“Gratitude turns what we have into enough.”

Before we set off from Accra to the oil city- Takoradi, it was just another event I was scheduled to cover. We get there, get the job done, and move to the next. I thought to myself.

But of course, things turn out differently. We certainly don’t have control over the future.

We got to Takoradi at 1:00pm, visited the venue right after check-in. Met up with Kofi Kinaata’s elder brother, who was so gracious to us, gave us all the updates we needed, walked us back to our car, and made sure we were taken care of.

Back at the hotel, I called Kinaata to make sure he was ok. This was mainly because his brother had revealed that the Kinaata hadn’t slept all night since he wanted everything concerning the event close to perfect!

I wanted to help out the small way I could. But Kofi didn’t let me. He assured me everything was under control. I slept off after that conversation. Four hours later, I was ready for the event with my colleagues; Sandra Akakpo and Albert the camera technician.

Rebecca Tweneboah Darko: My first 'Made in Taadi' concert and flying on 'Air Force 1'

We set off at 10:30pm and we got to the venue at half-past midnight due to human traffic. The whole town was out. Everyone seems to be headed towards TTU Park for the concert. We got help from the military who took us close to the stage area.

I must say the over 10 thousand music lovers gathered are the most receptive crowd I’ve seen. They genuinely sang along to all songs by any of the musicians that took to stage that night. From Empress Gifty, Mzvee, Sefa, Keche, Donzy to Amerado and the man of the moment Kinaata, the crowd certainly couldn’t have asked for a better Christmas present this year.

Rebecca Tweneboah Darko: My first 'Made in Taadi' concert and flying on 'Air Force 1'

I enjoyed myself so much I forgot I had been on my feet for the entire 12 hours of the show and conducting interviews in between. At 5:00am a military man offered me a seat as we wait for Kofi Kinaata’s second coming on stage. I got into a conversation with this receptive military man.

We spoke about dealing with entertainers and their fans. He showered me with some praises for being hardworking as he follows my work on the JoyNews and Joy Prime channels. Kofi came back on stage and we knew it was time to call it a day.

Rebecca Tweneboah Darko: My first 'Made in Taadi' concert and flying on 'Air Force 1'

He asked when I was returning to Accra. I responded, “same day by a land cruiser car made available to us”. Then he said his colleagues from Accra will leave the same day with the ‘Air force 1’. “I can arrange for you to go with them if you’re interested,” he said.

I didn’t think about it, I said yes! How cool will that be? I have flown in different aircraft but never have I flown in a helicopter, so why not? Let me give myself the opportunity. Bottom line he did arrange with a Flt lieutenant Atiemo who quickly asked for our full names.

Kofi Kinaata got off stage at 5:40 am, we followed him to his hotel where we got a quick word from him just as required to have a balanced story written.

Rebecca Tweneboah Darko: My first 'Made in Taadi' concert and flying on 'Air Force 1'

Kofi told us he had to return to Accra for another programme the same day and I was so quick to tell him we were also going back that morning so we can catch up with the other events back in Accra.

The original plan was to stay a bit longer to experience the famous masquerade party but I have a flight at 8 am! My first ever Air force treat. We rushed to the hotel packed our bags then left for the airport.

We got there late, we were asked to sign a document that is a consent form to indicate we were flying at our own risk and that the military will not be responsible should there be any misfortune. That was the beginning of my fear.

Rebecca Tweneboah Darko: My first 'Made in Taadi' concert and flying on 'Air Force 1'

We were rushed into the ‘Air Force 1’, we were made to sit on a reserved seat not comfortable and what got me was the windows left opened! I sat close to the opened window.

I said a prayer when the engine started, then got a headphone to support my wig from not falling off once we take off. When we finally took off, I slept like a baby. I was tired. Very exhausted.

When I woke up, we were about to land. It was an absolute honour to have flown on an Air Force helicopter on Christmas day!

I will love to have this experience over again.



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