Just this morning, for reasons unbeknownst to him, somebody, once again, whatsapped yours truly Pastor Emmanuel Badu Kobi’s apocryphal sermon that went viral from its original Facebook posting.
What was fascinating about it, like all things done repetitively, is the fact that the more one listens to and watches the videoclip, the more revealing it becomes in its insufferably offensive thrust.
One begins to realize that a first and second viewing may not be enough; quite a lot may be missed, because the sermon is jampacked with raw information in a supersonic three minutes that ought to have taken at least a quarter-hour, that is fifteen minutes, to effectively deliver.
For example, the “sermonizer” or preacher tells his congregation members and all who care to view his sermon on Facebook, and other social media platforms where the same was posted, that it is a “permanent post.” The screaming element of ethnic self-hatred cannot be missed. To be certain, it is the most obviously poignant theme of the entire sermon. To wit: all Asante-descended Ghanaians, wherever in the world they find themselves, must be eager to promptly and thoroughly shed their “Asanteness” or live forever doomed. The preacher clearly seems to be cocksure of the unimpeachable righteousness of his “research findings” on the ethnic stereotypes of his “permanently posted” videoclip or, properly speaking, videotape.
For instance, the preacher calls out the name of his daughter, presumably a preteen but fast-growing young woman, and pontifically says to her, in front of the entire congregation, that she had better shed her Asante cultural values, if she is to have a good marriage in the near future, one that, hopefully, will be filled with peace and quiet.
In the main, the stark implication here is that the young woman would have to promptly prune or rid herself of any inordinate sense of acquisitiveness.
But it is not clear to the critical thinker what part Mama Gloria Kobi, that is, Pastor Badu Kobi’s own wife and the mother of the couple’s daughter, has to play in this radical pre-conjugal process because earlier in the sermon, the preacher makes it crystal clear that the crux of the problem is Asante mothers, whose pathological and, perhaps, morbid sense of material acquisition is squarely to blame for this primitive orientation towards the primary objective of the ideal marriage, which is the maximization of the happiness of the two heterosexual couples involved.
What Pastor Badu Kobi may, therefore, be really implying here is that before his daughter sets sail into the land of conjugal happiness, hopefully, she has to make sure that she would have broken all bridges and links that may negatively link whatever her name is, to her mother.
Now, no sermon on ethnic and gender self-hatred could be more intense than the foregoing observations. I would not be the least bit surprised if already, Little Ms. Badu Kobi has already begun having some self-doubts and self-resentment for simply having been born an Asante female or young woman. There can be no telling the long-term traumatic effect or impact of this morally and psychologically outrageous early-morning sermon.
Well, he says he has been conducting his own private research over the years; so, one expects Mr. Badu Kobi to come out at some point in time, in the near future, to more amply explain to his audience precisely how such research was conducted, in particular the sort of hypothesis and methodology used in the same.
The preacher also says that he has every hope that Mama Gloria Badu Kobi would live a very long life, perhaps even outlive her husband. Nevertheless, for the leader and founder of the Glorious Wave International Church, should any fatal accident befall his wife, the choice of him getting remarried to another Asante-born or Asante-descended woman would be totally out of the question.
Now, as the Dear Reader can clearly see or must have realized by now, all accusatory fingers may be pointing at Pastor Badu Kobi’s mother-in-law. Now, we do not need to go very far to find an answer to this part of the equation, because Mrs. Badu Kobi herself has pointed out that when she first met her husband, quite a significant number of her relatives did not approve of her relationship to her new suitor and husband-to-be.
Obviously, to get a well- or better-informed appreciation of this angle of the sermon, the “reader” of the latter has to know something about the economic background and financial situation of the then would-be-husband of Mama Gloria Badu Kobi. That may significantly tell us something about the apparently abiding resentment that Pastor Badu Kobi seems to clearly have for Asante mothers, in general, and Asante mothers-in-law, in particular.
If the preacher happens to have sisters, then we would also need to learn something about the ethnic and financial backgrounds of these married sisters, as well as something about the individual relationships between these husbands and their mother-in-law.
You see, increasingly, Dear Reader, I am coming to the verifiable conclusion that the preacher of the anti-Asante-woman sermon was telling us, his larger audience and his congregation or primary audience, something incontrovertibly damning about his own relationship with his mother-in-law and, perhaps, the relationship between Minister Badu Kobi’s own birth or biological mother and her sons-in-law.
I believe it was the famous Moroccan-born French philosopher and novelist, and Nobel Prize for Literature Laureate, Mr. Albert Camus, who wrote in one of his most famous and influential treatises, namely, “The Myth of Sisyphus,” that “All writing is Autobiographical.”
The same logic could also be extended to all sermons. Which means that it is quite obvious that the preacher-man had more on his mind that “sermonic” Sunday morning than he seemed to have been either prepared or ready to let on. But, perhaps, the most insulting part of “The Sermon on the Wave” being discussed her touched on the preacher’s own opinion of Ghanaian women of Ewe ethnicity; and on the latter count, it does not appear to me that Pastor Badu Kobi makes any clear distinctions among the various Ewe subethnic polities.
That is precisely what ethnic stereotyping does, that is, it indiscriminately makes broadly negative generalizations, often with the view to portraying any group of humans that one either does not agree with or one has an abject contempt for.
We see a striking element of the preceding in Pastor Badu Kobi’s negative portrayal of the stereotypical Ewe woman. Consequently, we intend to take up the stereotyping of the Ewe Woman in the rather culturally and pathologically patronizing imagination of Mr. Badu Kobi.
*Visit my blog at: kwameokoampaahoofe.wordpress.com Ghanaffairs
By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD
English Department, SUNY-Nassau
Garden City, New York
August 6, 2019