Ace Ghanaian Journalist and Founder of the African University College of Communications (AUCC) starred in the latest episode of the Y Leaderboard Series hosted on Y107.9 FM’s Myd Morning Radio Show.
The former Member of Parliament (MP) for the Agona East Constituency, engaged Rev Erskine in an interesting chat during which he shared his life philosophy, family and favorite childhood experiences.
Having experienced education during the early periods of its institution in Ghana, Kojo Yankah Duakwa shared that the modern system has lost touch with the best approach. For him, gaining admission on merit was the best approach to education.
“I wish we had that period again. It was purely on merit. I mean my first call for an interview was by the headmaster himself. He did not only stay in Cape Coast, he went round. Our center was Winneba so all the students in the area who passed the Common entrance had to go for interview and then within a week or so, we all had our results. It was solely on merit not who you know. Secondary School was government assisted but that didn’t mean we didn’t pay anything,” he shared.
Reminiscing his fondest childhood memory, he recalled the livelihood of his community and the sacrifices of his father (a school teacher) to ensure quality education for him and his siblings. Having experienced such selflessness at first sight, he embodies the same values and perceives it as one of the best values of a great leader.
“We enjoyed some history that we’re proud of and because our grandfather was a Chief, we also felt close to royalty. We were happy about it but it didn’t get into our heads. We went to school not exactly in Duakwa itself. My father was a school master who kept traveling to various part of the region. We ended up at Winneba where I had my common entrance and then move on to Cape Coast then, Adisadel. We had to pay tuition fee of 32 pounds and at the time my Dad struggled with it as a school teacher. We were also a family of 4 brothers and we all went to school in succession so, if a school teacher had to dip his hands into his pocket to pay school fees for people it was something else. We also had a sister too but the point is that we remember for the fact that he sacrificed and knew the value of education. I remember him telling us that for 10 years he never bought a new shirt,” Mr. Yankah narrated.
Highlighting what the modern generation missed from the previous years, he indicated that the essence of nature to everyday life has been lost on us as Ghanaians.
“I grew up around the time where if you were a little creative you were different. Nature was so close to us. In your curiosity to find answers to questions, we always ask questions. You got fresh information which was not even in school. So, ideally you learnt about trees, nature and how they are a part of our lives. So it wasn’t something that we were dreaming.”
“Back then you could easily grow cocoa trees and our land was fertile. So, you think of those days and you wonder what suddenly happened. Of course we decided to urbanize and cut down trees and put some cement in our backyard and pavements. We cut everything and lose touch with nature. In our past we lived with it and also learned nature studies in school,” he said.
Known for one of the best movie dramas to hit the screens in the early 90s, ‘Inspector Bediako’, the astute journalist disclosed that his passion to redirect the TV culture of Ghanaians and Africa at large inspired his creation.
“I’m happy that DSTV came on board and said they wanted to show Inspector Bediako. It’s one of the things I created. It was just like writing a book. I created it because I thought Africans should see themselves on television. We used to watch a lot of detective series. I asked myself that we also do detective work. Our Police haven’t gotten to that level so I’ll use technology into a fiction space and create an Inspector Bediako,” he told Rev Erskine.
“I created Bediako to be the one who is now going to fight all these social ills. It was late in the early 90s and again we got private sponsorship from several companies. They were fighting among themselves to sponsor and at first it was like will this survive? An African TV detective series then it got on. Even children when you send any child in the afternoon they’d probably forget because they’re going to watch Inspector Bediako,” he added.
Channeling down on his political career, having been inspired by the works of Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, he described the ‘Freedom Fighter’ as “a charming personality” every youth looked up to as a role model.
“My relationship with Nkrumah was distant. I was a member of the Young Pioneer Movement and therefore learnt, studied about him and when we had to meet him it was in a distant. But he was the charming personality that any youth would want to as a role model. He was so inspirational,”
He further described the establishment of the Young Pioneers Movement as “a great initiative by Dr. Kwame Nkrumah. It helped bring up new crop of youth who would help shape the growth and development of the nation.”
Hon. Kojo Yankah also shared that his idea for instituting AUCC was his passion for communication as he believes communication is crucial to development.
Advising the younger generation, he urged them to hold in high esteem knowledge and the value of selflessness. For him, they constitute the best values of great leaders such as the Great Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah.
Programmes Manager of Y107.9 FM, Eddy Blay Jnr had this to say after the interview, “Anyone who has experienced Hon. Kojo Yankah at any point in life and in any sector know how significant Hon. Kojo Yankah has been for Ghana. His contributions to journalism, the film and entertainment industry, governance and education has been marvelous. Having him on board today has been surreal. For the younger ones they would better value the essence pf knowledge and the value of selflessness.”