I started writing or posing as an EDITOR in my youthful days at Mfantsipim, where I believe my God-given gifts started taking shape, including the editor of the class newspaper, “THE LIGHTNING”.
I believe, when in later years, I started publishing weeklies in Ghana, it was very natural with me, including being the publisher & Editor-in-Chief of then ‘ SPORTS COIN ‘, ‘ SPORTS SUPERSTAR’, ‘ LEISURE Arts & Music ‘ and ‘ PUBLIC OPINION ‘ weeklies.
This was after I had studied LAND ECONOMY & ESTATE MANAGEMENT at the KNUST, I know you would open your mouth as I must confess, I have never formally schooled in journalism.
I have been part of the lives and stories of several known stars including Kojo Antwi, Amakye Dede, Akwasi Ampofo Adjei (AAA), Nat Brew (Amanzeba), Akosua Adjepong – and later their joint ‘NAKOREX’ project, Talal Fattal as a musician of ‘FORGIVE & FORGET’ fame, a song I was privileged to launch, including its video clip.
I had also been part of the growth or development of the profession of DISC JOCKEYING (DJ) and especially its peaking in Ghana with the exploits of KWASI KYEI DARKWA & TONY ANNAN FORSON in the battles of annual DJ OF THE YEAR through the ANNUAL LEISURE ARTS & MUSIC AWARDS. The LEUSURE WEEKLY was compiling and publishing TOP 20 HITS of the Week and it was these that culminated in the organisation of the PAN-AFRICAN FAIR FOR ARTS & MUSIC (PAFAM 90).
As part of the activities organised by my firm, Rex-Image Associates, was a socio-political platform called the ‘ FORUM ‘, where we invited such clubs as DANQUAH-BUSIA, HERITAGE,……..at the Conference Room of my company, where these clubs we invited to speak on what they plan for the nation, if the PNDC ever lifted the BAN ON POLITICAL ACTIVITIES in the country. This was in the heat of the ‘ CULTURE OF SILENCE ‘ in the country.
My offices then was in the former SCOA Building in the centre of Accra, next to the UTC then.
Here, I played hosts to such great nationalists like former President, J. A. Kufuor; Peter Ala Adjetey, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, late Atta Keelson and J. H. Mensah amongst several others amidst hyped media coverage. This was when there was still a COMPLETE BAN on Party Politics in our dear country.
Funnily, I only thought I was enjoying myself and providing a platform for political talk, when one morning I had a call from the Osu Castle, the Office of the PNDC Chairman & Head of State, Flt. Lt. Jerry John Rawlings. His then Secretary, Nana Ato Dadzie called and jokingly asked: “But you, Rex who told you that we have lifted the BAN ON PARTY POLITICS that you are organising these political discussion programmes?” – this was after I had hosted the Danquah-Busia Club the day before involving former President, J. A. Kufuor, J. H. Mensah and others.
Jokingly as always, I replied, “….but senior, this is the opportunity for the PNDC also to have his political side, that is if you would want to metamorphose into a political party to contest any future elections”. I won’t say I was just lucky to get away with things involving the PNDC and its Chairman, but in my heart of hearts I knew, he would always have my back as I saw myself as a prodigy for good reason”.
I remember when J. A. Kufuor won the 2000 Elections and became President of the Republic, he directed his videographer, my friend Ernest Youngman to come to me for copies of the VHS I made of all the visits of the pseudo-political clubs for some statements he had made at the FORUM, so on playback others would appreciate how far back his plans for Ghana have evolved over the years. Strangely, I still keep those videos for posterity.
I can’t thank you, enough for these were the years that shaped me in character, dreams and boldness to such great extent.
Indeed, in those days, the private newspapers had an association and I was elected the Chairman. That was during the early days of the P&P newspaper with its usual stories.
In the heat of public outcry against its contents, the then PNDC Secretary for Culture made a statement that sought to attack the paper and what I perceived then as unfair. I went on air, GBC Radio and dared him to try and my boldness shocked many, who listened knowing that wasn’t my style, much more against authority with all the fear of suppression.
The PNDC Secretary invited me to his office to attack me on my statements and added: ” WHO DO YOU KNOW AT THE OSU CASTLE TO GIVE YOU SUCH BOLDNESS? ”
To the extent that, I had some fracas with a former head of the National Sports Council through my articles in the awarding-winning SPORTS COIN and he had an army officer as a friend as they played tennis together. He sent this friend after me in the heat of the night during the curfews. Then I changed my mode of response as I took the case to another ‘godfather’ Christian Aggrey, then Editor of the Ghanaian Times and this also insulated me because I had a different platform as defence.
Maybe at the very back of my head post-PAFAM 90, I felt that way for the funny belief I perceived that nothing could possibly happen to me under J. J. RAWLINGS.