Feature Article of Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Columnist: Twumasi, Patrick

"Whom You Know" Who Do You Know

Amazing how time flies so fast, Joy. FM transmitting on 99.7 Mega Hertz has chalked fifteen (15) years. From a humble beginning in 1995, soon, one of the many media outlets of multimedia Group, infact, the genesis of the rest, if a lady one would say she would be matured for the cutwalk. If Joy. Fm was to be the tongue, it would be considered for a poet.

Joy. Fm is one of the foremost private radio stations, when the Ghanaian airwaves was libralised. Though Radio Eye came into the scene, earlier, but could not achieve the aim of being the very pillar, that would adorn the corners of the social structure. Many more might have tried something similar, but could not also be the dew that would appear from the womb of dawn. Dormaa. Fm has also been on the media landscape for a while now. Grease to the elbows of those behind the voices.

Notwithstanding, congratulations to Mr. Kwaku Twum, and those gallant fellows who came up with this vision -Joy Fm- which has shed light on the path leading to glory for many. A pat to the shoulders of those past and present staff of this distinguished media house, for not allowing this idea be a flash in a pan. Remember many have been the media houses that started with you, but could not keep the level of quality they began with. Others are off air. What has been achieved is wealth tons of inspiration.

We agree to disagree, but if you will agree with me, you will know that, we are living our lives in the present. But this would be the past of a generation unborn. As it is, we are living in the present, and probing the past of our forefathers, so ours would be scrutinized by posterity. Hence, we have to both define and chronologically write our own history, or leave it for posterity to evaluate our interaction with the past, before deciding what to engrave against our names. This would be unfortunate. Disturbingly however, this seems to be the scenario. During the 15th anniversary Joy. Fm “Sports Link” programme on Saturday, which brought home past and present anchors, whether by accident or design, the co-host; Mr. Carl Tuffour let the cat out on how most of the current and previous presenters of the “Sports Link” had their jobs.

In recent times, “whom you know” has become the medium through which jobs are secured in Ghana. Whatever happened to the competitive bidding process of application for employment, only Ghanaians can be candid enough to offer an answer. Many have been the argument that, one has to know somebody some where in order to acquire a job. Imagine a fellow Ghanaian citizen, far away from the cities and towns of Ghana, and has no contact with those movers and shakers, what will be the fate of that person? Deductively there will be no employment for that fellow. When will our uhuru come from these artificial strangulating strings we set for ourselves in this dearest country of ours?

Nevertheless, Mr. Carl Tuffour, a co-host of the “Sport Link” on the 15th anniversary, enquired from some of his colleagues, both past and present, how they got hooked up to the station. The answer were same, there was a known or a friend deep throat, who brought a colleague or a crony over to the Sports departments of Joy. Fm. You might ask what my beef is. I hold the perception that, it’s not everyone, perhaps with equally or of more competence than those we know or have heard of, will ever realize their dreams, this would be due to these procedures which has held many behind this artificial barrier. Forthrightly, many are those who have endured this pun. Should it be entrenched?

This is an axiom; a self evident truth, I hold firmly, truth just like any product expires. Then the onus is upon all level headed citizens to work hard to change the status quo. Many are the deserving Ghanaian youths who have been victims of this “Made in Ghana Phenomenon”. The lots of Ghanaian youth might have lost hope in the country. These believe seeking greener pastures abroad will be the apt opt. Applications are submitted to the front desks of companies, but this normal procedure seem to be outmoded. Is it not said, evil thrives only when good men sit unconcern? Right thinking Ghanaian Youth should be up in arms to deal a blow of justice to this social cancer. Even though, the world is in constant flux and nothing is static, should we give our weight to this syndrome of “whom you know”? Arguably, the example cited of Joy. Fm is a tip of the iceberg. Many are young Ghanaian graduates, who walk through the security points of companies with applications to present. Unfortunately the questions some security men do pose is, do you know the Director or the Human Resource Manager? In other words, the young graduate might be directed to submit the application through a particular entity. This uneven playing field, is a bottleneck which when not nib in the bud, can contribute immensely to the brain drain. The maxim is to get the required training or education and the requisite qualification, and then the graduate could make a bid for a job. Unfortunately this is changing into parochial means. Should the hunger for more of these modes of doing things become insatiable, and the taste for success which will not pass for time be unquenchable and Ghana be a place where tomorrow is not promised, and where the end is the means?

In spite of the above, cronism and nepotism is crippling our social structures. I do not equally hope to serve as a mischaracterisation and misuse of any personality’s utterance. But the assertion that application writing is becoming a thing of the past, calls for a quick re-think. For the reason that we should not be the ones who would lead our spirits wrong due to our own parochial gains.

Despite the “whom you know” syndrome it has also afforded some unscrupulous managers the merit to take undue advantage of young graduate ladies, who are desperately looking for employment. It has also led to the promotion of some dubious characters demanding huge sums of money from unsuspecting Ghanaian Youths with the pretence of securing them jobs. A developing country like Ghana cannot have this feather in her cup. Indeed, lots of these graduates are turned away from organizations, with the excuse that, there is no vacancy. But infact, there are vacancies awaiting nephews, nieces and children’s’ of cronies in these organizations. Are we building a society where only those who are connected to the authorities will survive? Nevertheless, do we hope to promulgate the premise that, everyone must be known to somebody or be left out?

Every saint has a past of being a sinner and has changed to a holy man or was holy and has remained so. As well, every sinner has a future to change to a saint or remain a sinner. We need to purge ourselves of this social cancerous behaviour. These acts that place society in a pathological state, should stop. Posterity should not be corrupted with the practices of the present. According to Titus Antonio Cicero, a Roman Poet and historian, “To live and never know what transpired before you were born is forever remain a child”. Should posterity enquire of their past which is our present, and be expected to appreciate and approve this social hurdles or obstacles? No qualms, that, we need to be familiar with ourselves, but not in the perspective of job seeking. This amounts to a form of bribery.

Let us chant down this Babilon, it’s a common enemy to all, especially those who are not connected.

Patrick Twumasi A Journalist(020 9045931)