It was vibrant. It was a lively evening. The resplendent traditional drummers and enchanting tunes of Ewe Borborbor melodies of the Ashiaman-based ‘New Generation’ cultural troupe welcomed everyone.

They greeted and entertained all those who were arriving at the Christ the King Parish Hall to witness the launch of Manasseh Azure Awuni’s The Fourth John: Reign, Rejection, Rebound on Wednesday.

By the inclusion of this enrichment of cultural splendour in the programme, I know Manasseh, the investigative journalist I admire from afar, is indeed a man of culture and of national pride. No wonder he detests corruption and has always aimed to expose it in his work. How can a man turn a blind eye away from the wrong he witnesses that slowly destroys his beloved country? It breaks a heart; it breaks a strong love for a nation.

Speaking of his latest, The Fourth John: Reign, Rejection, Rebound, Manasseh said some people turned down invites to the book launch because of the title.

“I have been asked why the 4th John and not the 1st, 2nd or 3rd John.”

He explained that most of his childhood life entailed witnessing the first three Johns during their reign but for the 4th John, he was old enough and most of his reporting and investigating revolved around John Mahama, hence the title for the book.

From the three excerpts that were read to the audience by highly experienced broadcasters; Araba Koomson of JoyNews, Serwaa Amihere of GHOneTV and Selikem Acolatse-Apaloo of GBC; I can tell that the author does not seek to write about pure politics but analyses the characters that make up politics, the environments they find themselves interacting in and how these characters face issues that have the development of a country at stake.

Consider it, akin to one of those American series that grants the public access to the ins and outs of the White House happenings, except that Manasseh’s observations are based on facts though subjective. It provides a point of view from the author, in commentary form – a skilled type of storytelling in journalism that is hard to come by.

Manasseh Azure Awuni enjoying the event

Omanhene of Essikado Traditional Area, Nana Kobina Nketsia V, the chairman for the programme, gave a word to journalists regarding my above sentiments about the book.

“You can’t be a journalist without a moral compass,” he said. He explained that when you see the exploited and the exploiter, as journalist you will naturally be inclined to speak up about the exploited. “There is no neutrality in journalism,” he said.

Other dignitaries in attendance were the late former Vice-President’s wife, Matilda Amissah-Arthur; Chief Executive Officer of STC, Nana Akomea; Member of Parliament for Nadowli West, Alban S.K Bagbin and Executive Director of CDD, Prof Kwasi Prempeh who gave a review of Manasseh Azure’s book at the event.

Matilda Amissah-Arthur, wife of the late former Vice-President, Paa Kwesi Amissah-Arthur

Abdul Hayi Moomen who was the Master of Ceremony for the book launch event, ensured that the audience was well entertained and led the auction and sales of the first few copies of The Fourth John: Reign, Rejection, Rebound.

Copies of the book went for a minimum of GH¢5,000 on auction and even one went for $10,000 by an individual who still remains anonymous.

Get a hardback copy of The Fourth John: Reign, Rejection, Rebound for GH¢100 and a softback copy for GH¢80.