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Opinions of Monday, 10 August 2015

Columnist: Adofo, Rockson

Paying a Glowing Tribute to an Unknown, but yet to be Recognised Great Son of Ghana

If all Ghanaians were like him in character, there will never be anything like corruption, nepotism, selective justice or injustice in Ghana, but total prevalence of tranquillity, justice and prosperity to all. I shall not be doing myself any justice if I fail to pay a heartfelt tribute to this former School Prefect (SP) of the formerly called Kumawu Tweneboah Koduah Secondary School (T.K.S.S.), now Kumawu Senior High School. The payment of tribute to him is long overdue.

I would love to mention his name but he may not appreciate that for a reason or the other. However, that should by no means be an impediment to my determination to officially acknowledge him, although unknown to the public, he is a great son of Ghana to whom people must respect and emulate.

In the early to mid 1970s when this person in mind (name withheld) was elected the School Prefect, he did something that held every student in awe of him. The incident unfolded as following. His younger brother or family member, one Stephen Owusu, then a third year student at T.K.S.S. did something silly. Student Owusu thought he could get away with it because his senior brother was the School Prefect. He got it all wrong. The SP came to the Dining Hall at lunchtime, at around 14:00 (2 pm) when all students were seated to enjoy their lunch. He called Stephen Owusu to the rostrum, announced what he has done that contravened the school regulations, reprimanded and punished him.

He was suspended from classes for a week and assigned an area in the school compound to weed throughout his suspension. When lessons were in session, he would be weeding the compound. He would only stop when students were on break or classes were over for the day at 14:00. Stephen thought he could get away with nonsense because his brother was the School Prefect, but he got it all wrong. The entire student population realised that if the SP could punish his own brother that way, who else stood the chance of getting away with a slap on the wrist if they disobeyed or contravened the school regulations? He was such a friendly and fair, but an awful disciplinarian!

Once he quizzed a class of students on the following with a promise to give whoever got the answer correct a book he was holding in hand. He said, "When I was going to Accra to see the SEA for the first time ever in my life, on reaching the outskirts of Konongo-Odumase in a moonlit night, I saw a big billboard (signboard) on which was written, "You are now entering Konongo-Odumase". At the extreme end of the billboard KONONGO-ODUMASE, I could see something, the same of which I found in the middle of the SEA when I was taken to the beach to see the sea in a moonlit night". What was it, he asked? None of the students could figure out what the thing was. They came out with various possible answers but they were all wrong. They could not get the right answer. He was, and is still, an affable sort of man but as mentioned above, a great disciplinarian. Mr/Ms reader, what do you think the answer was?

He once told me during one of our lengthy chats that his mother used to tell them (himself and his siblings) that when they are lucky to acquire higher education qualifications and wealth, they should neither boast of them nor use their prosperous chance or position to intimidate others in society. She said it was by the grace of God, coupled with the money in the family that they could have come that far. Many people could have acquired same qualifications if they had money or the opportunity but the poverty in their homes has prevented them from attaining such heights in life, she said. All his siblings go by their mum's advice. I can see the advice being a cardinal pivot on which his interactions with people revolve. He is such a perfect, honest and respectable person to become friends with or talk to.

Listen again to what happened when he once travelled from London to Ghana on holiday. He went to one of the Kumasi Secondary Schools (name withheld) to see a friend. He was taken to greet the Headmistress who did not initially inquire to know more about him. The next day he went back to the school to give a motivational speech to the students. After his powerful speech, the Headmistress approached him, congratulated him and asked to know in detail who he is and where he lives. He only told her his name, mentioned some of his siblings and told her where he lives in Kumasi.

The Headmistress by curiosity visited some of his brothers on what might be a fact finding mission. She then summoned him to the school and told him she had visited some of his brothers. She then asked, "Where do you really live? He answered, London. What are you doing over there in London with all your brothers and sisters in such higher positions in Ghana as I have come to discover?" He responded, "I am doing nothing in London and I will not come to Ghana to collect nothing". She could not continue with the conversation any longer as his response just derailed her enthusiastic curiosity and wish to persuade him to come to Ghana to render services to his nation and people, as resourceful and knowledgeable as he is.

He has stated clearly to me that there is no, and has never been, any true dynamic visionary leader in Ghana. All the leaders so far do not know what they are doing. They are not farsighted enough to build Ghana into a prosperous nation. Again, the system in Ghana has been structured in such a way that the people do not accept innovations initiated by honest, dedicated and dynamic people coming back home to assist. They want to keep to the same old corrupt and ineffective ways of doing things in this age of technological advancement. The people in Ghana by their attitude are very supportive of those who acquire immense wealth through corruption or are experts in acts of injustices. In a nutshell, Ghanaians grace evil. Why then needlessly spend your precious time on them knowing such energy expended will yield no positive results, he believes?

The last but not the least, he lent me a history book which has been a great asset to me with my writings. When he sensed my quest to prove a point beyond doubt in the on-going chieftaincy issues, he brought me a book. Each time I return it to him, he tells me to keep it until all is well. He says, "If you are a writer, you should be able to quote correctly to support your views and assertions". This is how good the person in question is. He always supports good causes. He detests those who engage in evil acts that obstruct the development of Ghana in every facet of her life.

To know a good leader and their qualities, he advises me to read a book authored by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum of Dubai. He is himself a living evidence of a good leader. Can any Ghanaian leader match this King in his vision to develop his country or Kingdom? NO!!!

I doff my hat to you, oh former School Prefect of T.K.S.S. You are great, sincere, and dynamic and also, hate evil. I wish most Ghanaians were like you. May you live longer for people to continue to drink from your overflowing fountain of wisdom?

Rockson Adofo