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The Ingratitude of a ‘pikin-na-boloo’ (

Sat, 15 Oct 2011 Source: Newton-Offei, Justice Abeeku

The Ingratitude of a ‘pikin-na-boloo’ (step-child)

• The story of Okudzeto-Ablakwa

When I gained admission to Saint John’s School, the total cost of my initial prospectus was almost half the monthly salary of my father who was a senior officer at then Ghana Post and Telecommunications (P&T) at Takoradi (W/R). This brought a huge ‘confusion’ in our home and my prospects of having a secondary school education, for a moment, came under a very thick cloud of uncertainty.

But my mother made a pronouncement, the echoes of which have been with me till today. She said; “though the cost is huge”, when compared “with my income, I will do whatever is possible to make sure you go to secondary school”. And her main reason was that; there was going to be a time when parents will be paying a thousand times the amount of money needed to put me in secondary school at the time. And when she made that pronouncement, I pledged to myself never to let her down.

And true to her ‘prophesy’, the amount of money required by parents to see their wards in first year of secondary school education has become so high and competition amongst parents with money-bags, so much intense that, headmasters of secondary schools go into hiding to avoid incessant pressure from parents of prospective first year students.

In an attempt to free headmasters from undue pressure from parents during admissions, the computer selection system was introduced. And even here, the competition still persists amongst money-bag parents seeking better schools for their wards in order to guarantee them a promising future.

It is for this reason that turning one’s back on his/her parents, in their time of need, is completely unacceptable.

Okudzato-Ablakwa’s ingratitude

There is this Fante adage that says, ‘se obi hwe wo ma wose fifir a, woso hwe no ma nese ntutu’, to wit, when someone takes care of you when you are growing teeth, you must not turn your back on him when his teeth are falling off. Effectively, when someone takes care of you during child-hood days, it is incumbent on you to return the favour in the person’s old age.

Now, the front page publication of 25th January,2011 edition of Daily Guide newspaper was a story of one Mr. Bennett Ablakwa who happens to be the step-father of Samuel ‘the squirrel’ Akudzato-Ablakwa.I describe him as a squirrel because I have always been so much fascinated by the peculiarity of his dental-formula.

According to the said publication, Mr. Bennett Ablakwa took custody of Samuel when he was just 3-years old. Through the years of bringing up Samuel till he was given his current deputy ministerial appointment, Bennett had had to drive taxi, sweep the streets of London, become a Pastor and so on, to make sure there was food on the table for Samuel and his siblings. This ‘noble’ venture of caring for ‘pikin-na-boloo’ (step-children) is what most prospective couples engage in with much trepidation since such children often grow-up having very high propensity for crass ingratitude.

Mr. Bennett Ablakwa, after spending energies of his youthful years toiling to bring up Samuel and his 4 siblings, certainly needs to be supported, financially, to be able to put body and soul together since times have become so unbearable as a result of visionlessness of the current Mills-Mahama administration, of which, ironically, Samuel is an integral part.

Today, instead of Samuel doing his possible best to assist Mr.Ablakwa to enable him properly cater for his mentally challenged mother, he was rather hiding under a complete façade of a GH¢2000.00 monthly salary and displaying crass ingratitude, shameless insensitivity, objectionable disrespect and utter irresponsibility towards people who took care of him during his childhood.

Samuel could afford a chattered flight to Wa (U/W), with friends, to perform a marriage ceremony on a woman and go on to take her on a ‘nuptial-flight’ to America for honey-moon. But, he turns round to tell a person who has toiled all his life to bring him up to, literally, go and jump into the sea and not to be trekking to his office to solicit for financial assistance to cater for his own mother and siblings.

Vituperation of equally irresponsible men

When this unacceptable behaviour of Samuel came out, some equally irresponsible men who saw women as mere human-incubators and ended up producing uncountable children in the Northern Region and are now taking shelter here down-south and refusing to play their fatherly roles, quickly went to sit in the studios of their propagandist radio station where they are always assured of air-time by illiterate ‘koliko’ radio presenters, to engage in unintelligible diatribes.

They defended Samuel because he had told Mr. Bennett Ablakwa that he cannot dip his hands into government coffers and dish out money to people who go to him seeking help. But the point is, even those of us who are reeling under current ‘ecomini’ hardship of Mills-Mahama administration, manage to remit our octogenarian parents with the little we can squeeze from our tattered pockets.

