Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Bayiee kɔɔɔɔɔ V - Gbeshi, the demon of the airwaves

Brutus, my brother from another mother,

My posts on the operations and activities of Ogyakrom bayiesphere have remained dry after death visited my house and took away my beloved Mum right in my face ten months ago. I have spent those months trying to decide if her demise was orchestrated by the wicked witches of my hometown. I’m happy to report that I haven’t seen a single old lady in the village worthy of the bayie title, they all look like Mama, full of love and bearing the scars of the sacrifices they made for their families. Far from this wonderful report, what really jolted me out of literary stupor are events in the Apex court of Ogyakrom where a demon was unmasked in broad daylight.

Brutus, It is understandable that   Tony Abbott,  the aspiring  prime minister for Australia, became the butt of jokes all over the world when he hit a bum note on the campaign trail bydeclaring that the most intelligent chaps on earth are not “suppository of all wisdom” . After all, what has wisdom got in common with agitations of the rectum? But for political watchers in Ogyakrom, Abbott’s vocabulary accident sits well with our observations. When it comes to the functions of the mouth and the butt, there is no grey area, but this fact seems to be lost on our politicians. Listen to them on radio and you get the impression they are sitting on their mouths and talking from their bums. They are so messed up that when they suffer diarrhea, it is in the mouth, and they flaunt the product on the airwaves like Ussain Bolt will show off his gold medals. So when NPP challenged the results of the 2012 election at the highest court of the land, party apparatchiks got into their elements, they threatened fire and brimstone if they didn’t get their way, they descended like a ton of bricks on people who shared contrary views, state institutions were not spared the vile of their tongues, and just as always, they were a law onto themselves. They come from all political parties, they are old and they are young, they are rich and they are miserable paupers angling for opportunities, they are experienced professionals and they are fresh graduates from the political mill of our tertiary institutions, they are well known and they are nondescript members of society, but once they have access to radio and other media, the value is the same.

The NPP General secretary affectionately called Sir John is unquestionably one of the heavy weights of the Radio Lords. He is knighted in vituperation. His claim to fame is being a rural champion in the company of nobles. He misjudged badly when he decided to take on the president of the supreme court of the land. In impeccable Twi on radio, he dissed the court and took the man to the cleaners in ways that till date, no orator have found words to justify. The law Lords responded by moving the radio Lord out of his radio habitat to their court room for a show down. Brutus, it wasn't a great sight to behold. The venue was not strange to Sir John, he is a learned man of more than thirty years at the bar  who has been summoned to appear before nobles to defend rural activities. He was challenged to defend his effusions before his peers, and that was an impossible act. “How can you sing the Lord’s song in a strange land?” Yes, he is an amphibious animal with presence both in the village market square and the King’s court, but his defense is in the square not the court.  He was caged. He couldn't fall on his rural friends, many of whom were holding vigil and interceding with the almighty on his behalf.  There was only one strategy, shut up and allow one of his friends from nobility to deal with the nobles, while he takes every blow that comes his way without a single response. It wasn't in his DNA not to talk back, but if he wanted to be at his daughter's wedding the next day, that was his only chance.

In Accra New Town where I grew up, if you mess with the wrong crowd and you hear ‘buga’ it means you were about to get a good beating. With this knowledge, I didn't understand why Sir John will want to mess up with a name that sounds like buga,  no matter how those four letters are arranged, even if it is preceded by Atu. When the Law Lord was through with Sir John, Oh my God!  As it is said in twi, “nipa nse hwee” or in pidgin english  “Man Never Is”. The sight of the arrogant, cut to size and brought down to earth where we all belong reminded me of the message to Belshazzar in the Old Book, “You have been weighed on the scales and found wanting”. In fact his lawyer, Mr. Ayikoi Otoo, who literally begged to deny him an official number in Nsawam prison, admitted that Sir John had seen his real size. It was in one of those moments of pleading that one of the Law Lords got inspired and asked Ayikoi Otoo if he has found out from his client, what besets him, when he gets transformed from a human being to a loose cannon tin god on the airwaves. That is when the revelation happened. Lawyer Otoo immediately got filled with the spirit of discernment, and he named the demon- It is called Gbeshi! The revelation took spiritual watchers by surprise and they asked, Is Lawyer Otoo also among the prophets? Vagalas Kanko is a preacher who specialized in identifying and naming demons. I recall when he visited us in the Vandal City and got chaps like Egbert Faibille and Clement Apaak upset by calling the names of the demons that drove them to glorify Bacchus.  Not even Vagalas succeeded in naming Gbeshi before he was jailed for fraud. If it glorifies God to reveal through lawyers and not the Seers, Praise Be to God!

Brutus, do you know how many people have tried to exorcise this demon from our society? Some radio stations tried walking people out of programs to whip them into line, Media foundation for West Africa tried to name and shame them, The peace council tried talking peace into their conscience, the Ghana police tried the law of fear and panic, the attorney general’s office even tried the law of terrorism, but the radio lords only got bolder and more outrageous. But since the day Gbeshi was unmasked, the airwaves have been enjoying some serenity we have yearned for in many years. Now all a radio presenter has to do to sanitize his program is to say, In the name of Buga, Gbeshi come out! And he is gone.

I know that demons occupy a higher position than witches. They are more difficult to get rid of. I have a strong feeling that Gbeshi will bounce back with fury and vengeance after the Supreme Court gives its ruling. Didn't Jesus Christ say they come back seven times stronger? I fear that in those days to come, when you say ‘Come Out, Gbeshi!, it will respond,  ‘Atu I know buga I know, but you, who are you?’ Our challenge as a nation is, how do we get rid of Gbeshi for good? The answer is in the heart of Men where the powers of demons are curtailed.

So long my brother….


  1. After Atu has given the verdict I hope 'buga' will still be around to deal with those Gbeshi influenced miscreants with verbal diarrhoea. Ekow Afedzi


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