When I began writing this series of articles on the hate-filled preaching of negative ethnic and gender stereotypes by the founder and leader of the so-called Glorious Wave International Church, the overriding objective was to systematically and dispassionately expose the abjectly total lack of understanding of the veritable “Social Construct” that is the ideological concept of “ethnicity.” In other words, according to scientists and sociologists who have extensively studied the subject, there is absolutely nothing “essentialist” or “essentialistic” or genetically determined about how one’s ethnic identity gets assigned, which is essentially what happens vis-à-vis which of the 8 Akan major clans or lineages to which one gets assigned. Strictly speaking, how one gets assigned to any ethnic group or clan is more culturally determined, for the most part, than it is genetically or necessarily biologically determined.
And now, we have expert geneticists and DNA analysts telling us that different skin tones or color variations and all, fundamentally speaking, there is only one race of humans in the world. Which also pretty much explains the fact that interracial crossbreeding can successfully occur all over the world, without regard to geographical origin or racial classification. To be certain, I had not expected Mr. Badu Kobi’s admittedly inexcusable and downright dangerous “Sermon on the Wave” to take such an abysmally low turn. But even as my wife, a former congregation member of Pastor Badu Kobi’s church for some seven years, critically and poignantly observed, the real problem with the “Sermon on the Wave” was far less because of the objectionably lurid contents of the same, but the flat and adamant refusal of the preacher to humbly and soberly acknowledge the stark and mundane fact that as a human being, Mr. Badu Kobi is also prone to making egregious rhetorical and behavioral blunders like the rest of global humanity.
According to Apostle Paul’s Epistle to the people of Rome, to wit, Romans Chapter 3 Verse 23: “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” As well, in the Psalms of King David, the divinely inspired poet utters the following words: “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin [did] my mother conceive me” (Psalm 5:5). In sum, it is the abject and flat refusal of Pastor Badu Kobi to accept the central theme and ideology/creed of his own faith that has prompted both critics and onlookers alike to wonder aloud whether, indeed, Mr. Badu Kobi owes his Christocentric confession and profession, as well, to the God of Jesus Christ of Nazareth or to some earthly minted “god” spelt with a lowercase “g” that has absolutely no relationship to the Divine Godhead of the mainline Ghanaian churches.
In flatly refusing to accept his natural or congenital fallibility, it well appears that the leader and founder of the Glorious Wave International Church is clearly putting himself above both the members of his dues-paying congregation and the Divine Godhead or Providence. And in so doing, he may very well be “bloody” guilty of apostasy and gross insubordination, to speak much less about blasphemy. Instead, an imperious Pastor Badu Kobi has chosen to summarily damn his critics by pontifically quoting for them the Book of Romans, Chapter 15 Verse 21, as follows: “Rather, as it is written: ‘Those who were not told about him well see, and those who have not heard will understand.” The preacher-man then goes on smugly to insist that there is something fundamentally “bloody” or genetic about the way by which one’s ethnicity is assigned or determined!
Now, this is “deep ‘loco’ stuff,” as some of my Spanish-language-speaking friends and acquaintances are wont to say. But, of course, even assuming, hypothetically, that, indeed, there were some truth to his essentialist interpretation of ethnicity, would it logically hold that one’s mere assignment to any particular ethnic group, other than one’s location or community of upbringing and/or class, necessarily means that one carries some cultural and/or behavioral traits as everybody else in one’s socio-politically and culturally assigned ethnic group? Maybe Pastor Badu Kobi needs to take some elementary lessons in how cultures and ethnic groups are formed, before he so cavalierly presumes to lecture his apparently largely intellectually disabled and grossly miseducated and woefully undereducated congregants on the same. And this is precisely where our otherwise democratically secular central government has a bounden obligation, as part of its “Social Contract” with the Ghanaian people, to promptly step in to protect these virtual citizen hostages from the clearly untold or irreparable damage that is being steadily and systematically done to the congregation members of the so-called Glorious Wave International Church.
I also don’t know that the smug and self-righteously effusive preaching of self-hatred qualifies for the classification of “divine epiphany” of morally and psychologically enlightening or edifying proportions. But then, again, what do I know about numbers and proportions? And I descend from at least four or five generations of Christocentric Presbyterians going back to at least 1836, on my mother’s maternal grandfather’s side of the family, which we trace to the very beginnings of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Peki-Blengo, in the Volta Region of Ghana. You see, it is the very fact of ethnicity being a socially constructed phenomenon that I felt scandalized a couple of days ago, when a young and reasonably pretty woman claiming to be a bona fide “princess” from the Manhyia Palace of The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei-Tutu, II, popped up on YouTube and crassly went on to rake some of the most fetid muck, I guess you could also aptly call it “turd,” on Mr. Badu Kobi, on grounds that the latter was making the patently false claim that he was a “proud member” of the Asantehene’s Palace and a veritable kinsman of the most powerful Ghanaian monarch.
I felt a mixture of contempt and amusement because there was the underlying presumption in Nana ’Hemaa’s screed that, somehow, Kumasi or Manhyia was always the apex of Asante royalty that it is today. Well, she may want to check the historical records and be humbled by the sobering realization of the fact that had the King of Denkyira and his ragtag army not made the politically fatal mistake of cavalierly attempting to conquer the Akyem of present-day Akyem-Abuakwa, the former would have been privileged enough to keep the Dwaben/Juaben and the Kumasi royal families under its vassalage or domination for another century or so. Not surprisingly, though, Naa ’Hemaa also contradicts herself by claiming, quite truthfully, in fact, that the Asante are a very gregarious people who are in the habit of welcoming immigrants and settlers from virtually every ethnic polity in the country and beyond.
In sum, luridly attempting to denigrate Pastor Badu Kobi’s ancestry, rather than tackle this sore-loser on the equally lurid subject of his blistering demonization of the Asante woman, was about the lowest salvo that anybody could volley at the leader and founder of the so-called Glorious Wave International Church, the latter’s crass and shameless espousal of ethnic self-hatred and anti-Asante, anti-Fanti and anti-Ewe women misogyny notwithstanding. Nana ’Hemaa also further complicated matters by presuming traditional Akan priests to be without any sociocultural and, in the case of Asante history, political significance. Well, I immediately thought about Okomfopanyin Anokye Birempong of Akuapem-Awukugua and then found myself unable to control my acute pain and sorrow. And for quite a considerable while, I could not hold back my tears.
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By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD
English Department, SUNY-Nassau
Garden City, New York
August 13, 2019
E-mail: [email protected]
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