Vendor who survived disturbance in Yendi

BY: Isaac Yeboah

Mr. Alfred Kwadwo Donkor, aka Skin PainWhen it comes to negative publicity, the Yendi Municipality in the Northern Region has probably gained notoriety for that but little do people know that the situation is not as bad as it is presented in the media.

There are several opportunities available in the area which people can take advantage of and one man, a 68-year-old newspaper vendor, who has braced all the odds to do business, particularly selling the Daily Graphic and the other brands of the Graphic Communications Group Limited (GCGL) in the municipality, is Mr Alfred Kwadwo Donkor.

Since 1995, Mr Donkor (also known as Skin Pain) has been selling the Daily Graphic and its sister papers — The Mirror, the Graphic Showbiz, the Graphic Sports, the Junior Graphic, and the Graphic Business — in Yendi.

No doubt, the GCGL rewarded Mr Donkor for long service and loyalty to the company.

He was one of five newspaper vendors who received a satellite dish each during an awards ceremony held by the company in Tamale recently.

It all started when a friend of Mr Donkor's father, Mr S.K. Tuffour, brought him (Mr Donkor) from the Ashanti Region to Tamale in 1963 and employed him as a store assistant.

In 1965, Mr Tuffour sent Mr Donkor to Salaga as a storekeeper of the Ghana National Trading Company (GNTC). In August 1965, Mr Tuffour transferred Mr Donkor to Yendi as a storekeeper with the United African Company (UAC).

While in Yendi, Mr Donkor started subscribing newspapers from a vendor in Tamale in 1982.

"Anytime I get copies of the newspapers, residents of Yendi come to my store to read them,” he noted.

As time went on, Mr Donkor said, he hatched the idea of becoming a newspaper vendor and so in 1995 he applied to the Graphic office in Tamale to be given the nod as a news vendor in Yendi.  in the beginning patronage was not encouraging, until the Daily Graphic started publishing proceedings of the Wuako Commission that was set up to look into the murder of the late Dagbon King, Ya-Na Yakubu Andani II.”

I sold 500 copies of the Daily Graphic daily and even that was not enough, as residents queued to buy the paper.”

According to Mr Donkor, after the end of the Commission’s sitting, sales of the Daily Graphic dipped.

Currently, he claimed he sells not more than 40 copies of the Daily Graphic every day.

He indicated that a significant number of residents are not interested in buying and reading newspapers and that something should be done about that.

“What some of the residents do is that they find ways of getting access to just one newspaper, preferably the Daily Graphic, and share the information among themselves,” he explained.

The vendor stressed that in spite of the disturbances in Yendi since 2002, he always sold the papers without any hindrance.

Mr Donkor was born at Sekye-Dumase in the Ejura-Sekyeredumase Municipality in the Ashanti Region.

He has three children who are doing well in their respective endeavours.

From Vincent Amenuveve, Tamale

The Mirror/Ghana