well proved and affirmed the Terror-VanDaWal principle of counting numbers.
Stacy, after one of the contestants had finished her performance called on her to tell the chiefs and elders present at the show that their names could not be mentioned one after the other. Why? “Numbers no asa.” I guess on her part, the show was far behind time therefore being unable to just say ‘thank you for your presence’ to our traditional leaders.
Being a culture biased young man, I sat in front of my television set with my mouth gaped as if that of a cow fumbling at a mango. Trampling on our traditional leaders? If it is the chiefs and elders of the other nine regions that I cannot speak for, I can at least do so for my region, Brong Ahafo.
A delegate of elders travelled all the way from the Brong Ahafo Region to Accra to give their support to Konadu, one of the contestants. The journey from Sunyani to Accra is approximately seven hours. If one out of the love of tradition makes this life sacrificing journey to attend a television station’s reality show only to be frown upon, then it turns to be the donkey’s way of saying thank you with a kick.
What muddied the waters the most was Stacy’s co-host, Abeiku Santana’s acknowledgements. Of the limited time that Stacy had to safeguard, Santana comes on stage and acknowledges politicians present at the show time without number. At a point in time, I thought the names of Hon. Ignatius Baffour-Awuah, Hon. Dr. Hannah Louisa Bisiw and their cohorts had been recorded and put on replay.
My humble question therefore to Abeiku Santana and Stacy Amoateng is that, from where did they get that ample time to incessantly mention the names of politicians and other dignitaries while telling chiefs that there was no time to accord them the same recognition? Is it not said that what is good for the goose is also good for the gander?
Tv3 has come a long way promoting the Ghanaian culture. I never think this year’s Ghana Most Beautiful was aimed at glorifying the Ghanaian Politician, whose name is heard in the news from Monday to Sunday.
For Abeiku Santana and Stacy Amoateng, I seek not to discredit your good work done throughout the cherishable pageant show. However, this piece is to tell you that you had a feather of shame in your caps by over singing praises of the politician.
The writer is a Sunyani-based Freelance Journalist.
Email: nehusthan4@yahoo.com
Twitter: @Aniwaba