The world marked Father’s Day on Sunday, June 18, 2023 without the fanfare that heralded Mother’s Day few weeks ago. Some organisations, including media houses, feted their male workforce though.
The reason for the lack of enthusiasm about Father’s Day is not farfetched. Some mothers have succeeded in projecting fathers as irresponsible and the propaganda has caught on so well that the good deeds of we the good fathers seem unrecognized.

This prevailing circumstance can be explained though. Because, one bad groundnut has the potential to spoil the taste of the bunch that one puts in the mouth - Local proverb. And I was nearly caught in the fray. Then I remembered that my Daa was as good to me as Maa. There were a few tensed moments though. That’s because I was a stubborn teenager.

Daa took a special interest in my education. At a point, he was bent on transferring me from Liberty Avenue Primary School, Adabraka to what in his estimation was a ‘better’ school. Being and Anglican by faith, he took me to the Bishop’s School in Accra. But I failed the entry assessment. Unperturbed, we tried St Mary’s Anglican Primary School (Akotolante). Here, luck smiled at us.

His whippings during homework sessions may have contributed to my defiant attitude as a teenager. That’s because after surviving the canning by Ms. Cobblah (Class 4), Mrs. Obeng (Class 5) and Mr. Allotey (Class 6) that comes with early morning mental and dictation exercises in school, one would have thought that home would be made to remain a place for playing. But no. Daa turned the evening homework sessions into another whipping time - one wrong-one lash.

Unbeknown to me, that was his way of ensuring that I had the mental fortitude to become an award-winning journalist, end up as a first-class student at the Bachelor’s degree level and go through a Master’s degree programme at Ghana’s premier university-UG with B as the least grade in the courses taught.
The child that I was, at a point I even became rebellious. I challenged almost every instruction he directed at me. And he hated it so much. Yet he found it funny enough to nickname me ‘The Lawyer’ due to my defiant attitude. This notwithstanding, Mr. Godfrey Ayettey Mensah had occasion to say, in reference to me that, “he is going all the way”. This is a blessing and a prophesy that has come to pass.

Yes. I may not be driving a Mercedes Benz, Land Cruiser, Land Rover, Range Rover or Bugatti. Neither do I live in a mansion or the haciendas that are shown in the telenovelas, although I would not mind if that were the case. But anyone who knows me would acknowledge that I have indeed come ‘all the way’- very far, because my Daa was called to glory in December 1990 when I had just completed my Advanced Level education.

Before his death was the ‘Dadaba’ days. Daa was a Nurse/Anaesthetist who later upgraded into a Medical Assistant. For this reason, he referred to himself as a double-edged sword. However, his admirers called him a doctor and it rubbed off on us, his children. Ten of us. We were exposed to some priviledges here and there.

His sense of fashion was up there. Daa’s suits and shoes were imported from the UK. You should see him ready for church on Sundays. In keeping with this, we; myself and two immediate elder brothers who are twins, also got our church clothing from Glamour and Kingsway stores. Our shoes were bought from Lennards Store in the Central Business District of Accra, at the time.

Besides nice clothes and shoes, the caring dad that he was, he managed to build us a house. Mr. G.A. Mensah, as he was affectionately called by his colleagues, enjoyed life to the fullest until disaster struck- stroke. He fought the malady for about a decade before giving up. I miss you Daa.

My elder brothers for a dad
With Daa gone, my brothers- Duke, Laud and King took over. From monthly stipends to occasional suitcases full of trendy clothes and shoes. Thus, Daa’s absence was not felt much. The quest to further my education became topmost on my agenda and the trio was at hand to foot the bill- with Dollars from Duke, CFA from Laud and Deutschemarks from King, there was no need to worry about school fees, textbooks, pamphlets or handouts.

Ben and Lionel, our cousins, also contributed their quota. The mention of these two names reminds me of the disciplinarian side of Daa that I was lucky to have escaped. They told me how he chased them around and beat them when they went astray. From their accounts, Daa was fearsome. You dare not challenge his orders. I guess my ‘Last Baby’ status meant that by the time I arrived, everything had changed. Lucky me!

Mr. B.A. Mensah
It must have been the similarity in the surname and the fact that we had links to twins. Because the moment we were introduced, we ‘clicked’. Mr. Benjamin Akueteh Mensah was Headmaster of Datus Complex Schools, Bubuashie branch when I was employed as the Ga Teacher there. Tsɔɔlɔ, yes, that’s how it all started. And that’s how it has been. I take whatever job is available, provided it helps pay the bills, and make the best out of it.

During the three years that I worked at Datus, Mr. Mensah, then a retired educationist, mentored me in the art of teaching- be friendly but firm with the students, prepare your lesson notes and submit it on time and the most important one; don’t be tempted by the ‘Adam’s apples’ present in the many blooming teenaged female students.

Mr. Abbeyquaye and Mr. Koranteng deserve acknowledgement here as well. We worked very cordially until I had to say goodbye in 1995 upon gaining admission into the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ- Now University of Media Arts and Communication - UniMAC).

