Rawlings – June 4th 1979 was not your finest hour, your best moment was January 7th 2001 by Ade Sawyerr

Rawlings – June 4th 1979 was not your finest hour, your best moment was January 7th 2001 – by Ade Sawyerr

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Retired military dictators, in the very few countries that tolerate military interventions, are allowed to lead the rest of their lives in obscurity drawing their military pension.  But in Africa most turn themselves
into civilian presidents and then find it difficult to leave the national scene.  These ex-presidents do damage to our democracy because they become obsessed with the preservation of their legacies and end up meddling in the small stage of their countries.  These presidents would serve their legacies better if they transform themselves into international statesmen on a larger scene where the benefits of their experience as heads of state will be better valued.

So when I hear persons such as Babangida and Obasanjo in Nigeria and Rawlings in Ghana going on about parties they created, I wonder why they do not put their leadership experience to bigger challenges in full view of the whole world.  Military dictators, in my view, owe the electorate a debt of gratitude for disrupting the democratic process of their countries inevitably they leave  their countries in a worse state, socially, politically and economically, than when they took over.  We civilians are therefore grateful for term limits on presidencies; the fact is that presidents do not perform better because they stay longer, most do not come with any vision for the transformation of their countries and it is likely that the longer they stay the worse they will become.

I have read the recent pronouncements of Flight Lieutenant Jerry John Rawlings Retired, a former military ruler and former president of Ghana extolling the ideals of June 4th, one of the most chaotic period of our political life in Ghana.  The tragedy that was unleashed on the people of Ghana by mindless soldiers,  supported by students barely out of breeches who had no concept of governing a country having  only experienced a clueless military government,  gives me the shivers even today 30 or so years after the event.  Supporting actor in this June 4th braggadocio, is another retired soldier, Major Boakye Djan now seeking another taste of government as a civilian legislator; he who wants us to believe his invention that the spokesperson is  the actual leader and the leader is really only ceremonial. Continue reading “Rawlings – June 4th 1979 was not your finest hour, your best moment was January 7th 2001 by Ade Sawyerr”

Odadaa, Yakub Addy and Wynton Marsallis brought Congo Square to the Barbican

I carried my pretentious self, with the good wife in tow to the Barbican last night to soak up a bit of culture and was amazed with the fare.  Going to listen to jazz has always been a chore for me, i prefer my music to appeal to my primal rather than my higher faculties and if I cannot dance to the music  i easily get bored, having been declared tone-deaf since the age of ten because I could not discern the difference between soprano and alto and though my music teacher Mr Tsibu wanted me in the choir but was not sure how my discord would add to the sound.

But I had been told that having lived in this country for a long time, at least I should imbibe some of the culture – not what happens on the football stands amongst their tribes but what the enlightened ones dress up to attend.  it was drizzling last night so I could not put on my full cultural attire of the velvet cloth and buba so I went in my  dashiki to listen to jazz from no less an accomplished jazz performer as Wynton Marsallis, who had kindly brought Lincoln Centre with him from New York to London.  Pure Genius!!!

Continue reading “Odadaa, Yakub Addy and Wynton Marsallis brought Congo Square to the Barbican”