My Living Legends: Celebrating Manasseh Azure Awuni – By Kofi Yeboah
Today, I am celebrating the life of a great journalist who does not mind invading a brothel or laying ambush in a stranger’s house just to get his story. Please read and share your comments
He is arguably one of the finest journalists in Ghana today. The products of his pen are extremely captivating, his focus on issues most relevant, his language inspiringly potent and his messages very illuminating. His journalism skills are so sublime. I see in him a combination of Lionel Messi, Usain Bolt, Michael Phelps, Manny Pacqaio and Michael Jordan. If you can find any word in the dictionary that fittingly describes the combined talents of these living legends, you may please fill in the gap for me.
The first time I heard of him was on Radio Ghana. As a writer myself, I know exactly what goes into producing one article in respect of generating an idea, research, thoughtfulness and time. It’s very demanding. But he seems to do it with ease. The frequency of his writings is so amazing, given the quality they come with.
What is even more incredible to me is his professional versatility. He’s the only journalist I’ve come across in the country who combines television, radio and print reporting, and in all of them, he comes through as a master of the game. Sometimes, I wonder how he’s able to do all that. But one thing is certain though; he’s driven by a strong passion to use his pen to effect change in society, particularly by championing the cause of the under-privileged and socially excluded. A very daring journalist, he will always pursue a story wherever it is hidden regardless of the risk involved, just for the sake of helping to improve the lot of the social outcast.
Once upon a time, he, together with another young journalist, dared to enter a brothel around the Kwame Nkrumah Circle, posing as potential patrons just so he will get his story. The details of what exactly transpired at the brothel are classified information. Another time, he had to lay ambush in a stranger’s house just to get evidence of a girl under abuse. In both instances, he had to risk his life to help better the lives of others.
Having followed his journalism exploits even while he was a student at the Ghana Institute of Journalism, it had always been my desire to meet him one day. When that day came, I was humbled by his person. He’s so unassuming, soft-spoken, humble and respectful, very unlike many journalists I know, who after getting a few by-lines, suddenly put on the cloak of pomposity that makes them want to flap their wings at the least opportunity.
I may be senior to him in the journalism profession, but I’m not ashamed to acknowledge him as my idol, one that inspires me about the charge I, as a journalist, have to keep. It’s a charge to make an impact in the lives of the thousands of people who are deprived of basic life necessities such as food, water, clothing and shelter. It is not a charge to do the politician’s bidding. Indeed, he is a fine journalist whose sandals I’m unworthy to untie, let alone polish.
I invite you all to help me celebrate the life of MANASSEH AZURE AWUNI, journalist par excellence. I believe this gentleman is a gift for the journalism profession and the nation as a whole. We need to pray for him so that God will grant him good health, long life and wisdom to enable him to continue his good works. We need to encourage and support him in every way possible.
As salute Manasseh with this tribute, I pray that God will continue to strengthen and guide him in all things so that he shall continue to fulfil the purpose of his professional calling and even other endeavours in life. AMEN!