The aging reprobate of an Akyem-Asiakwa-born journalist tried to mash my balls, once again, dear reader. And this time also, once again, he grossly misfired. Still, I am compelled to reply him in the kind of linguistic and rhetorical obscenity he best appreciates. Now, also, I understand why he shamefully failed to attend the burial and funeral services for his own sister recently. He thought just scrawling any pabulum about it was culturally savvy. How sojourning abroad makes smug aliens out of some people. Well, is it any wonder that when both of my parents died right here in New York City, where he was visiting for the umpteenth time, the cheap-shot award presenter refused to attend?
I was going to let this one slide off my back, like water on a duck, except that I strongly feel that this importunate ignoramus, who so cavalierly presumes to impugn my intellectual integrity, ought to be effectively and definitively put in his place. The fact of the matter is that he is so petty-minded and clinically disgruntled, for whatever reasons best known to himself, that for a moment or two, I decided to let this morally and culturally inexcusable affront slide by. I am also cocksure that I didn’t ask for this.
Well, the issue is simple; and it is not really any issue or question of moment at all. It is simply that having put the old rascal where he congenitally belongs, that is, among the dunghills of the Atiwa-Atweredu Ranges, he simply refuses to go away. Just like a tar baby. And so I am compelled to scrape whatever of his nightsoil remains from under the soles of my sandals – my profuse apologies to Mr. Kwesi Brew, of blessed memory.
Anyway, years ago, some administrative misfit somewhere in government appointed this old frustrated loser of a pen-pusher, for he is no formidable writer at all, and must be bluntly told (off) as such by one who knows the cradle of his dishonesty. Yes, years ago, some executive somebody, ensconced somewhere in the crummy cubbyhole that is Ghana’s Ministry of Information, appointed the old bastard to the editorship of our country’s Daily Graphic; and then erroneously thinking that he had arrived at the pinnacle of his trade, proceeded to rudely lambaste the erudite and foresighted Prime Minister Kofi Abrefa Busia for, supposedly, presuming to call for a constructive dialogue between the leadership of the African National Congress (ANC) and the Apartheid regime.
Well, forty years later, the prophetic unfolding of recent events in South Africa has vindicated Prime Minister Busia beyond debate. This old rascal – he was then exuberantly and jejunely wet-eared – was one of those fanatical adherents to the quixotically misguided adventurism of the Show Boy’s. Precisely how anybody could fathom a decidedly ragtag Ghana Armed Forces, curiously commanded by a British Major-General, ranged against the far superior fire-power of the NATO-backed Apartheid government, could presume to toy with the patently infantile idea of pushing the Boer-Afrikaner settler-colonist into the South Atlantic, is anybody’s good guess. Talk of wishes and horses!
Yes, it is true that some modicum of military pressure was going to be required – as was subsequently to be laudably demonstrated by Cuba’s Fidel Castro. Still, ultimately, it was the wisdom and foresight of Dr. Kofi Abrefa Busia that prevailed. Now, I don’t know that this old rascal’s appointment to the editorship of the Daily Graphic had been any more based on sheer merit than long apprenticeship, or even professional longevity. But this old urchin of Akyem-Asiakwa’s alleyways is so full of himself as to cavalierly presume to impugn the intellectual integrity of yours truly for dead-on accurately asserting that, indeed, it was Mr. Kwesi Brew who penned and published the famous Keta elegy titled „The Sea Eats Our Land.“
Just yesterday, I discovered to my great amusement and irrepressible contempt and annoyance that the snooty dime-educated bastard had, once again, presumed to put me in my place by pathetically insisting that it was, in fact, Prof. Kofi Awoonor who authored and published „The Sea Eats Our Land,“ and not Mr. Kwesi Brew. Well, Awoonor had his own version of the Keta elegy; but that was penned and published well after Mr. Brew’s. This unconscionable act of flagrant mischief is rather amusing because, after all, the poem in dispute was part of the texts for my O-Level school cert. I have also written and published more than 10 volumes of my own poetry which are widely accessible on the Internet.
Besides, I wrote my doctoral dissertation on Ghanaian poetry from 1834 to 1990. I have also – if the old bastard really cares to know this – read The Gab Boys and didn’t like it one bit! I will put Amos Tutuola’s Palmwine Drinkard over the latter any day! I couldn’t even finish reading the The Gab Boys, as the rhetorical coherence of the novel effectively lapses into the vapidly melodramatic half through it. I would rather not talk about diction and grammar here. Those of my readers who think I am rabidly anti-Nkrumah had better read what Mr. Kwadwo Ananse has to say about Nkrumah’s much-touted address at Accra’s Old Polo Grounds.
Please, don’t start me, once more, this coming new year when you turn 80, although you dishonesty claim to be younger than Prof. Awoonor. I have better things to do and think about than fussing with you over whether your father was in any way, shape or form related to my paternal grandfather, Opanyin Kwaku Gyimah (aka London Opinion) of Akyem-Asiakwa. But, of course, I do know, like the back of the palms of my two hands, that Maafio, your own birth mother, was first cousins with Opanyin Kwaku Gyimah Okoampa-Agyeman. And also that it was Nana Afua Boatemaa, the woman you claim to have mothered Maafio, your birth mother, who seized the throne/stool in the wake of the suspicious death of Osabarima (back then) Kwaku Agyeman-Okoampa, Nifamanhene of Akyem-Abuakwa. Do all these really matter, anyway?
Anyway, all I want to tell you is simply as follows: Cut, forthwith, your shameless pretence to righteous indignation by presuming to proffer Chief Justice Georgina Theodora Wood your scatty „Order of the Vulture.“ You are not qualified to play in her league. Let your intellectual and professional betters do the job. Happy New Year, by the way.
Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D. Department of English Nassau Community College of SUNY Garden City, New York
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