It is often said that we take ourselves too seriously, and do not laugh enough. If this description fits or suits you, then please stay as far away as possible from Rodney and his writings [scratch that!]: read the book in hiding. I introduce to you a reverently irreverent writer who pulls no punches, wears no kids’ gloves, bars no holds and suffers no fools gladly. There is not a topic that Rodney is shy to address, and frontally and bluntly too.
Rodney treats, [scratch that!] specialises in the topics that one might want to avoid; but by the time he is done, you absolutely relate to both the matter and his treatment of it. Or you hate him for it. His presentation is rich in language, imagery and humour. He is not shy to take digs at himself and so when he does that to others and the issues that he handles, it is just Rodney being Rodney.
I first ‘met’ this self-described “Honourable MP for Facebook” on (you guessed right) Facebook. Nobody elected him. He does not stand for re-election. He is self-anointed, self-appointed and self-titled. And to top it all off, he has chosen his own “Stool Wives” (three of them!), explaining that the position of an ‘African’ MP on Facebook must come with certain ‘fringe benefits.’ He has carried this make-believe ‘marriages’ so far that once when he had a public ‘tiff’ with one of the ‘Wives’, he received a genuine inbox message from a reader, reprimanding and excoriating him for quarrelling with his spouse in public!
We were students at the University of Ghana at the same time, or so he claims – I have absolutely no memory or recollection of him from those times. And I don’t remember whether he requested my ‘friendship’ on Facebook or I did his. I think that was the time he was about to relocate to Ghana from the UK. But somehow we got connected and hit it off like a house of fire.
Once he settled in Ghana, he turned his fire and ire of the things that keep us back from moving forward as a people; and with his finely-honed wit, unrestrained humour and biting sarcasm, he has sought not to throw the fabric of who we are away, but to change some of the weak strands of the fabric, one frustrating strand at a time.
Rodney does not hide his obvious political bias and freely admits that his political views are deeply influenced and coloured by that bias. Yet when you read him teasing, and ripping and tearing into his own side of the political divide, you are left wondering where that bias is…, until he returns to teasing and ripping and tearing into the opposite side of the divide. When he does that, he invites leading proponent-opponents to read his writing and answer back. He relishes in the exchanges and is full of witty comebacks. He wears his opponents out with sheer energy and vim.
Occasionally, he takes one on the chin. But I have seen him ride the punch and come back even stronger. He is your YING-YANG, at once your light and darkness, softness and hardness (Rodney, no naughty puns intended), in and out (Rodney, be careful!) and giver and receiver (Rodney!!!) This book marks his transition from the soft copies of electronic media to the hard copies of traditional paper books. But it doesn’t change who he is and what he does: an enigma and a riddle, confused and confusing at the same time.
You will find in Rodney, your well-hidden antithesis that is probably your real self, the self whose existence you deny to everyone and even convinced yourself does not exist. Thus in welcoming you to this book, I just welcome you to yourself.
Ace Anan Ankomah is Managing Partner, Bentsi-Enchill, Letsa & Ankomah. The 290-page book by Rodney Nkrumah-Boateng, his third book, is published by DAkpabli & Associates, Ghana, and will be launched on 23 June 2017 at the Christ the King Parish Hall. All are invited.