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Opinions of Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Columnist: Apostle Kwamena Ahinful

Stop spoiling our youth with profanity!

Lots of gentlemen and other decent people have in recent times expressed serious concerns and sadness over the unshameful screening of animal-like sexy films with their twenty-twenty kissings ….and the horrible sexy profane lyrics of nonsensical hiplife music which some spoiled and immoral disc jockeys (DJs) of certain radio stations unshamefully take delight in playing, whilst some of their counterpart programme-presenters talk on sex-themes and sex-rubbish every now and then!

Two questions that readily come to the mind are first: did these sexy producers and musician and DJ’s and presenters receive adequate training and nurturing at home when they were young? Did their mothers and fathers give them any moral training in tune with the ethics of our Ghanaian culture? I don’t think so. For, if they were given good moral upbringing, they certainly won’t delight in screening sexual films or utter filthy profane words in the lyrics of their music, or play profane songs on the airwaves, or delight in using profane words in their talks on radio stations.

Anyone who has had the privilege of moral training at home won’t get any delight in screening any filthy film or playing filthy music or doing filthy programmes, or saying profane words during radio presentations and news reading.

Second, it might be asked whether those who are enthused over displaying sexy films on the TV screens, especially without the simple courtesy of editing out the obnoxious parts like kissing and breast-fondling etc. or those musicians who construct profane lyrics or those radio DJs and presenters who play profane or obscene songs or choose lewd topics for radio programmes –received any initial professional training at all?…… I doubt it.

Let me cite an example. The DJs of the 1960s, 70s, 80s and very early 90s vintage of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation such as Mike Eghan, (the adorable ‘Emperor’), Charlie Sam, and Tommy Annan Forson, Afia Konadu, etc. to mention only these, never chose to spin any profane music or use profane words (ndwamansem) on the airwaves. These were decent DJs who rattled the English Language with ease, eloquence and loquacity and, of course, with absolute decorum – to the admiration of many listeners, and no nonsensical words came from their ‘intro’ speeches.

Of course, profane songs were very rare during those times, because ace musicians like Sam, Kobina Okine, E.K. Nyame, Kakaiku, Kwabena Onyina, P.S.K. Ampadu etc. had at least had some home training in good morals; hence, even though they sometimes sang about love and marriage, their words or lyrics never slipped into sexual matters or profanities. In fact, their lyrics were suave and decent, and were often proverbial or parabolic and noble, and either advised listeners, or uplifted their souls, endowing them with hope and encouragement in life.

As a matter of truth, musicians of the mid-1940s beginning from Sam the Cape Coast-born singer who actually introduced Ghana’s hi-life music, and Kwaw Mensah his student, up to K.K. Kabobo of the very early 1990s, were all decent singers who never messed up their lyrics with sexy profane words. Why? – Because their parents had trained them to behave morally and thus they sang with moral decency!

As far as I can remember, K.K. Kabobo was the first musician to use actual raps in his lyrics, and of course, he never mentioned anything about sex or sexual intercourse in his raps. But what do we see about our so-called modern musicians? The lyrics of their hiplife are nonsensical, and their raps are even more nonsensical, only containing words praising women and sex and what happens during sexual intimacy.

And they mention these profane words with absolute gusto and happiness, not ashamed that what they are singing is ndwaman (obscene) songs which no well-trained person will utter. Men musicians are more guilty in singing such songs. Indeed, female musicians don’t often sing profane songs, except Mzbel and the like, a Fante musician whose dress and sexy lyrics used to be a disgrace to us Fantes! It is believed that most of these “ndwamansem adwentofo” (profane musicians) were the academic never-do-wells in Senior Secondary Schools, whose boisterous unruly behaviour led them to become “guys”, and only compensated their stupidity or mental backwardness with the singing of profane hiplife songs which had sexy, profane raps and which instigated the students to yell and shout in acclamation, during the school’s Entertainment Period. The admiration and approval of the students encouraged these wayward singers to sing more wayward songs, which made them adopt wayward guy names like ‘mankeni’ (cocoyam), ‘bayere’ (yam), ‘borofere’ (pawpaw), ‘sekan’ (matchete or cutlass) ‘hankete’ (handkerchief), poyo, pampee shakala (which are meaningless). I have intentionally not mentioned most of the actual ‘guy’ names. But you can see many of these!

But you may ask why these musicians have kept their real names secret, only preferring to use such strange ‘guy’ names? The answer is simply that they don’t want their real names to be associated with the evil, ‘ndwaman’ songs which they are churning out, an act which they know is disgraceful!

Compare this fact with the case of Gospel Singers like Bishop Osei Bonsu, Rev. George Laryea, Kwaku Gyesi, Seth Frimpong, Grace Ashey, Christiana Love, Ama Baohemaa, SP Kofi Sarpong, etc. who use their real names to sing praise or worship – songs to or about God, and you will understand my argument on “guy names” of secular ‘ndwamans?m’ (profane) singers. The gospel musicians know they are singing to praise or worship God, and thus in consonance with Christ’s word: “let your light shine before men that they may see your good works..” (Matthew 5:16), their ethically decent songs must come out with their real names to dignify their personalities.

Even take the case of the old hi-life musicians such as Kobina Okine, E.K. Nyame, Kakaiku, P.S.K. Ampadu, and others. Simply because they composed and sang very beautiful songs on several themes concerning the society, all full of wisdom which taught people to work harder, behave properly, to stop allowing themselves to be overshadowed by depression, discouragement or sadness, etc. hi-life became a soothing and comforting balm to the worried and oppressed. And both young and old liked or still prefer such music.

Now our so-called modern secular musicians have stopped composing hi-life music, which began only in Ghana; and these musicians have embraced hip-life with its nonsensical, unintelligible and profane or ndwamansem raps, all of which is foreign, ostensibly coming from the United States. What is even annoying is that when anyone of these musicians chooses to play hi-life, he adds nonsensical raps to it to make the song highly nonsensical. It is these ndwamansem songs which mostly instill animal-like sexual desires in our young boys to rape here and there, and our young girls to bring forth fatherless children.

This controversy will continue with more punching criticisms against a big Akan radio station in Accra whose programme and news presentations, are full of profane (ndwamansem) words. I hope the Media Commission will monitor such-like radio stations.