Opinion: The Badu Kobi Meltdown – Part 1 by Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD

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Fake Prophet Emmanuel Badu Kobi

Rest assured, Dear Reader, that ethnic stereotypes are going to be with us for the foreseeable future; so false prophets like Mr. Emmanuel Badu Kobi had better be left alone to peddle their “truthful” inanities till time and tide eventually sweep them off the scene like the rest of their ilk of faux-clerical hoodlum pack. The original title of this rejoinder series was “Breaking Down the Barriers of Nepotism Is More Practically Realizable,” I suppose, than talking or writing off ethnic stereotypes as morally and culturally passé. But upon second thoughts and the imperative need to also look at matters from the obverse side or perspective, that is, with Asante adult-males as the focus of discursive attention, at least going by the logic, or the lack thereof, of what Mr. Badu Kobi has had to say about the womenfolk of his own Akan sub-ethnic polity, I decided to go with the present title.

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It is quite obvious that the former Owusu-Bempah acolyte is experiencing some conjugal crisis – a variation of the so-called Midlife Crisis – or the man may simply be suffering from acute dementia, the early diagnosis and prompt treatment of which would be the better for both his seemingly captive congregants and the clerical/religious community at large. You see, a man who publicly confesses that he has an avid craving for “breaking Ghana down spiritually” because of his irredeemable aversion or hatred for one particular Ghanaian politician or leader, has definitely reached a point where he needs to be promptly institutionalized in order not to pose a real danger to both himself and Ghanaian society at large.

Or maybe it could be that some “stupid” Fante woman might have given this stereotypically “arrogant” and hauteur Asante man – my profound apologies – a vintage taste of her incomparably clean or kosher muffin that his apparently adulterous spirit could not contain, thus his intemperate early Sunday morning liturgical spillage. You see, I have also personally gone through the sort of soul-wrenching experience that Mr. Mensah Thompson, the Executive-Director of ASEPA (whatever the latter acronym means) claims to have been through and mournfully talks about in his article captioned “Did Prophet Badu Kobi Say Anything New?” (Ghanaweb.com 7/28/19). It is also quite fascinating to let on to readers, and I have never done this before or, perhaps, barely adumbrated on the same in the recent past, which is the fact that when I first met my soon-to-be-wife in the spring of 2004, or thereabouts, she had just recently departed Ghana for the United States as a member of the congregation of then Pastor Badu Kobi’s “glorious” something church, which bears a striking resemblance to that of the church or the several chapels led by the Rev. Isaac Owusu-Bempah, whom, I would shortly learn, had schooled Mr. Badu Kobi in the Biblical scriptures.

Well, 15 years later, today, my wife, together with our two robust and intellectually nimble sons, is a bona fide “dually-citizened” Ghanaian-American. Let President Donald John Trump head back for the Autonomous Aryan Supremacist-Infected backwoods German State of Bavaria where it all began with the Strumpfs. On the other hand, I have been a bona fide US citizen for nearly 30 years now, as had been my deceased Ghanaian-born parents and first-generation American citizens who arrived here in the United States in the early 1970s, my father’s having arrived here in 1971, on an academic scholarship, to study for a graduate degree in Lighting Technology, a technical aspect of the discipline of the Performing Arts, at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in November of the aforementioned year. You bet President Trump was doggone smack on point when he was widely reported to have said that “Once you let the Nigerians into the United States, they will never go back to their little mud huts in Africa.” Same as the Euro-ethnic Aryan supremacist to whom the preceding quote has been widely attributed.

Anyway, when he arrived on the main campus of the University of Wisconsin in the fall of 1971, like all things Ghanaian, my father was two months behind schedule. The problem had purely to do with some clerical and administrative glitches or inordinate tardiness of the relevant dons of the country’s flagship academy, to wit, the University of Ghana, Legon. At any rate, yesterday (July 27) marked exactly 35 years since I arrived here in the United States, at the John Fitzgerald Kennedy International Airport, to be precise. In 2004, when I decided to elevate the hitherto largely telephone relationship between my soon-to-be-wife and me, she lived in Newark, in the State of Delaware, at the time, to the more dignified and refined – at least ceremonially and culturally – status of Christocentric Holy Matrimony, I also made the brief acquaintance of then Pastor Badu Kobi, who had then just published a pamphlet or two of Biblical exegesis that he earnestly wanted to parlay into the globalization of his still young and fledgling ministry, by getting the chance to pastorally tour the United States.

I had to meticulously and painstakingly explain to Mr. Badu Kobi the rank and pathologically racialized nature of American Christianity and Gospel Evangelism. The upshot of my part of our telephone conversations – and we had about three or four of them – was that he would be far better off focusing more intensely on his home turf. Today, I am somewhat elated to learn and telegraphically witness his remarkable establishment on the very dynamic Christocentric terrain of Ghana’s religious community and culture. But only “somewhat” elated because the Rev. Badu Kobi that I came to know and learn about, largely through both his pamphlets and our telephone conversations is, today, a deeply cynical politician who appears to be only interested in using the Christian Bible – and that is, casually assuming that he does at all – to blindly advance the gustatory interest of his political fortunes and, perhaps, those of his congregants, at least some of them, as well.

I, too, saw the YouTube videoclip and was bewildered and wistful about the same; I was swamped by that spirit of utter disappointment that an old schoolteacher gets gripped by on occasion, when a star pupil of yesteryear that one had strongly wished and boundlessly hoped would become a giant in their chosen professional discipline, ends up like one of those threadbare lorry station touts. I call him a “false prophet” because in the leadup to the 2016 Presidential Election, Mr. Badu Kobi pontifically predicted the crushing and definitive defeat of then-Candidate Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the main and most formidable political opponent of then-President John Dramani Mahama, Pastor Kobi’s hero and idol.

You see, the problem that I have with the thrust of his political choice regards Pastor Kobi’s apparently abject lack of sensitivity for both the short- and long-term improvement of the lives of the desperately poor of Ghanaian citizens and residents. It goes without saying that Pastor Badu Kobi has said enough to leave any critically thinking follower or observer with absolutely no doubt that he is a religious leader who has absolutely no scruples or even a diddly modicum of compassion for the lumpen poor and destitute. Not very long ago, for instance, while gifting a car to somebody at his church, Pastor Kobi was widely reported to have said that he would never parcel out gift of a car to the desperately poor because a poor person would not even have the means of filling the gas tank of his/her gift. Talk of wickedness!

It never seemed not to have occurred to Mr. Kobi that helping this poor person secure the kind of job/employment to enable him/her to make a profitable use of his/her gifted car would be in perfect fulfillment of his mission as a Christocentric man of God. For Pastor Badu Kobi, such a divinely conscientious request seemed to be too much of a burden to ask. Which keeps one wondering precisely where this “Asante Boy” received his “gift” of the priesthood from. You see, every ethnic or sub-ethnic group creates its own menfolk and womenfolk based on its moral and cultural values. This is where the remarkable validity of some ethnic stereotypes comes handy. If Asante women are, indeed, as greedy as Mr. Santa Claus claims, then it equally stands to reason that it was, indeed, the stereotypically braggadocio and pretentious Asante man who created the kind of greedy Asante woman that Pastor Badu Kobi is talking about. At any rate, does his gift of the Word come from our Christian God or Tigare?

*Visit my blog at: kwameokoampaahoofe.wordpress.com  Ghanaffairs