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Opinions of Monday, 20 January 2014

Columnist: Anum, Tony

Typical instances of failure of the academia

Okoampa-Ahoofe, Akadu Mensema: typical instances of failure of the academia

Even though it is a fact that education results in a better person and that formal education is the key to national development, there are exceptions to every rule. My grandma, who has not had any formal education, usually used to ask: “If you people who claim to have had formal education are displaying such folly, what should we those who have not had any be doing?” That question, an indictment on the intellectual capability of the formally educated Ghanaian, is usually asked because of the behaviour of a few formally educated ones. After all, it takes only one bad palm nut to spoil the taste of the soup.

As a concerned and patriotic citizen of Ghana, not a dual citizen, this country is my only home and it is my duty to fight against all that wants to plunge my home into chaos. The academic brains we have as a country are supposed to BE THE SOLUTION, NOT THE PROBLEM we face in this country. Below are two classic examples of people who claim to have reached the apex of formal education and yet, display behaviours not just my grandma but even primary two kids would question.

Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe Jr., PhD

Much as this supposed “PhD” thinks he is doing Ghana a whole hell lot of service by writing all that he posts on Ghanaweb, his constant castigation and condemnation of virtually all perceived political opponents in Ghana including institutions (probably because his kinsman, Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo lost an election) is not the panacea to the problems facing our country. We need practical solutions to our problems, which is what this supposed PhD should be providing; points he should be hitting hard on.

I am not suggesting that people and state institutions shouldn’t be criticised; however, such criticism should be done objectively, devoid of the unnecessary and often annoying tribal assaults, senseless name-calling and the “holier-than-thou” posturing that often characterises this man’s writings. Most Ghanaians are more discerning than some of these political activists think they are.

And then you visit Ghanaweb and this man is there, day by day, as if he has nothing else to do, ridiculously chanting theories of tribal hatred and silly secession ideologies whilst common sense taught us “unity is strength”. Living in a country that is so culturally and ethnically diverse like the US, why would any man be trying to promulgate theories of ethnic secession in his homeland Ghana? What a baloney!

It’s hard to comprehend where this man is headed with that ridiculous agenda here on Ghanaweb. It is true old age comes with wisdom, but as usual, there are exceptions to every rule. If Native Americans in the US were on such a divisive and “only-us” agenda, I don’t think the US would have become such an accommodating and the well-developed country it is today, where all manner of people are welcomed, people like himself inclusive.

It’s not surprising the kind of comments people write under his so-called articles; it’s a shame when a supposed “PhD” is proving to be such a sham. That is what happens to you when you behave like Ananse of our traditional folklore: portraying yourself as possessing all of the world’s wisdom. Such people end up making a fool of themselves.

But he’s not to blame. Maybe the system of education he had (both formal and informal) probably didn’t anticipate characters like him – this rare breed of “most sensible” people. The system would have made provision for “special kids” like him. I don’t think even his supposed Presbyterian upbringing anticipated this probable behavioural deformity.

Kwame Okoampa Ahoofe, the self-supposed intellectual, should be leading a discourse that is headed towards national cohesion and development, a discourse that encourages the people of this country to confront the challenges facing the country with an open mind and a factual understanding of the state of the nation, state structures and institutions. He should not be the one capitalising on the ignorance and political dogmatism of a few people to plant seeds of hatred, discord and disunity among the people of this country as he is currently doing; especially because his bearded or beardless face doesn’t really look like that of a “special adult” neither does he seem to be suffering the Alzheimer's disease; or maybe, who knows!

Akadu Ntiriwa Mensema, Ph.D

There’s not much to say about this character apart from the fact that she is just some sort of maybe a foul-mouthed girl fond of posting gibberish allegations against some group of Ghanaians here on Ghanaweb. It’s quite funny to wake up in the morning only to read insults, unsubstantiated allegations and plain falsehoods from this supposed “PhD” who stays with her “great mentor”. This girl who obviously has no respect for even herself let alone other people, after reading a story about someone who probably said something against her political inclinations, would write very disturbing fabrications about the person, denigrating them, insulting them in an attempt to dent their reputations in what she calls “poems”. Rather ridiculously, she writes under those supposed poems: “My poems and essays on Ghanaweb and elsewhere must not be reproduced in full or in part for any academic or scholarly work without my written permission”. Hmmm? Okay! But we all know how to insult? Oh, okay; that’s what she meant by claiming her critics describe her supposed poems as “populist”! But really, who needs Akadu Mensema’s expertise in insulting in order to make a point? If I ever need such an expertise, I’d probably contact Kwame Okoampa- Ahoofe Jr. PhD!

Writing bogus allegations against people in Ghana just because you disagree with them, whilst hiding in the US like Okoampa-Ahoofe, comes across as the peak of cowardice and nation-wrecking! Is that the wisdom her supposed “great mentor” has been impacting to her? And is that the kind of character she teaches her students? Anyway, she holds the record as the only columnist whose article was found extremely distasteful by Ghanaweb and was subsequently deleted.

My grandma may not be entirely correct but the behaviour of at least these two supposed “PhDs” leaves a lot to be desired. A PhD is supposed to be the peak of academic excellence, but if these two “PhDs” are anything to go by, my grandma would be perfectly right!

My grandma usually concludes her questions by saying: “Academic excellence doesn’t always result in a better person. Knowledge and wisdom are two different things”. The case of these two “PhDs” seems to be one of the instances my grandma was referring to: a failure of formal education!

Tony Anum

KNUST, Kumasi January 19, 2014