Ras Mubarak writes: A Tale From Asiedu Nketia’s Ten Hour Flight
Ras Mubarak writes: A Tale From Asiedu Nketia’s Ten Hour Flight

Ras Mubarak writes: A tale from Asiedu Nketia’s 10-hour flight

"The more I read, the more I acquire. The more certain I am that I know nothing." - Voltaire. 


This article is about the importance of reading, as exemplified by National Democratic Congress Chairman, Aseidu Nketia. 

What do you do with nine hours and 45 minutes on a plane? Some will use it for social media, especially in these times when almost all long-haul flights offer internet service onboard planes. 

Others will kill the almost ten hours watching movies from the in-flight entertainment. Many will while away the time sleeping. All the above are okay. Several others, like myself, always carry a book along to read. 

I have traveled around with the Chairman in separate vehicles campaigning. But never on a trip with him in a plane. So what does the National Chairman of the National Democratic Congress, NDC, do with nearly ten hours on a plane?

Seeing what he did for the very first time since traveling together on a flight, I was surprised, or rather impressed, and thought I would share with young folks, especially. 

We were on a journey back to Ghana from a political party event in Atlanta, USA. When I arrived at our boarding gate at JFK International Airport, some ten minutes before boarding, Chairman Asiedu Nketia was already seated with a more than 500-page book, poring intently over the pages. 

My first remark was, "General, I didn't know you were a member of our readers' club..." Members of the NDC and the Ghanaian public have been so accustomed to calling Hon. Johnson Asiedu Nketia, "General," that we almost always have to pinch ourselves that he's no longer the General Secretary but now occupies the enviable position of National Chairman of the National Democratic Congress. 

He laughed at my remarks about being "a member of our readers' club" and told me I needed to get a copy of the book he was reading, and that it was very interesting. The book is titled 'Emotional Intelligence Habits.' 

I also showed him a book I had in my carry-on bag that I was going to read on the flight and promised to order a copy for him. Eighty percent of all books I havve read over the last fifteen years or so are about politics, leadership, and governance. I was reading a book titled 'Why Governments Get It Wrong. And How They Can Get It Right,' by Dennis C. Grube, a Professor of Politics and Public Policy at Cambridge University. 

While on the plane heading to Ghana, what impressed me most was that each time I turned or rose to do my usual ten minutes of standing after every two hours, the National Chairman's reading light was on, and he was still engrossed in the book he was reading. 

Chairman was seated to my right in a different row, so I walked up to him and told him how impressed I was by his reading habit. He told me that was how he passed the time on flights. I promised him I was going to write an article on my impressions about his reading habits. 

The kind of work we do as politicians is tiring and sometimes stressful. For an older person, especially with the heavy burden of National Chairman of a political party, to still find the energy to read that much was remarkable. 

Chairman-General Asiedu Nketia was a Member of Parliament for twelve years and a Deputy Agric Minister under President Rawlings. He had been a Majority Deputy Whip in Ghana's parliament. And before that, he served as the Chairman of the Mines and Energy Committee. He's also a former banker. He had served as the longest-serving General Secretary of any political party in Ghana's history. He's in his mid-sixties and has chalked considerable personal successes. But he still reads. 

As the Chinese say, "Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere." Learning is a lifelong activity, and the more you read, the more you earn. 

I share this story to illustrate the importance of reading even at the height of one’s career or at an older age. Some of our young people have the feeling that once you finish school or acquire a certificate, that's the end of their time as readers. If Hon. Johnson Asiedu Nketia, at age 67, with all his achievements, can still find the energy to read (and I've met much older persons, Ambassador James Victor Gbeho, 89 years, Dr. Don Arthur, who designed the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park, and Abdallah Benkirane - the former Moroccan Prime Minister to mention but a few, who are all avid readers), a younger person has absolutely no business not reading because because he's graduated from school. Reading is uplifting. Reading is liberating. Reading produces great minds. As young people, if you can make reading a lifestyle, you can conquer the world.

Connect With Us : 0242202447 | 0551484843 | 0266361755 | 059 199 7513 |

Like what you see?

Hit the buttons below to follow us, you won't regret it...