Kwasi Sainttie Baffoe-Bonnie (Baboo)
While in journalism school, I fell in love with Network Broadcasting Company, A.k.a, Radio Gold 90.5FM- Your Power Station!!! So, I determined to undertake part of my six-month mandatory internship there. This came to pass, and I even got the opportunity to do the National Service there as well.
There is no denying the fact that it is one thing being recommended to the General Manager of an organization in which you undertook your National Service, for employment and another thing all together for him to say, approved.

When I was recommended in 1997 for employment, Baboo okayed it instantly. Besides news gathering and reporting, GM as we called him, added me to the production team of the morning show and Platform, a weekend political discussion programme hosted by the famous Nii Arday Clegg. Kwami Sefa Kayi’s ‘Kanawu’ (Public complaints) programme was my sole responsibility, production wise.

I must have performed these tasks so well because, on one occasion, he called me to his office to tell me how proud he was of me and the other members of the team. He urged us to continue the good work and that a Nissan Hardbody pick-up vehicle each, will be our portion if we made him proud. Alas, that did not happen.

Nonetheless, I feel indebted to him for offering me my first journalism job. An opportunity that enabled me to gain a firm foundation for what I do today.

Mr. Saviour Kofi Abotchie
Now he calls me ‘Ataa nkpa’- Older father on Facebook. However, between 1996 and 2003 I studied broadcast journalism under his feet at Radio Gold. That was during and immediately after my training at GIJ.

Efo Kofi, the benchmark for a good radiogenic voice at the time, related to me like a younger brother. We went on some critical assignments together. On one such occasion, we had filled the front seats of the station’s branded Daewoo Tico car with hour huge body frames and driving to our destination when a pedestrian remarked at us- Akwadaa ne mpeninfuɔ mienu, muu kɔ hi? – Two big men in a small car, where are you going?

At the time, there was this advert rendered in animation/cartoon format by Zingaroo in which a boy is shown walking briskly to the library. Two elderly men who were drug dealers, thus wanted to lure him into having a sniff, asked in Twi “Akwadaa woo kɔ he? Where are you going? To which the boy responded, “Mee kɔ library”- to the library. Apparently, our pedestrian admirer was intrigued by the fact that our huge frames had fitted into the small vehicle so well, hence the remark.

That was just by the way. Suffice it to say that after he had satisfied himself that I was well grounded, Mr. Kofi Abotchie, Head of News, found me capable enough to be assigned to the presidential beat during President Kufuor’s era. Through his efforts, I got a visa to the USA to visit Duke and other relatives and friends who lived there. Needless to state that the trip, sponsored by Duke, Laud and Ben, was eye-opening much as it was horizon-broadening.

Mr. Ben Ephson
I had my print journalism experience at the Daily Graphic Newsroom. There, I got the opportunity to be paired with Francis Eshun-Baidoo, Emmanuel Kojo Kwarteng, Emmanuel Mesikpih, and Albert Salia on assignments. Upon return, they made me contribute some paragraphs to the story and we shared the byline. The first time I had a solo assignment, my script was spiked (rejected) by the sub-editor on duty- Mr. Kweku Tsen. I was so traumatized I went to him for an explanation. Instead, I got a stern look that suggested, “Don’t waste my time!!”

I said a few swear words to him, in my head, and vowed never to give up. That’s because I was convinced that I could write, very well. Someone who was writing articles and posting them on the campus notice board to the admiration of my mates and seniors alike? No way!! Then I saw a column in the Mirror newspaper – My Turn. I enquired about how to get my article published in that space. It was done in no time. I regained my confidence.

As mentioned above, I take whatever job comes my way and make the best of it. While working at Radio Gold, I found my job schedule so flexible I felt I could do something in addition. Writing a column came to mind. But in which newspaper?

As fate would have it, Mr. Benjamin Emmanuel Ephson, Managing Editor of The Dispatch was contracted by the late Mr. Kwasi Saintie-Baffoe Bonnie to host an election analysis programme on the station- Ephson’s File. Upon learning that he owned a newspaper, I approached him. He asked me to write a few articles to serve as a bank before publication started. I did. The name became the next hurdle. As someone who likes plugging low hanging fruits, I took a leaf from Ephson’s File - I used my first, instead of surname and replaced File with Diary – Eric’s Diary. The rest is history.

It’s time to go
Lyrics of highlife songs that show appreciation to one’s benefactors fill my mind as I bring this piece to an end. One by Boakye A.B. Gyan that says “enam dua so na ahoma furo suro…enam obi so na obi ayeyie”- everyone needs somebody to help lift them up. How apt. Because without all these father figures, I may have gone wayward.

There is this other one by Oheneba Kissi which translates thus, “if I am not able to give you anything, I will name my children after you.” This has been done, as my second son is called Laud- after my second elder brother.

Unfortunately for the rest, I have stopped producing babies. So, I will lobby my children to help me honour this promise. Just in case I don’t succeed, please remember that per this piece, I have proven that I am not a fowl- who after eating will wipe the beak clean in the sand, an indication that no food has entered its system through that inlet.

In simple terms, I am grateful to all you dad’s my father left me with.
And to those whose names have not found a space here, please note that you are duly acknowledged for being part of my success.

Namaste - that’s goodbye in Hindi.
Let God Lead! Follow Him directly, not through any human.


The writer is the author of two books whose contents share knowledge on how anyone desirous of writing like him can do so. Eric can be reached via email

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DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.