Effects of lack of parental love

Personally, what I can deduce from that strange and uncaring behaviour of Samuel towards his greatest benefactor on earth today, Bennett Ablakwa, is that he (Samuel) is suffering from some sort of psychological condition brought about by the lack of proper parental-love.

This is an individual who was abandoned by his biological father and was literally sponsored through university education by president Kufuor. But today, this same person has turned around to pour plain insults on personalities as Kufuor and Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, describing such distinguished personalities in all sorts of derogatory terms. He benefited immensely from Kufuor as a person and the NPP as an institution but can today turn round and describe the party as “a bunch of criminals whose proper place of abode must be the Guantanamo-Bay in Cuba”.

There is a very famous Fante axiom that says: ‘se asaaba sen wotu a, wonnhuru nntra gya’, to wit, if you got a petrol-drenched cotton-wool hanging on your bottom, never attempt to jump over a raging inferno.

This is a person whose mother is mentally deranged but had the audacity to sit on national television (Metro-TV) and described Mrs. Gladys Asmah, a very decent, sane and highly accomplished woman as a plain thief when he had absolutely no evidence to that effect.

Atta-mills’ mental derangement

In his characteristic disrespectful manner, Okuzato-Ablakwa has, once again, questioned the moral integrity of Nana Addo and dared him to go for a drug check. But he has conveniently forgotten that there has been a revelation by top-guns of the NDC who are also very close associates of Atta-Mills, that he (Atta-Mills) suffers from mental derangement and that "he see human-beings as trees, hallucinates and his mental faculties are gone".

Now, in the light of such a volcanic revelation, Ghanaians deserve a better response from Atta-Mills. This is because, being mentally balanced is a constitutional requirement, so to quote Okudzato-Ablakwa: “what is wrong” if Atta-Mills is also made to undergo a “psychiatric evaluation”?

Indeed, it is very unfortunate for the issue of mental-instability of Samuel Okudzato-Ablakwa’s mother to have come into the public domain and I hope something has been done to get her the needed help. But the truth is, it is the abject irresponsibility, un-caring and ingratitude behaviour of Samuel that has brought us where were.

For a person who has been a beneficiary of such a great level of assistance through the toil and selflessness of someone who is not his biological father, it really beats my imagination as to why he can be bold enough to look such a person, eyeball-to-eyeball, and in his time of distress, and say his “salary is only GH¢2000” which is not enough to take-care of him and that he “cannot go and dip” his hands “into the tax-payer’s money”.

Now, with the monthly wage of GH¢2000 and all these other billions of cedis of ‘edufudze’, couldn’t Samuel have sacrificed a little to alleviate the pressure on her own mother and economically battered Mr. Bennett Ablakwa?

Lessons for the wives of these juvenile-fools

This is why I took the trouble, in a previous article titled ‘Grabbing wives under better Ghana agenda’ published in the 25th January, 2011 edition of the Daily Guide newspaper, to advice these young-women who have been swept off their feet as a result of free-flow of ‘edufudze’, to always have it at the back of their minds that, someday, the NDC will go back into opposition.

When this happens, the free-flow of ‘nkwan deewa’ that is currently oiling the wheels of affection for their juvenile husbands will cease. And without the trappings of political office, what qualities can a heartless individual as Samuel Okudzato-Ablakwa exhibit in a marriage to make it sustainable?

Marrying a person who has absolutely no sympathy towards his mentally-challenged mother as well as a man who sacrificed his comfort by engaging in all sorts of menial jobs to ensure his survival from the age of 3-years? The wife of this Samuel Okudzato-Ablakwa must surely be a ‘super-duper’ women and I really do not jealous her a bit!!

Here, I would like the wife of Samuel Okudzato-Ablakwa to please ponder over the famous Fante adage that says; se nnyim owu a, hwe nnda, to wit, if you don’t know what death looks like, just observe a deeply asleep person. Effectively, if you want to know how you will be treated in future by your husband, then your best-bet is firmly on how he is currently treating his own ‘unfortunate’ mother. ‘Asem beba dabi’!!!

Justice Abeeku Newton-Offei

E-mail: justnoff@yahoo.com

Columnist: Newton-Offei, Justice Abeeku