Few days ago, it emerged that a certain journalists with Daily Graphic- Mr. Daniel Kenu had asked Ghana’s Black Stars’ captain-Asamoah Gyan a “stupid question” and apart from the fact that, Asamoah Gyan and many others were angered by the question—Asamoah Gyan’s older brother-Baffour Gyan was later reported to have gotten the journalist beaten/assaulted, by some macho men he hired.
As a strong Human Rights advocate, the above makes me wonder what sort of animals some of us are or have become, at a time when we are relentlessly fighting to move away from such barbaric happenings…
From what I’ve heard, the ‘absurd’ question the journalist asked was to get a confirmation or otherwise from Asamoah Gyan on whether he actually “sacrificed” his friend-Theophilus Tagoe popularly known as Castro for riches—considering the mystery surrounding Castro’s recent disappearance at Ada.
This question may seem unnecessary in relation to the timing but no one can totally ignore the fact that the hovering superstitions and speculations somewhat make this a valid question—and if a journalist wants to ask, he has every right, be it legal or moral to ask.
Asamoah Gyan has a RIGHT to answer or choose not to answer and for a person in his position, answering the question even if he thought it was absurd would have been the best option.
I do not think it would have taken much of his breath or taken anything away from him to have just answered with a smile by saying; that is a far-fetched superstition and nonsense; I do not know anything about this and I can never do this to anyone, talk of my own friend I love.
It is interesting to know that Asamoah Gyan has played and stayed in the United Kingdom before—and currently plays and stays in a foreign land where you have some very provocative press men well protected by Press Freedom or Freedom of Speech who could have asked this same question. And I wonder if he would have treated them the same or his brother would have proceeded to have a journalist from UK’s Mirror or Sun Newspaper beaten for asking this same question.
Such occurrences do not just bring to light our poor understanding of the most important RIGHT we may have as human beings, Freedom of Expression but also, it puts to test how much we’ve developed out of the animal skin—and more importantly, how we believe those whose words offend us must be treated.
I’ve always maintained that, the true essence of free speech is the RIGHT to be offensive. And no one has any right to punch another person because he finds his words revoltingly offensive.
As Voltaire said; “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it”. This is the true essence and test of how civilized a person is, not how much money the person has sitting in his bank account.
This cannot happen anywhere in the West but it will happen in Ghana and you will have some esteemed people supporting such actions, instead of subjecting them to the commendation they deserve.
Perhaps, being a third world country citizen makes you more of an animal than those in the West, where tolerance and respect for Free Speech have become a hallmark of their existence.
I’ve heard some pretty absurd questions being thrown at world leaders and politicians including President Obama, David Cameroon, Tony Blair and the others—but I am yet to hear that any of those who simply asked the questions have been beheaded or beaten.
Just as Carl Sagan, in his work-The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark stated: “There are naive questions, tedious questions, ill-phrased questions, questions put after inadequate self-criticism. But every question is a cry to understand the world. There is no such thing as a dumb question”.
And I will add that, no person deserves to be beaten for simply asking a question, even if the question is self-styled to be stupid.
Asamoah Gyan, his brother-Baffour Gyan and all those who are in support of this caveman brutality must bow their heads in shame…