Once upon a time, in the annals of a third year teacher trainee, a thrilling conversation ensued between him and his pupils. Out of tension, a ‘gbaa alert’ was recorded when a supervisory team that had visited his school told him to teach for marks,
Tr: Children, what is holding me? (He held a tin of milk)
Pupils: (Dead silence)
Tr: Oh childrens! What is holding me?
Pupils: (Dead silence)
Tr: This a ‘mlik konko.’ Say mlik konko!
Pupils: Mlik konko!
The above is a tip of fun we had back at the Berekum College of Education. Akokora Wee (our Compound Overseer) would share jokes while he loaded us (greenhorns) like camels with workloads. In the colleges, I guess, are where all the world’s jokes are hatched. So when the CO himself had shared a joke, who were you to say tweaaa and stand still as a statue into whose face the artiste has moulded defiance? Ajala (comic exclamation)!
Today while I reminisce and laugh with you over the ‘mlik konko,’ let’s ask Madam Adwoa Safo (daughter of Kantanka and Member of Parliament for Dome Kwabenya, Greater Accra Region) the teacher’s simple question. Sister Adwoa, what car’s key is holding you?
I first wrote about Apostle Dr. Kwadwo Safo, taking Ghana’s industrialization to a higher level, during my first days at the Ghana Institute of Journalism. I had before then watched his thrilling innovations on the screens of my television. Gently wave your hand in front of a television set and it switches on/off! That was amazingly superfluous. The )nantefo) and )bremp)n (cars) among others beat my imaginations as well.
The question that many Ghanaians kept quizzing themselves with upon seeing such innovations was whether what the Star of Africa manufactured was indeed made in Ghana. With the passage of time, one has come to accept that whatever we heard or saw about the Apostle is nothing but the truth. Ghana like Adom TV; ‘y3 w) adze a oye.’ Sad enough, however, our ‘adze a oye’ is being left to the dustbins as successive governments have paid little attention to helping the Apostle establish a strong brand of manufacturing plant in Ghana.
Aside the great number of innovations that are being launched by Apostle Dr. Kwadwo Safo (Kantanka) every year, his single effort to develop Ghana through his God given talent has been inadequate. This should tell any descending mind that the Apostle’s mission is not a one man demonstration. All hands must be on desk.
So would it not have been a great move Adwoa Safo cruising one of her father’s cars? I have of late given myself a title; A Cultural Activist. I believe in the culture (way of life) of Africa/Africans that would help our continent move from zero to hero and from hero to legend. It is in this light that I am madly crazy to see your father ‘grow’ to the status of a world icon. It is said that when a dog bites a man is not news but when man bites a dog, becomes a big news. As it stands, my influence in the society goes not beyond my family and few friends who would ‘follow’ me upon seeing my report in the media. But let Adwoa Safo cough and it would become news to our tingling ears. This is to say that as a cultural activist dying to see our land develop through what we have, even if I have the purchasing power to choose and cruise one of the wonder cars, the crowd I would pull for people to think Kantanka wouldn’t be as massive as you would do.
“Kantanka in parliament,” “Adwoa Safo on mission drive Kantanka,” “Kantanka surpasses all innovations- Adwoa Safo” are but some of the headlines I have craved to see on the front pages of our newspapers. Unfortunately, I have not yet come across such headlines in the media. I guess you have not realized that aside being a woman, your presence in Ghana’s parliament add up to the power you carry?
Tell the bus driver to stop for you to offload the content of your bladder and you would see the rest of the passengers following suit. Many a time in life, we need someone who is courageous and self-determined to start that which we even fear to mention its name. If is it the rest of your cohorts in parliament and other influential public figures that have a dwindling faith in your father’s dream, rise up to prove them wrong.
Historically, the man who came from beyond the boiling sea to rule us did not only chain our hands but he as well tried chaining our minds. From 1927 to 1934, Dr. Ephraim Amu was employed as a music teacher at the Akropong Presbyterian Training College (APTC). The father of Ghanaian art music was, however, faced with a tough opposition at the APTC for advocating for the wearing of, what the whites called, ‘native cloth’ to preach. I believe that some orders from above are coiling our leaders into their shells from making made-in-Ghana a reality. But we must today tell the world that we are using what we have first before anything else. Kudos to great men like Dr. Kwame Nkrumah and Flt Lt Jerry John Rawlings for spearheading the wearing of Northern Ghana’s smock. Today, the smock is selling well on the market.
Going by this suggestion, the Kantanka brand would be well embraced by Ghanaians and the world at large. But Madam Lawyer, if you already cruises a Kantanka made vehicle, I would plea your court to pardon me of contempt. However, if it happens that you have abandoned your own and sought comfort-cruise-asylum in what the Whiteman has manufactured, then you have done a disservice to the Apostle.
Together, we can help cup our hands to shelter the flame of the oil lamp lighted by the Star of Africa from the blowing wind.
The writer is a Sunyani-based Freelance Journalist and a Cultural Activist.