He has been called a “Misogynist,” which simply means that the self-besieged leader and founder of the Glorious Wave International Church is an avowed hater of women. Now, I don’t know that Pastor Emmanuel Badu Kobi is necessarily a hater of women, as the letter released by the membership of the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference, dated Friday, August 9, 2019, sought to suggest. The liturgical and, indeed, cultural practices of the global Roman Catholic Church, of which the Catholic Church of Ghana is only a minuscule part, does not evince the exemplary character of a Church of which women are permitted to play significantly coequal or central role with their menfolk.
I am, myself, partly the product of Catholic education, but mostly Presbyterian and Methodist by confession and persuasion. I have been told that the members of my maternal grandmother’s family were mostly Methodist by persuasion but switched to the Presbyterian denomination after my grandmother married the future Rev. T H (Yawbe) Sintim(-Aboagye) of Akyem-Asiakwa and Begoro. The Sintim-Aboagye Clan is on record as having championed both the advent and spread of Presbyterianism in the three polities of Okyeman, also known as Akyem-Mansa, comprised of Akyem-Abuakwa, Akyem-Kotoku and Akyem-Bosome.
It well appears that when it comes to the position of women in the Christian churches, irrespective of denomination, the so-called Protestant Churches, which would include the Presbyterians, Anglicans and the Methodists, are relatively far in advance of the Catholic Church. The rampancy of pedophilia and clerical fornication and adultery among the exclusively male bishopric of the global Roman Catholic Church has also not the least bit helped matters. But that is not what we intend to concern ourselves with in this section of our series of critical examination of the far-reaching negative implications of “Prophet” Badu Kobi’s infamous “Sermon on the Wave,” the title with which I have decided to designate the same.
As we have already noted in the previous installment of this series, while, indeed, his harshest negative stereotyping of Ghanaian women was focused on Asante women, nevertheless, Pastor Badu Kobi’s most offensive liturgical salvo was pointedly aimed at Ghanaian women of Ewe descent, whom the preacher-man had the temerity or chutzpah to label as “doormats.” In other words, Ewe women, in the opinion of the sometime acolyte and protégé of the Rev. Isaac Owusu-Bempah, leader of the Glorious Word and Power Ministry, are slavish in their attitude towards marriage. That the critics did not seem to be the least bit interested in the subject of what constituted a successful marriage, and what specific roles men and women, respectively, were supposed to play, was all the more curious.
This is precisely where the Metropolitan Archbishop of Tamale, The Most Rev. Philip Naameh, the man who signed the letter vehemently condemning the sermon by Pastor Badu Kobi, vis-à-vis the misogynistic thrust of the same, may seem to be smack on point. Pastor Badu Kobi would later be reported to have also condemned the “Needless Ego” or Superiority-Complex of Asante men, a morbid character flaw that the preacher claimed his father had solemnly advised him against while he was a young man growing up. We shall also tackle this aspect of his public remarks in due course. But what was even more offensive about Pastor Badu Kobi’s “Sermon on the Wave” was the chauvinistic statement that everything seemed to be all well and kosher with the married Ewe woman, until the latter acquired the shameless and confident use of the Ewe language in the presence of the non-Ewe-speaking husband, presumably, her Asante husband.
For the preacher-critic, this was an ominous sign of the fact that the Ewe wife in an interethnic or cross-cultural marriage was fast becoming “civilized.” But, of course, even as I pointed out earlier, the word that Pastor Badu Kobi used to signify the “enlightenment” or “wising up” of the Ewe woman, which is almost exclusive to the Asante dialect of the Greater-Akan-Language, was “Anitee” or “opened eyes,” which in most of the other non-Asante, Akan dialects actually means “mischief-maker” or “mischievousness.” It is on the latter count that I am reluctantly inclined to concur with Pastor Badu Kobi that, indeed, there may be sharp stereotypical differences at least between Asantes and the other Akan dialects in the country.
But that Asantes are stereotypically arrogant, as the leader and founder of the Glorious Wave International Church noted, is a belief that is generally acknowledged to be the direct product or result of Asante political history as the most dominant of the Akan sub-polities for at least most of the past 300 years. But even here, even as Archbishop Naameh pointedly noted in his letter constructively reprimanding the preacher-man, under Christian dispensation, there are absolutely no sharp lines of distinctions drawn up among the various ethnic and subethnic groups. The Tamale Metropolitan Catholic Prelate quotes the Pauline epistle to the Galatians from the New Testament, to wit, Galatians, Chapter 3, Verses 27 through 28, as follows: “As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Jesus.”
Of course, it goes without saying that the preceding quote is not to be taken literally and rigidly or immutably so, because in other Pauline epistles in the New Testament, Apostle Paul strictly laid down codes of behavior for men and women, especially during the formative years of the Christian era. For instance, slaves were solemnly counseled to obey and serve their masters unquestioningly for the good of society and societal orderliness or harmony (See “Catholic Bishops Condemn Badu Kobi” MyJoyOnline.com / Ghanaweb.com 8/10/19). For me, also, it is almost as if Pastor Badu Kobi has been permanently frozen in “real time” for quite awhile now. I make the foregoing observation because as I recently confided to my wife, in the wake of the seismic controversy provoked by Pastor Badu Kobi’s “Sermon on the Wave,” at least more than half or 50-percent of Ghana’s population of a little over 30 million is composed of citizens with at least one parent who does not belong to the same ethnic or subethnic group or polity as her/his spouse.
For instance, the wife of the Asantehene, His Royal Majesty, Otumfuo Osei-Tutu, II, is of Akyem-Abuakwa subethnicity and, in fact, the paternal relative of this author. The list could go on and on and on. Sometimes the conjugal arrangements are cross-national/international or even interracial, especially in heavily cosmopolitan countries like the United States, Canada, Australia and much of the erstwhile colonial powers, such as Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal and Spain. Archbishop Naameh has also solemnly called on “Prophet” Badu Kobi to “render an unqualified apology to all women, especially Asante, Fante and Ewe women who he [specifically] mentioned in his unprovoked attack.”
It now remains to be seen whether the leader and founder of the Glorious Wave International Church would admirably muster the Christocentric spirit of humility with the rendering of an unqualified apology to all Ghanaian women, as wisely advised by perhaps the most influential Christian religious establishment in the country.
*Visit my blog at: kwameokoampaahoofe.wordpress.com Ghanaffairs
By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD
English Department, SUNY-Nassau
Garden City, New York
August 10, 2019
E-mail: [email protected]
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