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Kwesi Pratt Is A Folkloric ‘Kweku Ananse’ ...   
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When we were children, our elders used to tell us a lot of stories about one ‘Kweku Ananse’, in the evening after we have finished doing our various assigned domestic chores. This imaginary figure called ‘kweku Ananse’ was always portrayed in every story we were told, as the cleverest creature that ever walked the surface of the universe.

We used to love these stories so much that someone like my late grandmother used to bait us with a ‘Kweku Ananse’ story whenever she wanted to send us on an errand but realized we were not in the mood to yield. And the moment this ‘Kweku Ananse’ enticement was thrown at us, we quickly jumped up with joy and went on whatever errand we were asked to do.

As a matter of fact, during my stay in Britain, I had a Jamaican friend who told me about how ‘Kweku Ananse’ stories were narrated to them in school, as children in Jamaica!!!

This legendary ‘Kweku Ananse’ was portrayed in every single story as the wisest and canny individual that ever lived. However, one particular story that made an everlasting impression on me is the one that talks about how ‘Kweku Ananse’, in his bid to deprive humanity of all wisdom so that he could always manipulate everyone, decided to gather all the wisdom on the planet, tie it up and attempted to go and hide it on top of a baobab tree.

As he was climbing the tree with the sack in which he had tied the wisdom, he decided to hang it around his neck, with the load resting on the abdomen instead of his back. And as he struggled, rather unsuccessfully, to climb the tree with that huge sack-load of wisdom uncomfortably resting on his protruding abdomen, a little boy happened to chance upon him struggling and he stood still and observed ‘Kweku Ananse’ for a while and tried to find out from him what he was trying to do by climbing a tall tree with that huge sack resting on his belly.

‘Kweku Ananse’ looked into the direction of the little boy and arrogantly shouted at him to keep his mouth shut and not be asking wisdom-bereft questions!!! But the little boy, intrigued by what ‘Kweku Ananse’ was trying to do, kept his cool and with a toned-down voice, again, asked ‘Kweku Ananse’ what he was trying to do.

Initially, ‘Kweku Ananse’ thought if he told the boy he wanted to go and hide all the wisdom on the planet so that it would be available to only him as and when he wanted, the boy would either try and struggle with him in order to have a share or would run back to the village and broadcast it to everyone and people would rush to the scene, snatch the whole sack-load of wisdom and possibly lynch him.

After ‘Ananse’ had struggled for answer to give to the little boy, he decided to strike a deal with him on condition that the little boy would not tell anybody about it. The boy agreed and ‘Ananse’ went ahead and revealed to him that he actually was in the process of going to hide all the wisdom under the sun, which he had tied in a sack, on top of the tree so that he alone could have access to it in order to afford him the privilege of being the only wise person in the world.

It was at this point that the little boy told ‘Ananse’ that climbing the tree would have been much easier if the load had been hanging on his back rather than on the abdomen. And instantly, ‘Ananse’ realized that instead of seeing himself as the wisest creature on earth, he was rather the silliest, and that, his level of wisdom was even lower than that of the little boy’s. He therefore abandoned the whole exercise and went home with his jaw dropped!!!

Now, newspaper review and other media discussion is an exercise that is available to only a few Ghanaians. And even with these few who are privileged to be invited for these programmes, about 99% of them have absolutely no knowledge whatsoever, in issues which are normally put on the table for discussion.

Stiff-Necked Belligerence And Senseless Noise-Making

However, the moment microphones are thrust into their faces in radio/TV studios, they fall into a delusional trance which makes them believe that they are ‘Ayatollah Khomeini’ incarnates whose words must be accepted as ‘Fatwa’. They turn to forget that the true knowledgeable Ghanaian will like to be engaged in fruitful discussion with facts being the core base for the whole exercise.

As a matter of fact, we must never expect people who are very well-versed in facts pertaining to an issue, to avail themselves in an environment where only gaping sycophancy, shameless hypocrisy, window-less lies, institutionalized intimidation, stiff-necked belligerence and senseless noise-making are the order of the day.

Newspaper review programmes are mostly done in early mornings and facts pertaining to issues of the day cannot often be established. However, some individuals always adopt a posture of being experts in everything under the sun and always tend to argue from the point of ‘makaa maka’ (I’ve spoken and that’s the bottom-line).

Programme Hosts With Hidden Skeletons

From my personal observation, these individuals are able to engage in this kind of arrogance because they are urged on by some hosts of programmes who are either scared because of ‘nokofioo’ skeletons in their cupboards, or are totally useless in the area of research and therefore lack the wealth of knowledge to enable them to bring into line, these notorious ‘agitants’ who are present on every radio/TV discussion, seven days a week!!!

These ever-present individuals who see themselves as all-knowing and therefore get highly agitated when views expressed by them are proven to be fallacious, with concrete facts, are those I would fittingly describe as the folkloric ‘Kweku Ananses’ of our time.

These people pride themselves in the illusion that they have been politically active since the days of Don Diego d’Azambuja and that every word that drops from their highly sophisticated and constantly twisting lips must never be put to a test of any kind by people born only yesterday.

A mathematical example of what I am talking about is what took place in the studios of Peace FM on 21st December, 2010, during the ‘Kokrokoo’ programme. The Cote d’Ivoire crisis, deliberately created by Gbagbo, was being discussed and when Samuel Awuku was making his submission, Kwesi Pratt disagreed with him because, in his words, Samuel Awuku is not matured enough to be talking about certain events and that he (Kwesi) has “been active” since the days Noah was building the Ark.

Kwesi Pratt Must Debate 1st World War Veterans

Now, if this is the thinking of Kwesi Pratt, then I will suggest to producers of all radio/TV programmes to start empanelling some of our 1st and 2nd World War veterans with him so that discussions “no aye huam”, as ‘massa’ Kwesi would put it. Kwesi Pratt will normally say “today’s programme has been fantastic” only when he is allowed to travel on the long and winding road of superfluous blabbing without being challenged with facts.

You try to punch holes in his arguments with facts and he immediately starts accusing you of destroying the programme. He will assume the duties of the host and tell you he has been on the programme for centuries and that you are destroying the programme’s format. He will then go ahead and issue his now too familiar threat to boycott the programme if the host fails to cow others so that he can inflict his enormous ‘knowledge’ on listeners.

Kwesi Pratt is always comfortable being empanelled with two NDC biased people as against one NPP person, but swiftly runs away with his tail between his legs, when the scenario is in the opposite. A classic case in point was after walking into a trap of crack panel of John Buadu, Randy Abbey and Kofi Adams on 22nd June 2012 edition of ‘Kokrokoo’ on Peace FM where he was stripped naked, and decided to chicken out on the following week’s edition of the programme.

However, he quickly resurfaced in his comfort zone with a panel of Fifi Kwetey, Felix Kwakye-Ofosu and David Annan on 30th June, 2012 edition of ‘Alhaji-Alhaji’ on Ghana’s radio Rwanda (Radio Gold). The question then is; how can facts crumble simply because you are debating one million people with an opposing view?

But rather sadly, some of these threats by Kwesi Pratt have been yielded to; resulting in Alhaji Bature being banished from both Ghana’s radio Rwanda (Radio Gold) and Hot FM, while Ken Kuranchie, editor of The Daily Searchlight newspaper, suffered the same fate at Peace FM.
Source: Justice Abeeku Newton-Offei E-mail: [email protected]

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