This past weekend, I was in Takoradi with a great team of my colleagues from TV3, Adesa Productions, 3FM and Onua 95.1 FM to launch our sister station – Connect 97.1 FM. Aside having the opportunity to see a lovely city and the breathtaking, clean beaches, I also had to opportunity to listen to Nana Kobina Nketsia V, the Omanhene (paramount chief) of Essikado.
Nana Kobina Nketsia V, is a doyen of African culture and tradition. He’s a voice that speaks fearlessly to the issues that affect our society and plague the nations of Africa, on the African consciousness and the power of the mind. My first encounter with him was at the launch of 3FM in January 2016 – I had referred to him as ‘your royal highness’ in my welcome address, he was very kind to remind me that references like that were a reflection of a borrowed culture. I observed, I listened and I took instruction. On this occasion, we were privileged to have him, once again supporting the launch of another station in the MG Radio family. In less than 10 minutes, Nana spoke from the depth of his heart a lot of wisdom, but I walked away with one word on my mind – INFLUENCE.
It’s not the first time I’d heard the word, especially that, that’s the word for the year in my church. But it hit me so hard, that the role media plays in society is a very sensitive one, one that we must be very intentional about. The powerful tool of influence. In his words:
“The gun is not powerful, the gun can only kill you, but the media affects your mind and once someone controls your mind, he controls your actions, he controls your behavior. The media is really the consciousness industry. So those who don’t understand use it for partisanship, to spew out one rubbish after another and they call it propaganda. No! It’s rubbish.”
Pause. Take that in. Okay, let’s go ahead.
We’re in an election year and even if we were’nt, I’m sorry after denigrating the minds of a group of people, or inciting violence or hatred or defaming the person of an opponent is not enough. It’s too little too late!
I find that our society tends to accept apologies as a way of cover up. Well, sorry is not acceptable in all cases. Sorry can’t erase the damage done to the minds of young people in the name of partisanship and politics. As a principle, I do not accept apologies without back-tracking with the individual involved to determine the thought process and reasoning behind an action so we can both agree and correct that thought process. I’m sorry isn’t the panacea to wrong doing. It’s a verbalization of remorse, but the real apology is in the change of action.
Before the action, count the cost, be intentional, be mindful that your one comment, your one remark, affects the mind of society. That level of influence must be hallowed.
Just in case, you’re thinking – oh yes, those radio and TV presenters, they are like that. You, if you’re on social media, commenting, posting, sharing your views, you’re influencing others, you too must be concerned. Before you click ‘post’ or ‘tweet’, be conscious. You too are in the consciousness industry and ‘I’m sorry’ could really be a little too late.
By Petra Aba Asamoah
The writer is the head of station for 3FM 92.7