Opinions are like noses, everyone has one. That is one of the truest truisms (pardon the tautology) you would ever come across. Even my nearly two year old niece has an opinion about me. She babbles it in baby language but I know she is not my biggest fan. I can tell by the way she sneers at me and squishes my noses every time I lift her up. But like my niece, you do not always have to share your opinion. You can harbor it in thought but you do not always have to verbalize it.
Unlike my niece, the reason why adults do not always have to verbalize their opinions is not because they do not have the words for it. But because sometimes your opinions are just what they are. Opinions and not well vetted contributions on issues. As a journalist or a blogger, you might want to have an opinion on everything. You might want to write on everything. Writing on everything under the season would give you traffic, every blogger’s validation. But you need to be careful in how you put these opinions across. Do not pontificate. Do not put them across like the gospel truth. Most importantly, do not assume everyone else with a different opinion is either being illogical or senseless.
The last post on my blog was on suicide. My major at the university was Economics. The closest I have come to closely reading or viewing a work on psychology has been watching Sherlock Holmes. So when I wrote that article, I quickly made it clear that I knew next to nothing about why people committed suicide or why depression sometimes leads to suicide. Google and TEDx videos were my friends in writing that article.
Why am I telling you all this? If you have been on “Ghana Facebook” over the last few days, you would know what I am driving at. If not, here goes the story. Manasseh Azure, a prolific writer and journalist on Ghana’s current affairs decided to stretch his area of mastery like he always does into international trade. Commenting on a forum of African CEO’s and some heads of states in Geneva-Switzerland, he questioned the thinking capacities of the conveners for hosting the conference where they did. This was said oblivious to the fact that the conference was hosted in Africa last year and as expressly stated by the conveners, “….The Africa CEO Forum was initially held in Geneva in order to showcase African capitalism to the world. By hosting the event at an international location, we gave the event a global dimension, and Geneva is home to the headquarters of many international organisations, such as the United Nations and the World Trade Organisation, amongst others…”
A commenter on Manasseh’s wall sarcastically retorted, why did you choose to do your wedding at Aburi gardens and not your local village, where otabil and others could see the deprived nature of your people. And use your wedding to inspire the up and coming youth to aim high like u. Probably that local plantain sellers goods could be purchased by the city dwellers. Is this rocket science or common sense or something I am missing.
That commenter, Nana Kwame is something of a fable now on Ghana Facebook. His comment set off a series of trolling and back and forth on the purpose of organizing forums and whether or not the “clap back” from Nana Kwame was logical. Let us for a second assume what Nana Kwame did was not a classic reduction ad absurdum and look at the fallouts.
We woke up this morning only to realize that a massive blocking party was organized while the rest of us slept. Now I understand why someone would like to block another person. I totally do. I have blocked a couple of people myself, top of that list being the many fetish priests sprouting all over Facebook. I will block someone who insults me or constantly tries to drag my name through the mud while insisting on not engaging in anything close to a debate. But if I was a journalist who made my name and fame out of criticizing everyone and everything under the sun, do I really have the moral right to block people who only criticize me or do not share my opinion on a matter?
Almost everyone who sided with Nana Kwame on the post which has since been deleted from the wall of Manasseh but which as of now is forever preserved in the annals Ghana Facebook history, has been blocked. I got my block too for trying to elicit a civil engagement from Manasseh.
The person blocking everyone is the same guy who did not shy away from commenting on the NanaAba-gate last year when the latter photoshopped herself into Old Trafford. He also was the one who had us believe Haruna Iddrisu, former minister of trade and industry was “running away from his questioning”. The Blocker-in-Chief has had an opinion on every matter in this country but nah, the rest of us mere mortal dare not question his reasoning. If you do, you are illogical and his supporters would say you are a hater.
With the amount of blocks dished out yesterday, Donlad Trump would be doing himself a huge favor if he hires Manasseh Azure as the foreman for the wall he is hoping to build on the border with Mexico. He would have no need to make Mexico pay for the wall. His foreman would be providing him with free blocks.