by Isaac Essel

August 30, 2017

TALKING DRUM: A shaky start for the ladies!

At the auditorium of the Berekum College of Education students were packed. The room was so full that some of them had to stand outside and listen to proceedings from the public address system.

Occasions such as the announcement of a national election by the Electoral Commission or when the Black Stars played a crucial match saw this kind of numbers at the school’s auditorium. However, this time, it was none of such.

It was late 2008; an election season on campus. Prior to that night, the campus had seen a fierce political campaigning. The electorates would not miss being present at the hearing of the manifesto reading. Hence, the huge numbers at the auditorium.

One aspirant after the other mounted the podium to read their manifesto. Then came a candidate vying for the position of president. This candidate (whom I would like to name Sampson) read his speech with near precision.

However, little did he know that a diabolic plan he had nurtured would backfire at him. He had chosen three of his friends, given them questions of which he had answers to and told them to rush in to pose those questions to him when the floor was opened for ‘questions and answers’.

Unfortunately, one student was smart enough to outdo the chosen three of Sampson’s to ask a question.

“So, when you vote for me as your SRC President, I will … I will rerasta. Sorry, refrasture. Sorry, I mean refrata,” Sampson brutally fumbled in trying to answer the question. He was shocked to see his ‘chew and pour’ answers vanish into thin air as he could not pronounce ‘restructure.’

Since this day, I have prayed not to see this kind of embarrassment befalling even my arch-enemy. However, watching the first show of the 2017 edition of the most coveted beauty pageant in the country, TV3’s Ghana’s Most Beautiful [GMB], I had an uncomfortable flashback of Sampson’s ordeal as some ladies made their presentations.

I am half Brong Ahafo and half Ashanti. However, having lived all my life in the Brong Ahafo region, I tend to associate more with happenings in that part of the country. So, watching GMB year after year, my interest has always been in how well representatives of that region perform.

When Adom (2017 Brong Ahafo representative) mounted the stage, she looked splendid in her African print. She is naturally beautiful. When she started to speak, however, everyone could feel her trembling voice.

She had memorized historical information of her region. This became even more obvious whenever she missed a line. She would briskly be lost in her thought, put herself together and bounce back. Right there on the GMB stage was a seemingly troubled lady.

After the floodgate of lost memorized notes was opened, almost all the other ladies had their deliveries punctuated by pauses. In the air, they searched for what followed what they had said early on.

Indeed, the narrative is not different in the case of the Western, Upper West and Volta region representatives. Imagine talking to millions of Ghanaians and the rest of the world on live television! This could make one as uneasy as an old lady who just heard of dry bones in a proverb.

The judges for the 2017 edition of the GMB attested to this and somewhat pardoned them since last week’s show was their first. Nonetheless, as the Akan proverb says that “Yɛretete abɛteɛ no, na ne kyɛ ara nono.” To wit, the scooping out of tapioca from the cooking pot signifies it’s about to be shared.

The ladies have 13 weeks in the house after which a winner would emerge. Already, one week is gone. This must scare them all to brave the odds and put in their best in the coming days.

I am sure the ladies have already seen the ultimate prize of a car showcased at the premises of TV3 with registration number “GMB 2017”. This, again, must ginger them to go beyond the ordinary and put in their best.

Personally, I would not encourage any of them to ‘chew and pour’ whatever they need to present on stage. First, they must read on the subject matter very well and grasp the salient points. Bingo! They are good to go. Memorizing over two pages of a script to seem eloquent is not the best.

Another issue worth noting is the repetition of projects/themes past contestants of the pageant have already educated us about in respect to their various regions. This, I was happy the judges touched on last Sunday, August 27. It is true that, for instance, there are many tourist attraction centers in the Brong Ahafo region including the Kintampo Waterfalls and Boabeng-Fiema Monkey Sanctuary. The Lake Bosomtwe and the beautiful Nzulezu could be said of the Ashanti and Western regions, respectively.

However, a little more research would reveal that there is a town in Nkoranza (Brong Ahafo region) where there is no crime. Elders of this town would tell you there are thieves in the vicinity but they never would think of stealing even a child’s toffee. Why? Find out!

A little more research would also reveal that Sunyani has an unimaginable history of a horrific attack. When did this happen? Who attacked who? And how did the Brong Ahafo’s regional capital rise up as one people to conquer the attacker(s)?

These and many more are the untold stories in our regions. I believe many people would be interested in such stories as they are fresh to the ears.

Do the GMB ladies have their respective research teams? Do they have coaches? Once there is a car prize for one of these beautiful ladies, we (viewers), henceforth, must cease to be mere spectators.

We would criticize constructively to ensure we don’t only just get ‘value for money’ but value for our ‘eyeballs,’ too.

I wish these ladies the best of luck. And ‘ayekoo’ to the GMB 2017 masters of ceremonies, Jonnie Beresford Hughes and Emefa Adeti for their splendid performances. We yearn for more. Long live Ghana’s Most Beautiful.

Solomon Mensah

By Solomon Mensah|3FM||Ghana

The writer is a broadcast journalist with 3FM 92.7. Views expressed here solely remain his and do not, in anyway, reflect the editorial policy of his organisation.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @Aniwaba

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