By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
I wouldn't say that I haven't been endowed by God with certain spiritual faculries; but as I often tell my students, I prefer to lid up such matters because, really, things of metaphysical nature tend to be highly subjective and even esoteric. Which is why neutrality is often the best way to deal with such. In other words, I neither doubt the reality nor efficacy of the metaphysical and even the preternatural in the diurnal affair of humans.
But when the purely faith-based is rudely shoved into the public arena and becomes entangled with public and political figures, then, of course, it almost ceases to be what it indisputably is - which is in no way to suggest that there is absolutely no nexus, or intersection, between the realms of the spiritual and the political, just that the epistemic approaches to these two phenomena are decidedly divergent and even oftentimes diametrically opposed.
We have heard Archbishop Duncan-Williams publicly observe Mr. Komla Dumor, the recently deceased BBC-World Service program presenter and news anchor, to have been a God-loving and devout Christian. And so when Rev. Owusu-Bempah claims that he had received a prophetic revelation about Mr. Dumor's death but, somehow, this widely alleged devout Christian had done virtually nothing about it, thus his putatively untimely transitioning into eternity, precisely what does Rev. Owusu-Bempah mean?
Is he claiming, for instance, that he had put through a personal call to our now-late brother, and that Mr. Dumor had flatly, for whatever capricious reasons, ignored a message that so closely bordered on his own life and well being? In a printout copy of a news item right in front of me, presently, Rev. Owusu-Bempah also claims to have received revelations about the imminent deaths of the late President John Evans Atta-Mills and former Vice-President Aliu Mahama. And here also, once again, the head of the Glorious World Ministry International claims that these influential public figures perished because "nothing was done" about his prophecy.
We also, of course, know that these deceased politicians were afflicted with terminal health conditions. Then also, we all know that as human beings, we are all destined for a conference with the proverbial Leveller, or Ice Man, one way or another. You see, what I am trying to get at here is whether, indeed, all prophecies regarding the imminent demise of humans, per force, lead to the recovery of these subjects from a serious illness from which they may be suffering; or are there also revelations or prophecies that simply announce the absolutely inevitable and then, perhaps, prepare the prospective bereaved for a better future, or even serve as edifying lessons, positively or negatively, to the living?
In the case of his widely reported and vehemently disputed revelation about the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei-Tutu II, this is what Rev. Owusu-Bempah is quoted to have said: "I fell in [sic] a trance and the Lord revealed something to me. In that experience, I saw a buck (goat) tied to a tree and I saw a King clothed in his traditional outfit order an executioner to slaughter the animal. As the action was about to happen, I saw another goat which was a nanny come out to save the tied goat. I asked God to explain the revelation to me[,] and He explained to me that the goat I saw was Otumfuo Osei-Tutu II, and the nanny was his mother. God further told me that if we don't pray for Otumfuo and his mother, they might pass away. But we prayed for him and his mother[,] and this averted what could have been a sad story."
I have absolutely no intention of quibbling with Rev. Owusu-Bempah, but isn't it clear to him that if the nanny goat of his "trance" had intervened just in time to save the buck, or young male goat, from the executioner's knife, then, obviously, it was the spirit of the Asantehemaa, or Otumfuo Osei-Tutu's own mother that saved His Majesty's life? Then also, in the cases of Messrs. Aliu Mahama and Atta-Mills, is Rev. Owusu-Bempah implying that he and his congregation had either failed or refused to pray for the subjects in question, and thus their tragic demise?
I guess what I am driving at here is that the affairs of Divine Providence are invariably too mysterious to be so facilely analyzed and interpreted. And oftentimes, a lot of such esoteric experiences are lost in translation. And I just don't mean this linguistically.
*Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Department of English
Nassau Community College of SUNY
Garden City, New York
Feb. 19, 2014