On the Monday before Wednesday, 21st September 2022, I received a WhatsApp music-and-dancing video clip from a friend with the message “begin your week with some dancing!” In response, I sent her a poster of an oncoming “Afternoon Jump” two days hence, organized by the Retired Commissioned Officers Association (RCOA) for members and their wives.
Totally amused, she humorously replied, “many can hardly lift one leg after the other, and they want to “jump?”
My regret during and after the event was that, I did not invite her to see for herself the ease with which the oldies “lifted one leg after the other,” the skill and dexterity with which they “jumped” and danced, oblivious of the waist-pains, knee-aches, back-pains and other pains the military gave us as ex-gratia!
In welcoming the retired officers and their spouses to the function, the President of the RCOA stated that, our first such activity since Covid-19 put a halt to planned events with its arrival in Ghana in March 2020, had coincided significantly with the birthday of Ghana’s first president, Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah on 21st September 2022.
He also welcomed the representative of the CDS the Chief of Staff, General Headquarters, as well as the representatives of the Service Chiefs of the Army, Navy and Air Force.
Playing from the repertoire of highlife music of AB Crentsil, CK Mann, Gyedu Blay Ambolley etc after the president/partner had opened the floor with Wutah’s hit “Kotosa,” going down “low low low” as in Buga, the Funky Millionaires Band of the Forces Pay Regiment got the oldies on their feet in marathon dancing sessions.
A favorite of the ladies to which an encore brought all the ladies to the dancing floor was the old song “Soja Alafia,” by the Fourth Dimension Band of the 4th Battalion of Infantry, Kumasi.
Many young football enthusiasts may not have heard the name Lt Col DSK Amengor (Rtd) in football circles. However, for over twenty years starting from the 1970s, the octogenarian FIFA referee’s name was a household name in Ghana Football. His “no-nonsense” approach to refereeing brought great discipline into footballers and Ghana football. Incidentally, I sat at the same table with a retired officer who played Premier League Football matches refereed by Lt Col Amengor.
Capt Andy Sam and I went to have a chat with Lt Col Amengor.
Again, while every Ghanaian knows of the Football World Cup, many Ghanaians may not have heard of Hockey World Cup. In 1974, Ghana won the African Cup for Hockey in Cairo, Egypt with Lt Andy Sam as the team captain and Sqn Ldr Bob Owoo as the Team Manager. Incidentally, Wg Cdr Owoo (Rtd) was also present at the Afternoon Jump.
Having emerged Africa’s champions, Ghana’s hockey team played at the 1975 Hockey World Cup in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. That was the first and only time Ghana has played hockey at the highest level. Unfortunately, like most sports, hockey has virtually died at the secondary school level, where early potentials were identified for future grooming.
In his response to the President of RCOA’s welcome address, the Chief of Staff thanked RCOA/RAFOWA for their kind invitation. He complimented the retired officers for their commitment and service to Ghana during their active-duty service. He observed that, Ghana has been an oasis of peace in the sub-region largely due to the commitment of the retired officers in Internal Security operations when they were in service. At the international level, their professionalism had made Ghana a giant in Peace Support Operations both at the United Nations level, and at the Regional level.
He assured the retired officers of the support of the CDS to the RCOA/RAFOWA.
Earlier, all radio stations I listened to on Wednesday morning, 21st September 2022 covered the life of Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah extensively. Described as a selfless visionary leader, Osagyefo dedicated his life to Ghana and Africa. An avowed Pan-Africanist, he was seen as a threat in his quest to have a United States of Africa with 54 states as one strong nation with all the economic and political benefits, like the United States of America with its 51 states.
He therefore had to be eliminated by external forces with the support of internal collaborators, to obviate the benefits of a united Africa. Notwithstanding all the efforts to dim his light since his overthrow on 24th February 1966, Osagyefo continues to shine brighter. For some, he was guilty of not following the prescription of turning the other left ear to be slapped, after the first slap on the right, despite the attempts on his life.
For many of the contributors on radio, whatever efforts are made to denigrate him here in Ghana, Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah remains known beyond Ghana, all over Africa, and indeed all over the world.
As Shakespeare said, “a rose by whatever name would still smell sweet!”
Osagyefo’s books are interesting and still relevant – Africa Must Unite (1963), Consciencism: Philosophy and Ideology for Decolonisation (1964), Neo-colonialism: The Last Stages of Imperialism (1965), Dark Days in Ghana (1968), The Struggle Continues (1968) etc.
RCOA and the Ghana Armed Forces
As a former Commanding Officer of mine said, “We are the only human beings who swear an oath to leave home in the morning vertically (alive) and return home in the evening horizontally (dead)!”
Let us therefore go by the tenets of our profession which emphasise discipline integrity and selflessness, and eschew greed and selfishness which only destroy our country.
To the RCOA executives, well done for successfully bringing the oldies out of their homes to “jump” happily on the 113th anniversary of the birth of Ghana’s first president, Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah!
In the words of Enimil Ashon in Graphic/Graphic-online on 23rd September 2022, “It is not for nothing that in the BBC Poll conducted in 2000, majority of the world chose Kwame Nkrumah as Africa’s Man of the Millennium, 28-years after his death and in a period when Mandela was not only alive, but his popularity had soared.”
Fellow Ghanaians, WAKE UP!
Brig Gen Dan Frimpong (Rtd)
Former CEO, African Peace Support Trainers Association
Family Health University College
Source: Brig Gen Dan Frimpong (Rtd), Former CEO, African Peace Support Trainers Association, Nairobi, Kenya
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