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Opinions of Monday, 18 September 2006

Columnist: Atuahene, Kwame

Our President, His Nakedness And Our Corprate Identity

“Management is nothing more than motivating other people” Lee Iacocca a US automobile businessman (1924 - date)

The lawyers costume quickly exposes and markets them hence the slightest deviation from the normal apparel prompts such remarks as “counsel you are naked before the court”, usually before the judge in sitting.

The President of the Republic of Ghana , His Excellency John Agyekum Kufour, was on Friday spotted “naked” before a multi-million audience via Africast an International television station over 25 countries. The occasion was the global launch of the 2008 African Cup of Nations in Ghana , last Friday.

The night of pure African _expression as it was, was symbolized by the heavy presence of the African and Ghanaian culture and identity that elegantly portrayed our passion soccer so exhilaratingly. Beats of the fontomfrom drums, sounds of the horn, the xylophone among others attests to the African agenda of the night

Disappointingly, our own President very usual of him emerges in Suit, which was respectfully wrong in my earnest considered view.

The chorus in Ghana has always been that, the presidency is an embodiment of the Ghanaian hence the need to revere it and protect it even at the peril of our sense of objectivity and all fairness, particularly when the president clearly errs in the discharge of his duties. The president should by the same logic be seen as a carbon copy of the Ghanaian identity and what represents our futuristic aspirations as corporate Ghana .

The textile industry has come under serious attack under the presidents tenure so has the campaign to patronize made in Ghana goods been handled with such lackluster ness. JAK officially launches a NATIONAL FRIDAY WEAR PLEA to encourage the patronage of Ghanaian made textiles, as a means of boosting that aspect of industry and ends up breaching his own rule when it mattered most on a Friday at the Global launch of the event in issue.

Is it a case of preaching virtue and practicing otherwise or perhaps a case of genuine mistake?

I was gravely sorry for my President when the cameras spotted him in his coat. His deportment to the camera was indicative of an uncomfortable Special Guest of Honor, particularly after the special intent of the congregation was made known. Presidents Kwame Nkrumah, Hilla Limamn and Jerry Rawlings have very well played their part projecting the Ghanaian Kente and The Smock (Fuguu) at different times.

The crave for smock among young people in Ghana can arguably be traced to the leadership attitude of some past leaders.

I have not the least been enthused about JAK’s urge for suits as president. Candidate Kufour was mostly seen in traditional African apparel before assuming the FIRST CITIZEN STATUS, So what went wrong? Some find it excusable because of his profession as a lawyer and that its more of what he deems comfortable than what many like-minded people expects of him. I respectfully think otherwise. The other day he was spotted in suite when the visiting western leader in the shape of Premier Blair had abandoned his “uniform”. I find it nerve-racking.

My worry stems from JAK’s apparent failure to market the Ghanaian textile and costume as president. A perfect blend of his taste for westernized costume and that made from our beautiful textiles would have done us some good particularly for the extent of his travels. Our rich batik and tie and die with our historic embossments could have been in high demands elsewhere as it is with the influence of Obasanjo’s lace in Ghanaian fashionable trend. Presidents Obasanjo and Mandela have done so much so well in this area for this continent

JAK on his new year’s eve televised address was spotted in my kind of Ghanaian Presidential Costume, very African in character and home-grown. The president has arguably little or no private life hence should be viewed as the crusader of everything Ghanaian. It was in that light for which he was commended for his vision for the Friday wear thing. I expect of my president to lead by example and to perhaps to get to the next gear by adding another day i.e. National Wednesday Wear but not to breach his own initiative. That is highly unpardonable. What happens if we all begin to undermine that lofty idea for the sake of our preferences, desires and comfort?

I would applaud the President if he introduces as a policy; that all public basic schools should change their uniforms to suit this Ghanaian taste. Fancy your kid in an all African school uniform all school days. Fridays for me are great days particularly for the kids in schools who have this Ghanaian –inspired uniform. The future of this country lies with them and it’s always important to win their sense of patriotism and nationalism and to boost industry and sales. That would be a legacy worth considering in my view.

Mr. President, the competition for the best suits with BUSH and BLAIR is not in the Ghanaian interest. JAK, shun the “nakedness” and inspire our local textile industry to bulge.



Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.