Santa? Is that you? Did Christmas come early?
Since this is Ghana politics, let me rephrase:
I think that’s more in line with Papa Bronia’s merry chuckle. In time, we will figure out to combine the two for the benefit of all. After all, isn’t that why the US is in Ghana? I couldn’t find an official mission statement their website explaining why the US has an embassy in Ghana, but I’ll hazard a guess and say it has something to do with President Nixon’s agenda when he first visited Ghana during her foray into independence. His goal was to kill Kwame Nkrumah’s Pan African agenda and keep us darkies in check for the benefit of the superior Western World. (Of course, this is a coarse translation of events and ideals that on paper would include charming words and phrases like ‘bilateral cooperation’ and ‘mutual progress’.)
Did you see the US Embassy’s tweet about President Mahama this week? If you haven’t heard about it already, it will certainly be in Monday’s newsreel. It was a fantastically glorious example of hoof in mouth disease. I never would have heard about it at all if not for the BBC’s Akwasi Sarpong retweeting it.
Now, let me go ahead and say that I am not disagreeing with this tweet. It’s no different from the sentiments that I and many other people in my camp share. The average Ghanaian holds this view. (Save, of course, the diehard NDC sycophant who can’t seem to see the water for the ocean, even though s/he is drowning in it.) It was just odd that such an utterance – so utterly lacking in finesse – would emanate from the Twitter account of the Embassy of the United States of America. So odd, in fact, that most people took it for a joke/hoax/photo shopped prank and moved on.
Until someone apologized for it. Apparently, one of the staff who manages the USE twitter handle tweeted from the wrong account, inadvertently using the Embassy’s account to express their personal views.
Ahhh…so it was true? Now things were getting interesting.
I predicted that the NDC would attempt to use this tweet as fuel for propaganda and deflect from their role in ruining the existence of Ghanaians. Before I even had a chance to prove myself a soothsayer, Ghana’s Sarah Palin – and poster child for attractive, powerful, yet breathtakingly clueless women of influence – Miss Hannah Tetteh herself, lobbied an attack on the Embassy saying:
Now keep in mind, this is the SAME Hannah Tetteh who mocked the very same people who fund her cushy lifestyle with their taxes just a week ago during the #OccupyFlagstaffHouse protests. So derogatory and inflammatory were the tone of her tweets, that many were quick to assume that an intern/assistant had to be responsible for them. Her words were beneath the dignity of her office. However, since her tagline on twitter says “Opinions are my own & retweets are not endorsements”, it’s fair to say that she is personally tweeting in her own capacity. I am thunderstruck therefore that she would come out with such vehemence against the one tweet of the US Embassy when she sent SEVERAL far more offensive tweets.
The woman has the memory of a goldfish.
But there is a larger lesson here, and it has everything to do with how we use social media as public and private individuals. Oh! Forget Hannah Tetteh and the US Embassy. Just a week and a half ago this jolly woman was being feted by the Embassy at some event while her constituents were starving. And as for the Embassy? I remember when they were a mere office building in Osu with high gates manned menacing looking watchmen in blue shirts. Now, thanks to decades of denied visa fees at $500 a pop, they have purchased white amounts to entire New York city block of prime real estate, complete with plush housing for their staff.
As contemptible as I have always found the Embassy’s dealings with the Ghanaian public, I hold our ruling government in much lower regard. It is the Americans’ job to shaft us. And now we have to deal with that and the ruling government’s failure not only to protect us, but to fleece us in the process.
But as I was saying: the lesson.
Ghanaians somewhere are jubilating because they got the US Embassy to issue an apology.
What the Embassy actually did was apologize for the TWEET, not the sentiment behind it –which was bloody brilliant. We all know that JD Mahama’s presidency is one big apology. Now some guy called Ras Mubarak, the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Youth Authority (talk about a phantom position), wants Hannah Tetteh to call on the US Ambassador to lay prostrate before the good people of Ghana and apologize for the errant tweet. Excuse me while I piss myself in laughter.
One of those groups/persons is Food Sovereignty Ghana, an anti-GMO organization that seeks to keep Monsanto and co out of crop production in Ghana. I was tempted to unlike and unfollow their page on Facebook, but I know one of the organizers, so I know she has better sense than to condone the foolishness that the person behind their twitter account is hell bent on pursuing. Look at this series of tweets:
Now, their first mistake was to come for my BFFFL. If anyone is going to come for my BFFFL, it’s gonna be ME…and then I will apologize for it because I never want to hurt my bestie for life.
Their second (and third, and forth) mistake was to keep the feud going, and to make it personal. See the portion where Food Sovereignty Ghana shames her for arrogance for stating that Hannah Tetteh is “making a storm in a tea cup” over the matter. The individual manning the account for today clearly has no savvy. S/he has either forgotten that in tweeting these personal attacks, they are doing so in the FULL CAPACITY of their grassroots organization…or they don’t care. Are we then to surmise that this is how Food Sovereignty Ghana treats all persons who disagree with them? Does the organization routinely seek to shame private individuals in this manner? And if so, are they REALLY an organization we want fronting the anti-GMO movement in Ghana? Isn’t Samia Nkrumah linked to this group as well? Wait a second…I thought she had presidential aspirations? Are THESE the types of folks she is going to have in her cabinet? We already have a crop of Deputy Ministers, MPs and what have you that treat the private citizen with scorn. Why replace moldy rice with spoiled yam? It’s all rotten, isn’t it!
Sadly, as of typing this blog, the person(s) in charge of handling the official twitter account for Food Sovereignty Ghana have not stopped their silly tirades, ironically proving Nana Darkoa’s very point!
You see this?
This is the screen I have to bypass every time I send a tweet. I have two accounts: One for Adventures, and the other is my personal. Can I understand how the kid at the Embassy sent personal views from his/her bosses account? You bet your sweet cheeks I can. I’ve done it. Nana Darkoa has done it. You may have done it. Corporations don’t do social media for themselves; people –with private lives and views – do.
The lesson therefore is to be more cognizant of what you are doing and how you’re doing it, and if you can’t figure your device out, maybe it’s best to keep your work data a separate device altogether.
Me? Unlike some folks who are determined to have angst over America “dissing” Ghana, I’m looking forward to the photo ops of Samia, Hannah and Ambassador Gene Cretz sucking on organic hotdogs and singing Kumbaya in Accra this Labor Day weekend. They are all robbing us and we’re stupidly snarling for crumbs like the peasants and pee-ons they presume us to be.