Cameron Duodo (seated) with some members of the anniversary committee
Cameron Duodo (seated) with some members of the anniversary committee
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Cameron Duodu, Sam Jonah to grace GJA 75th anniversary

Two global personalities, Cameron Duodu, a veteran journalist, and Sir Dr Sam Jonah, a business executive, will grace the 75th anniversary celebration of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA).

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The two respected personalities accepted the offer when the GJA 75th Anniversary Planning Committee, led by its chairman, Godwin Avenorgbo, paid separate courtesy calls on them in Accra.

The committee's first port of call was the residence of Mr Duodu, described by many as the grandfather of journalism in the country, owing to his sterling works and ingenuity in the field of journalism.

The delegation included one of GJA’s representatives on the National Media Commission (NMC), Kobby Asmah, a former Director of GBC, Ellen Avorgbedor, a former Head of Communications at the Ghana Standards Authority, Peter Agbeko, and the General Secretary of the GJA, Kofi Yeboah.

The rest are the National Organiser of the GJA, Dominic Hlordzi, and Marian Kyei, a member of the committee. Mr Avenorgbo said aside from inviting him to deliver a lecture on one of the sub-themes of the anniversary, the visit was also to fraternise with Mr Cameron, who has been writing about national and societal issues for more than five decades.

“You have been an influence on many of us. God revealed to us that to celebrate the 75th anniversary, we need a person of your calibre so the committee tactfully settled on you and we know with your depth of knowledge, you can influence the past, the present and the future,” the chairman told the octogenarian novelist, editor and broadcaster.

For his part, Mr Asmah recounted fond memories of some of the works of Cameron Duodu and praised him for the remarkable impact he had made on the body of knowledge and journalism both locally and internationally.

Revive press club

“I shall be there,” Mr Duodu accepted the invitation and added that journalism was a profession dear to his heart, hence he would make it a point to grace the anniversary celebration.

Members of the GJA 75th anniversary committee with Sir Sam Jonah (5th from right)

Members of the GJA 75th anniversary committee with Sir Sam Jonah (5th from right)

He used the opportunity to clear the air on rumours that he had snubbed GJA Awards for Graphic Awards. He explained that he was billed to receive awards at both events which took place on the same day.

Mr Duodu said his decision to be at the Graphic 70th Anniversary Awards and before going to the GJA awards did not work to plan, hence his inability to attend the GJA’s awards.

He advised that such events, which would be attended by almost the same stakeholders, should be organised on separate days as such clashes did not augur well for the fraternity.

The veteran journalist also appealed to the GJA to revive the Press Club and ensure that it functioned the way it used to in the past.

The General Secretary of GJA expressed the appreciation of the GJA and the committee to the veteran whose journalism career spanned over 40 years, with stints with the Observer and the BBC, both in Britain, for accepting to be part of the anniversary.

Sir Sam

At Sir Sam Jonah’s office, Mr Avenorgbo, on behalf of the committee, requested him to deliver the keynote address at the 75th-anniversary celebration, which he accepted. Dr Jonah also challenged the media to live above reproach in their day-to-day service to the nation.

He expressed worry over how the media was mute on pressing national issues, including galamsey which had destroyed the country’s water bodies.

“I was going to collect my Doctorate award at UMaT, Tarkwa, and I flew with my wife in a helicopter and when you see the Ankobra, it looks like this chocolate,” the outspoken statesman said.

Sir Sam challenged journalists to go the extra mile to expose the ills in society since it was one of the core mandates of the profession. Mr Agbeko, in his contribution, re-echoed the media’s role in agenda setting adding that the anniversary was a perfect event for evoking such national discussions.

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