The story is told of a Kenyan runner, Abel Mutai who was only a few metres from the finish line, but got confused with the markings on the track and stopped, thinking that he had finished the race. A Spanish man, Ivan Fernandez, was right behind him and, realising what was going on, started shouting to the Kenyan to keep running. Mutai did not speak Spanish and so did not understand what his fellow runner was saying.
Seeing what was going on, Fernandez pushed Mutai to victory. A reporter asked Ivan, "Why did you do this?"
He replied, "My dream is that one day we can have some sort of community life where we push ourselves and help each other win."
The reporter insisted "But why did you let the Kenyan win?"
Fernandez replied, "I didn't let him win, he was going to win. The race was his."
The reporter pushed further and asked again, "But you could have won!"
He looked at him and replied: "But what would be the merit of my victory? What would be the honour of this medal? What would my mother think of it?" The values are transmitted from generation to generation. What values do we teach our children and how much do you inspire others to earn?"
Some lessons learnt here! Instead of exhibiting some sense of selflessness and promoting positive values like Fernandez did, we most often try to take advantage of others, thinking that we are being smart.
Similarly, like a certain washing soap which has a tradition that has gone on for generations, the Elephant fraternity has a tradition of choosing its leaders based on competence and how long a person has been committed to the cause of the group. Ku4 passed the ball to Nadaa who is supposed to send a beautiful header to Allan the Cash Man, but there is suspicion of a possible circumvention, Nadaa is tipped to send a back pass to Bawu which some people of the Elephant fraternity think it's not fair.
Their argument is based on the fact that on Saturday, December 22, 2007, during a heated meeting at Kumasi Lego. . . eih, sorry Accra Legon where 17 candidates contested for the position of the Elephant Rider, the Cash Man exhibited some form of selflessness and terrific positive values which ought to be commended and rewarded.
The contest was one of the toughest and longest in the recent history of primary elections in the country. Delegates had to stay in the meeting for over 24 hours, from Saturday morning to about Sunday noon.
To win in the first round, an aspirant must obtain at least 1154 votes representing more than 50% of the valid vote cast. In the end, no candidate had more than 50%. Nadaa led with 1096 votes, representing 47.9% while the cash man trailed with 738 votes representing 32.5%. This meant that there was going to be a second round of voting between the first -two candidates. The meeting did not happen without drama, the man who couldn't do foko, a key supporter of the cash man was slapped for allegedly sharing 1,500 USD to each delegate as bribe. Aaah, this man don taya. There was: Scuffle. Fighting. Confusion. And. More.
The hall where the meeting took place was charged, hot and sweaty. The grim and sleepy faces of delegates signaled that they couldn't endure another round of voting. It was alleged that the cash man was convinced to step down, and he selflessly did so in the interest of the Elephant Family. He was assured that his turn will soon come.
But it looks like his turn will never come, rumour is rife that there is going to be some form of a "Swedru Declaration", and trouble is simmering.
My all-time favourite novel is "Things Fall Apart" by Chinua Achebe, a Nigerian author. The principal character is Okonkwo, an Igbo leader and wrestling champion in the village of Umuofia. The book is a post colonial novel which demonstrates the influence of British colonialism and Christian missionaries on the Igbo community.
Much as I find the content of this book exciting, what enthuses me most is its title, and this reminds me of what is going on in the camp of the Elephant. Eshi rado, rado, rado! There is a video of a popular priest going viral on social media, the contents of which many have found distasteful and referred to as religious bigotry, "campaigned" against a possible aspirant of the Elephant leadership contest based on his faith. Many have read meaning into the purported prophesy as a well orchestrated propaganda.
Oops, I nearly forgot! I had a dream last night, and I saw some people of the North and Zongo Districts, carrying placards with the inscriptions, "No Bawu, No vote in 2024." And I said, eiwoo, laa ilaa, ilaa laa.
The next day, I had another dream and I saw another group of Yen Akanfuo, chanting: No Cash Man, no vote in 2024, and I said: Awurade Yacubu, what kind of confusion is that? I woke up in the middle of the night worried, and started praying in tongues, “Kaya, babababa, santa babababa, sokoto, yaka ya bababa.”
This quagmire is tough, isn't it? Kikikikikiki, this is what I always refer to as a pure case of an Akan proverbial drum called Kwesi Anata Twini. It is believed that if the drum is beaten, one will lose the father, and if it’s not beaten, one's mother will die; such is the predicament of the Elephant.
The question many are asking is: "Does't the Elephant has elders to resolve this matter and follow the Elephant's long and tested tradition? As for this paa di3 there is something in it. You would recall that during the 2012 Supreme Court election petition case, a lawyer and a leading member of the Elephant Family defending a sibling in a contempt case, stated that his brother had been possessed by some "gbeshie" spirits.
Chai, from what is happening, I'm inclined to believe that those ruthless "gbeshie" spirits pestering the sons and daughters of the Elephant are led by Belzibub himself, and they come in camboo shoes so leaders and members of the Elephant Family do not perceive ominous signals. Those demons seem to be on the prowl ready to devour the flesh of the elephant. The coming years promise to be very interesting.
Anthony Obeng Afrane