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Are speechwriters going extinct?


It happened again, this time in Ghana.

On Saturday, January 7, 2017. The inauguration of Nana Akufo-Addo, the 5th elected president. A speech happened. A speech that would have been an excellent one, except for the intrusion of a little something called the internet and all the wonders it can do and expose.

When it happened to Melania Trump, we blamed her svelte figure and her career in modelling and showbiz, and her going naked on a cover of a magazine… we blamed everything that she is, even marrying a Trumpty Dumpty could affect her intellect. Her blonde moment didn’t seem out of place considering all that we assume her to be. What then do we say of a man dressed for Ghana’s big position?

Eugene Arhin, communications director for the office of the President says it was an “oversight’. Put a wet cloth in her mouth, please!

As dreadful and embarrassing as this is, it is about time we ask what speech writers are up to these days. I assume there are writers assigned to do the job of “preparing the president’s speech”… did they get drunk at a party a day before and muddled the speech? Did the hard drive crash? Were they employed an hour before the inaugural event? Did they hire their cousins to do the job?

Like dinosaurs, we may begin to mourn the loss of speech writers.

Africa isn’t exactly the continent where you’d find libraries in every locality; heck, it’s a struggle to find books to read even when you can afford them. People want to eat, then they want to be music stars (no disrespect to music).

Who will write our great stories and preserve history in print? Not many, it seems.

Strange for a Nigerian to feel this way; are we not the kings of humiliation? We are in a class of our own. Think of any embarrassing political issue, and we have outdone the worst of them with gold plaques to show. Our suffering in the hands of politicians cannot be plagiarized even if we tried. We cannot be fathomed by normal living beings the world over.

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