King Midas, an ancient Greek king, was a very kind man who ruled his kingdom fairly. One day, while walking in his garden, he saw an elderly Satyr asleep in the flowers. Taking pity on the old fellow, King Midas let him go without punishment. When the god Dionysus heard about it, he rewarded King Midas by granting him one wish. The king thought for only a second and then said “I wish for everything I touch to turn to gold"; and so it was.
The beautiful flowers in his garden turned toward the sun for light, but when Midas approached and touched them, they stood rigid and turned into gold. The king grew hungry and thin, for each time he tried to eat, he found that his meal had turned to gold. His lovely daughter, at his loving touch, turned hard and fast to gold. His water, his bed, his clothes, his friends, and eventually the whole palace turned into gold.
Fourth estate of the realm
The media has been touted as the fourth estate of the realm with core objectives to inform, educate and entertain.Journalists, radio presenters and media house owners, undoubtedly, play very key role in our nation's development by way of enlightening the citizenry through their programmes.This then goes a long way to make the people well-informed to enable them make cogent choices as and when the need be.
But in Ghana today, these core objectives of the media have been completely relegated to the back-ground and empty noise by journalistic toddlers has now become order of the day. In a way, I tend to put a bit of blame on Ghanaians for the current state of our media, vis-à-vis contents. Ghanaians have developed this unprecedented affinity for issues of politics even if it involves matters that have no bearing on socio-economic survival of the ordinary person.
This state of affairs is what has now produced characters that, though have absolutely no knowledge in journalism, entiquette and art of public speaking, are now being hailed as gargantuan radio presenters whose prowess on the microphone is simply unprecedented.
Nostalgia for GBC-FM
I remember when we were having our training at the School of Medical Radiography in Korle-Bu, during the late 80's, we only had just one FM station which was the almighty GBC-FM.This was an innovation which took the airwaves by storm with good music, entertainment, news and other social/educational programmes.
My favorite times of the day were in the afternoons when we came back to our hostel after lectures. There was this afternoon programme hosted by the ever-green Tommy Annan-Forson.That programme was centered on tit-bits from across the globe, wonderful dedications and romantically exhilarating great cool music by artiste as Bruce Hornsby, Brian Aams, Sting, Steve Windwood and so on. I guess people who remember those times will be perspiring with unprecedented levels of gargantuan nostalgia.
There were other programmes as 'women's magazine', 'women's world', 'work and happiness' and 'campus melodies'. I must say here that 'work and happiness' was a programme that really touched my heart a lot. During this programme,reporters from GBC would visit a company, particularly the manufacturing ones, talk to workers busily working and ask them about the nature of their job,satisfaction,where they come from, name of their spouses,kids,parents,and above all, request for a song to be played for them.
Those were the days we used to gather around our father's radio set and listen with rapt attention, if we would hear our elder brothers and sisters living and working with the likes of VALCO, GTP, GPHA etc.If you happen to hear your senior brother, sister or a relative being interviewed and he mentions your name, trust me, you and your entire family will become the talk of town.
'Campus Melodies' was another great programme I used to enjoy with all my heart. This programme used to provide the avenue for students of our second cycle institutions to exhibit their singing prowess. Choral groups from all institutions across the length and breadth of Ghana had a campus choral group that took turns to sing unprecedentedly melodious patriotic songs to uplift the zeal of the Ghanaian to be proud.
Saturday mornings were simply super with Kwesi Kyei Darkwa in the seat for 'high-life agogo'.Joe Kwofie's flagship programme, 'down south', which was centered on south Africa's liberation struggle against Apartheid, was also great with all the South African Zulu songs.
Live morning programming
The closest radio came with the current style of morning radio programming was the 'good morning Accra' show which used to be live and hosted by Araba Kwansema Otchere.I actually used to live very close to Araba Kwansema Otchere in the neighborhood of Kondua flats, comm.2 and very close to the residence of Mr. P.V Obeng.I had just qualified as a young medical radiographer and been posted to the Tema General Hospital and had been offered a flat in the area.
I therefore took opportunity of my close association with Araba and appeared live on 'Good Morning Accra' programme which was beamed from a location near Ga Mantse's palace at north kaneshie.This was in 1994 and it was such a great experience. The programme, at the time, largely centered on road traffic issues and sanitation and it really made great impact.
Abuse of airwaves liberalization
Sadly, instead of liberalization of the airwaves bringing positive results to compliment what was being done already, a complete opposite has rather befallen the good people of this nation. Being successful as a programme host these days means one has to be unprecedentedly noisy and gargantuanly alarmist.
Knowledge by way of proper research has been thrown out of the window and in its place has been crowned crass illiteracy where only work producers of these radio programmes do is just placing phone calls to equally block-headed bigots with chronic diarrhea mouths and acute constipated brains.
But, with a nation of over 24million souls, there is absolutely no way we shall all fall into the trap of these 'koliko' radio presenters, block-headed alarmists and intellectually constipated analysts. And this is where I would like to take this opportunity to mention Kwame Sefa-Kayi for special mention.
Function of the kidney
With my background in Medical Radiology, I have a comprehensive knowledge in human anatomy and physiology. The kidney serves as a sieve which cleans the blood of all toxins in the blood. The human body of a normal average person contains a little over a gallon of blood and this whole volume passes through the kidneys at a given time interval, during which toxins are removed from the blood. These toxins are then collected in the nephrons and secreted through the urethers, down into the urinary bladder and finally excreted through the urethra as urine.
Now, when the kidney fails to perform this function as a result of chronic infection resulting in malfunctioning, these toxins which would have otherwise been removed from the blood under normal circumstances, will still be circulating in the blood with all its resultant debilitating health problems.Amazingly, nature has designed the body in such a way that, though kidneys always come in pairs in all normal people, one is able to perform the function of two, if one fails. But in a situation of a bilateral (double) kidney failure, the health consequences can be dire.
Sefa-Kayi's 'Midas touch'
I listened to the radio interview granted by Abigail and conducted by Kwame Sefa-Kayi, and I can say without a shred of doubt that, the young lady was really in pain and therefore needed all the help she could get under the sun. The youngwoman, according to her delivery in the said interview, has really gone through a lot of pain, hustle and neglect by even her very own boyfriend who should have been there for her in her time of great need and distress.
This is why I see the crusade by Kwame Sefa-Kayi to marshal resources to try and give the lady in particular and the proposed kidney center, as a whole, some hope, as a pure act of Godliness. Through the positive power of radio, unprecedented ingenuity, love for humanity, God and country, Sefa-Kayi has been able to rake-in a gargantuan sum of over one-billion cedis which is a feat I see as very much unprecedentedly unprecedented.
And for this amazing desire to bring relief to humanity through unprecedented skill in fund-raising and turning every single phone call made by listeners who were moved by the lady's plight into pure gold, I personally honour you with the title of “His Excellency King Midas Chairman General” Kwame Sefa-Kayi and please be assured of my eternal remembrance of you in prayers. God bless!!!
Justice Abeeku Newton-Offei
E-mail: [email protected]