With his trademark wit and candour, Ato Kwamina Dadzie brings us a series of letters which reflect the musings of ‘The Excellent One’ – President J.A. Fukuor, president of Sikaman.
President Fukuor, having just won his second and final term in office, is smug ,feels somewhat invincible and just wants to be left alone to enjoy the perks of being the highest paid civil servant in Sikaman. But things are just not going according to plan. He keeps running his mouth, which gets him in trouble with the press and the people of Sikaman.
His party members, suddenly, develop inconvenient consciences and thus start behaving as though they’ve been injected with the Truth Serum, revealing uncomfortable truths about the goings on in the party; and his ministers just won’t adhere to their job description, thus forcing him to create committees to do what the ministries are supposed to be doing.
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His predecessor, Jerry Boom, is also hovering somewhere in the background, occasionally coming out with statements which throw the whole nation into a frenzy.
To make matters worse, Sikaman is plunged into one of the worst energy crisis in its history as it prepares to celebrate its 50th year of independence. With all these, and many more problems crashing down on him, what is a man to do?
So President Fukuor travels and travels and travels, all under the pretext of looking for investors. Although some of the destinations are questionable, The Excellent One remains adamant that the journeys are for investment purposes.
Aptly named “Pretending to be president”, the book reveals the frustrations and vulnerabilities of a man who just wants to get through his final term with the minimum of fuss. He’s not seeking re-election so doesn’t really have to please the people to canvass their votes. He just wants to go through the motions, pretending to be president till his term is up.
The author, being an unapologetic cynic, paints the President as a narcissistic politician who cares for the welfare of numero uno and is just out to enjoy as much as he can before his term runs out.
However, if you look closely you also find a man, who to an extent, tries to do the right thing but is hampered by the dictates of those who helped him up the ladder, for they’re the same people he’ll meet when he climbs down once his term is up.
Like an expensive bottle of brandy, ‘Pretending to be President’ should be read in ‘sips’ i.e. read a little, put it down, reminisce and laugh or get angry(depending on your political affiliations). If you read all at once, you are likely to choke on it and not appreciate its flavours.
‘Pretending to be President’ is a must read for the political-minded folks.
*Farida is an Software Architect (that is to say she builds software) with Rancard Limited. I wrote quite a number of the pieces in ‘Pretending from President’ a few steps from her – without her knowing.