For host of Joy FM's Drive Time, Lexis Bill, the objective of having politicians on the Personality Profile segment is simple: remove the thick make-up of politics that coats the face of outgoing MP for Subin Isaac Osei.
Wikipedia has nothing more than politics to say about the former High Commissioner.
And for politicians, sometimes just letting yourself go on radio, revealing the weakness and failings that make all of us human may not be too savvy.
Over a year ago on the same Show, the General Secretary of the governing NDC Johnson ‘General Mosquito’ Aseidu Nketia, had revealed how he sat in and wrote an exam on behalf of a dead student just so his school could secure 100% pass rate.
Nothing happened to Johnson since. And so Isaac Osei could take solace in the fact that like Las Vegas, what happens on Joy FM's Personality Profile, stays on Joy FM's Personality Profile.
The MP sat in the studio with his daughter, good-looking and certified to distract the presenter.
Lexis justified the distracting effect and on some occasions he dragged the lady into the conversation.
Poor Lexis. Focus on the man born on March 29, 1951 in Kumasi - Isaac Osei
His father was a contractor, “a well-known businessman” and Nkosuohene, Nana Osei Nkwantabisa, a chief who served in the palace of the Asantehene. His position was in recognition of his contributions to putting up several schools in colonial Ghana.
“He was known as Emmanuel Kingsley Osei. Everybody called him EKO. He was a good man….my father was man of words. His English was impeccable…he went to Adisadel”
EKO was a busy man on the pitch of business and a busy man off the pitch where he fathered 20 children.
Isaac Osei remembered the first day he entered Achimota School for his secondary education. He met two students on his first day.
“One became the Secretary to the President, D.K Osei and the other, David Nksansah, became a doctor now in Qatar and from that day we became firm friends even to today”
He wanted to be a doctor. But Achimota exposed his interest in English and History and so he fantasized with the idea of becoming a lawyer. But after further exposure in Sixth Form to Economics and Mathematics, the desire for business laid the foundation for a sterling career in economics and management.
Isaac Osei managed a consultancy that also did some work with the World Bank, USAID, DFID, UNCTAD.
After working briefly at the Finance Ministry, Mr Osei went abroad but returned to Ghana in 1977, and joined the Ghana Tourist Development Company as a Senior Commercial Officer becoming the Chief of the Commercial Operations and chief of Projects, Research and Development.
He resigned his position early 1982 and set up a marketing consultancy, now known as Ghanexim Economic Consultancy Ltd which was a leader in project planning especially in the road sector.
When Isaac Osei’s wife joined in the discussion mid-way through the interview and sang a hymn, the small family reunion in the studio banished the often heinous perception that politicians are an odd group of self-centered, greedy drainage system on taxpayers.
Maybe temporarily banished the idea. Maybe. But here was a normal happy family stuck in a triangle of love on radio.
Here was a normal family headed by a man who has been on an extraordinary journey in providing leadership to Ghanaians in the Subin constituency of the Ashanti region.
Isaac Osei wore a brown dull shirt – African print – that showed no sign that it was expensive. He stood in a sandal that emphasized his interest in simply covering his feet - not making a fashion statement.
And his beautiful watch sat on his wrist as a lonely and only sign of good taste.
But his leadership qualities shone on his face the way power shone across the face of the head of Medusa - that's if you watched that film.
The look of a headmaster, a look of authority, a look that discouraged crime at home.
And so when lexis Bill pushed his wife with the question, what’s the most romantic thing your husband has done, Isaac Osei barked ‘hey hey hey hey don’t go there don’t get there’ he jovially scattered a potentially juicy revelation.
The ‘headmaster’ had spoken.
Isaac nonetheless gave us some spoils from the interview when he told Lexi Bill he kisses his wife every day.
“I kiss my wife everyday. Everyday I kiss my wife Mariane. She is a lovely woman I love her to bits….oh I kiss her several times a day.”
Sweet stuff for a couple to do when you are newlywed, or when you are 25 years old or ,26 or 27 or 29 or 30,35….and as the years wear on, the image of the 64 years old couple kissing in the morning could draw expressions of discomfort in the eyes of their onlooking daughter.
And she admitted that sometimes the sight was uncomfortable. Well, that's Ghanaians for you.
Isaac Osei made it clear what he meant by kissing. It is not planting dry pegs and hurrying off to work.
No. For the M.A graduate in Development Economics from Williams College in Massachusetts, USA where he experienced a cultural immersion, a kiss was really one of those passionate examples littering the many scenes in the Game of Thrones.
Okay. Snap out of it.
Down to earth, where the interview settled into predictable talk of politics.
Isaac Osei showed a little difficulty in simply saying ‘check’ to a true statement and ‘uncheck’ to an untrue statement about his life.
He used true/untrue/that is not untrue/I did/yes I did/ well not really/if you want to put it that way/
‘Let’s limit it to ‘check’ [wai] honourable’ Lexis begged. Politicians are inherently not-too-straight-forward.
He took Lexis Bills through his admiration for Prime Minister K.A Busia while a student at the University of Ghana in 1973.
“I had met [him] in my father’s house at Kokomlemle. He had given us a book ‘Africa in search of democracy’ which he had signed. I took an interest in what Dr. Busia was doing.”
Years of witnessing the dictatorship of the military in public service, he left for private business where dictators could no longer determine everything you did.
Success in private practice deepened his dislike for public service until President Kufuor appointed him High Commissioner to UK in November 2001.
“I am eternally grateful to his Excellency President Kufuor. He gave me the opportunities for public service I did not think I would have.”
He summarized his experience in politics
“My experience has been mixed. There are sometimes when somethings surprise me", he said.
“Like what?” Lexis pushed.
“Well, the expectations of the people and the promises of some of the political class. I don’t want this to turn into a debate about the failures of the present government but there has been monumental failures and the promises which have been made and not fulfilled has made people very cynical about politics.”
The politician couldn’t resist the edge to bloody the nose of President Mahama’s government.
For Issac Oseo, an unpleasant political attack on him was when somebody called him ‘Subin Mugabe’ even though he is just serving his second term in parliament.
That was an “unkind” attack, he said.
Let’s just say, the President has suffered dangerous verbal abuse from the creativity of anointed critics.
The Subin MP revealed his “greatest fear at the moment, is that the economy of this country will collapse, given the trend that we have seen in the last couple of years. …What is happening now is unacceptable.”
How I Met Your Mother – Isaac Osei version
“I married a good woman who took me to the Holy Spirit Cathedral, I heard her sing one of these catholic songs….then I said wow who was that? So I asked her to come home and come and sing for me. Anyway, that’s another story” he laughed.
The ‘power of the singing at home’ informed his shift from Anglican to Catholicism – permanently.
Marrian joined the conversation and described her husband's mood after he lost the Subin parliamentary primaries last week Saturday.
Did he look moody?
“Not at all. I comforted him. But he said no, it's okay. It is just an election. One must win another must lose”.
Picking out the strong points in his character, Mariane said her husband is a “very optimistic man”.
An optimism his party really needs at a time when it appears divided.
“We are getting together and I am sure we will put our act together in order to show the people of Ghana we are the best alternative to the rather incompetent government”.
Isaac Osei has pledged his commitment to help his party and flagbearer Nana Akufo-Addo win power in 2016. The flashes of passion in his eyes when I spoke about management and economy revealed his conviction that Ghana's days remain 18 months away from salvation from the brink of economic chaos.
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