A day after retirement

BY: Yaw Boadu Ayeboafoh
Yaw Boadu Ayeboafoh, authour
Yaw Boadu Ayeboafoh, authour

Last Thursday, I announced my formal retirement from Graphic and expressed gratitude to the Lord God Almighty for seeing me through all the turbulence and ending peacefully.

In the evening I received a text message from someone who had always encouraged and motivated me to act professional at all times, reminding me that good name is better than riches.

The last message was to the extent that Ghanaian journalism had lost a gem with my retirement.

I pondered over the message and felt that there may be many who also think my retirement means I will not write any longer.

That is not the case.

As a journalist, my retirement is not the end of my writings. Indeed, I have been writing the column not because I was an employee of Graphic, but because I loved to write.

My position as Director, Newspapers, did not include writing articles or columns.

It involved providing supervision and coordination for the editorial. I was the face of policy.

Having listened to our research unit on the rating of my column, among Ghanaian readers of feature articles and columns, it is imperative that I continue with sharing my thoughts with Ghanaians and the world at large.

As C. S. Lewis maintains, “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream”.

Jessica also notes that “no matter how many goals you have achieved, you must set your sight on a higher one”.

As a full time employee of Graphic, I was constrained from participating in certain activities, especially that which are sectarian or partisan in nature. Now I am able and free to be a registered member of a political party, which I will relish.

We would continue to comment about national issues that deserve our attention and input and for which we are properly equipped and predisposed to comment about.

Our viewpoint would be informed by objective facts, not sentimentalism. We would not commit the same faults we accuse politicians of, the false notion that only we and our choices are superior.

That false sense of superiority that enables supporters and activists of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), to state in one breadth that Ghanaians are discernable and yet maintain that their loyal supporters would never desert them.

For instance, whilst the NDC would claim that the votes in the Volta Region are secured, it could capture 1.5 million in the Ashanti Region and make it look believable.

Equally it was a refrain to hear the NPP that Ashanti was secure but the party would capture five parliamentary seats in the Volta Region, when the party usually did not get averagely above 10 per cent from each constituency in the Volta Region.

We would participate actively in politics but we would not look at things negatively or positively depending on which side it is for or against.

It is imperative that we do not in any way compromise our professional integrity for partisan political expediency.

We must maintain what we have stood for all the time as to whether we have interpreted a half filled glass of water as half empty or half full.

There must be consistency.

What we must all appreciate is that in whatever environment or context we find ourselves, we must know that there may be others more knowledgeable than ourselves and therefore when we are offered the privilege of commenting about national issues, we must do so with humility, modesty and temperate or measured language.

So then I begin a new life with the assurance that I will be myself.

Whatever, I find for myself, I will strive to do what is ethically sound and defensible; socially approving and edifying mindful that we all deserve to be treated with respect and decorum.

It is good to be a professional and more so in more than an area.

Therefore, as a journalist and lawyer, there are more openings. I could go into communications consultancy, teaching or legal practice.

For now, I am preoccupied with teaching (sandwich) at the University of Education, Winneba.

For all who have thought that my retirement from Graphic means an end to my writing, the assurance is that I will continue to write and this time, I am not limited to contributing to only Graphic, but any media that will solicit my services for as long as my freedom of expression would not be compromised or undermined..

I look forward to serving Mother Ghana in more useful ways. I express my gratitude to Togbe Gobah Tengey Seddoh, Chief of Staff, Forum of Kings and Traditional Leaders of Africa, for his unyielding support throughout my years at Graphic.