Accepting praises while waiting for criticisms

Sunday, May 22, 2022.

So someone I have never met before (but I share a WhatsApp platform with) ‘nominates’ me for a national award for my writing (and other things I do).

This is interesting because of how ‘far’ I have come with my writing. Now I even have a blog.
I will share the piece I wrote on my journey in writing.

This is what the person wrote:

This writer is a fellow “platformer”on a WhatsApp page. I admire his ability to write on almost every topic each day on social media in addition to practising his profession so admirably. It’s not easy to do that at all. Columnists would tell you that the most difficult issue in writing a column is the ability to sustain the interest of your readers (and followers, as they are called these days) with useful topics. Columnists run out of ideas all the time. When this happens, their writings become banal, bland and boring. It’s not about the language; it’s all about the topic. But this guy is a genius, if you asked me. I admire him for that. I once commented on this unique ability of his on the platform, I think much to his blushing (you know Ghanaians usually are bashful of their achievements. I think that’s a cultural thing. Again, Ghanaians find it difficult to praise others. I don’t know if that’s also cultural or a learned habit. Our Nigerian cousins proudly talk about their achievements without looking over their shoulders. Americans talk about their achievements and heap praises on their compatriots who attain laurels. It raises their ego, adrenaline and pride Several notches higher. So in most competitions, Americans are able to “win” with their “mouths” and psychology even before the actual competition. I hope we take a leaf from the Nigerian and American ways)
Back to my social media friend about whom I am writing, I didn’t know several others had noticed this admirable characteristic of his. After praising him on the platform so openly, you know what people did? They sent me personal messages confirming my praises on him but they felt my praising him on the general platform might “embarrass him” or “bloat his ego,” as some put it. I was lost for words. I was convinced it’s a Ghanaian thing to not speak of your achievements or heap laudation on other achievers.
Well, every cloud has a silver lining. Out of what happened, somebody who knows him in person whispered his laurels to me. It was indeed impressive and unimaginable. I was awestruck. A week ago, I read just a bit of his family story in the papers. On mother’s day, Graphic contacted his proud mom who raised four brilliant scholars, the eldest of them being Prof. Elsie Effah Kaufman, the national science quiz mistress.
But what still amazes or amuses me (or both at the same time) about this great guy is his ability to write daily unfailingly and practise medicine in a remote area of the country so admirably. He’s done so for 20 years. Consistently, he talks about cervical cancer, highlights the plight of its patients, performs surgery on them, appeals for help for patients, holds workshops and other training sessions on the disease and trains others to be able to handle simple procedures on the canker of cervical cancer. Admirable! Though he’s not on this platform, I think his story should go viral. We’ve heard enough about social “celebrities,” so let us now hear something about the “uncelebrated celebrities.”
My candidate for a national award, if I had my way. Dr Kofi Effah @Vandidi. We need more of your kind. Often, I ask myself if you alone have 48 hours, unlike our 24, in a day.

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