Someone wrote the following about me (and to me). It was published on myjoyonline.com yesterday. Since it’s about me I asked him for permission to put it up here and he consented…
I have been reading a lot of articles from Ato Kwamena Dadzie for quiet some time. First of all let me commend all frequent web bloggers for the good work in taking time to write in order to inform and educate Ghanaians both at home and abroad on pertinent issues bordering on national developments. Also I think all our web media centres are doing a great job as well. Kudos.
I must mention that people like Ato Kwamena Dadzie have a strong role to play in the national development agenda of Ghana. Whether you love or hate Ato you will still like to read his articles. A bit like Jose Mourinho isn’t it? He has a peculiar style. The boldness to write and take on anyone irrespective of their position is worth noting. I am a believer of freedom of speech but I sincerely believe that this must be done in a very civil way without resorting to any form of sarcasm and rudeness.
The first article I read about Ato was when he wrote an article about Archbishop Nicholas Duncan Williams (The Archbishop does it Again). The way Ato lambasted the Archbishop was very disturbing. I took the pains to cross check some of the opinions raised by Ato but found them to be false.
During the days of President Kufour and the NPP, Ato continued to cast insinuations at the former President and some of his officials. This has certainly continued to the tenure of His Excellency President J.E.A. Mills. The words with which Ato describe some past leaders like former President Rawlings amongst other leaves a bad taste in the mouth. Personally I don’t have a problem with asking insightful questions and probing corrupt practices and judgements by public officials after all that is the main reason why we all write. However, the way and manner it is done is very important.
Ato, I read your article titled ‘Stumbling, fumbling and rambling’ in which you really castigated President Mills. In fact I felt so sorry for the President. You wrote: ‘’He had the written oaths in his hand. All he had to do was to follow the lead of the Chief Justice and read out the words, inserting his name where appropriate… We don’t know exactly why. Some say the president’s auditory canals need as much desilting as the Korle Lagoon. …But I thought that was why the oaths were written out for him. The idea was for him to look at the damn booklet and just read’’. Unfortunately, Mr. President didn’t have his reading glasses on. The pair he wore are like mine – they only help you to see farther. Therefore, the president was very seriously handicapped – in his ears and in his eyes – as he took his oaths of office. As a result, he resorted to mumbling words which were not supposed to be in the script’’. Ato, I would like you to reflect on this quote of yours for a few days or hours. Check if this remark was made about an elder in your family how will you feel. I have to say a leader with rhetoric prowess is good but that is not a guarantee for national development.
Ato I think we don’t have to take the press liberalisation for granted and use it to attack people’s personal disabilities. We all know President Mills’ has eyes problems and this should not be used to attack him should he make a reading mistake. We are in Africa, and in Ghana for that matter, where respect for age underlines and moderates our culture. Ato, liberalisation comes with responsibilities. I remember you mentioned Kweku Sekyi-Addo as a mentor. Certainly, I know Kweku and I sincerely believe he will not toe this line. I can go on to show numerous lines you have done which deviates from a more honourable professional journalistic best practice that is if you would like to be taken seriously. Please add a bit maturity to your sense of humour and journalism and I believe you can go very far if you do so. Remember the child that washes his hands well can dine with adults. Ato I agree with most of the points you raise sometimes but not the tone and manner in which you express them. I hope you also read the feedback people leave on your articles and would realise they will be saying the same thing. Your tone! Your choice of words and expressions!
Your colleagues like Anas Anas have set a good standard in Ghana, risking their lives for the right reasons and I think people like your good self can contribute to that positively by reporting things the way they are without degrading our good morale ethics in the Ghanaian society. We don’t have to copy anything we see from the West, let’s be selective in our quest for supremacy. Even in the west where they have enjoyed press freedom for a very long time, journalists and social commentators hardly become so overly personal in expression except in comic relief shows. I not saying be timid or don’t say it as it is or choose who write about, I believe you have your style and would like to maintain it but be very circumspect in your choice of words and expression some of which is not good for private consumption let alone for the public to digest.
A lot of people are reading including children and journalism students. Who knows how many people you will be inspiring wrongly to start castigating people at will just as their mentor Ato is doing.
Sir, you would realise that I have made my point to you objectively as my name goes without insulting your personality or physical outlook. I think you will be a great asset to modern day journalism if you cut down on the excesses and youthfulness exuberance that drives your write ups. I think if you want people to take you seriously when you write and would not think you are trying to crack jokes or have a go at peoples’ genuine disabilities you have to take this advice seriously. As an old saint, twin-city and Fantse brother I hope this advice helps. The wise always heeds to the right advice.
Please forgive if you find any of this advice offensive. I hope you take kindly to this advice without hitting back in your own style. Anyway I would certainly love to hear from you. Thank you very much from a concerned brother.
Ato’s response: Thanks for writing, ‘Mr. Objective’. I always say that if you feel that what I’ve written contravenes any law, take me to court. It’s as simple as that.