Tuesday, 2 August 2011

A Monument and TV3..................

The Great Sphinx of Giza, Egypt: Black Africa's genius in stone
Monuments have fascinated human beings since antiquity. Civilizations attempt to immortalizetheir achievements and contributions in bricks, mortar, stone, iron and any material that can encapsulate stories worth telling to generations yet to come. The Pyramids of Ancient Egypt show to the world Black Africa’s unrivalled genius in classical antiquity. Africa owes an eternal debt to the intellectual exertions of Senegalese thinker Cheik Anta Diop(one of my best scholars of all time) for exposing Black Africa’s centrality to that civilization through rigorous scientific research. The Great Wall of China recounts vividly the restless creative force of the Asian mind. And our monument of the “Big Six” at a key portal of our Republic tells the story of the centuries old struggle against colonialists who repossessed our land by the sheer force of guns and the treachery of guile.

For those who have lost me I am talking about the busts of the “Big Six” at the roundabout you cannot miss when you headed in or out of Accra via Kotoka International Airport (curiously you cannot find the name Kotoka International Airport on the websites of most airlines; what you find is Accra Airport). In a fit of nationalist fervor- triggered in no small measure by the fifty year birthday of our Republic- we mounted this monument; but it seems the tender care for it dissipated with the furling of the last commemorative buntings of the Golden Jubilee. I found it both ghastly and thoroughly anguishing any time I drove past the representations of these patriots- who sacrificed so much for our Republic- and looked upon the defacement that sat impishly and mockingly on their foreheads, cheeks and hair. Ghastly because it was a very public aesthetic monstrosity. Anguishing because it reflected the slobby sloppiness and the self induced bat-like blindness to things that matter which seem to have become part of contemporary Ghana’s national character.

 After about two years (by my own reckoning) some cleaning has been effected of these busts. And it took TV3’s probing lenses. This is a good thing and which I applaud very energetically. But while doing such a very good job I must confess that watching their 19:00hrs GMT news has become a pain in my bum. The pairing of the newscasters seemed a refreshingly good idea. And I like the ying-yang like pairing of lady and gentleman. What irks me about this pairing are the comments that are passed after a news item. Such comments are supposed to be wise cracks; a very delicate art that a lack of mastery of completely fouls the air. And here we are night after night having to endure TV3 newscasters trying to be wits and failing. The result is laughter and giggles after a very somber news item and totally useless chatter and the frittering of valuable time when viewers are waiting for the news to roll. Do the TV3 news editors review their telecast at all? TV3: direct your searching lenses in house!!!!!

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