I’m Just A Night Watchman’s Son – 2011 GJA Best Journalist Tells His Moving Story
The 2011 Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) Best Journalist, Manasseh Azure Awuni, has opened up on grass-to-grace story and life as the son of a night watchman.
The prolific writer was on Saturday, August 25th, adjudged the country’s Best Journalist at the 17th GJA Awards held at the Banquet Hall, State House.
Awuni, who stood tall among his peers, swept three awards on the night - Best Report in Feature Writing (Print), Best Report On Sanitation and Best Report on TV News - to crown the year under review as the best in the inky fraternity.
He described winning the Best Journalist award as a ‘humbling experience’, because when he takes a look back at his poor beginning, “if anybody had prophesied that i’ll be where I am today, I would’ve called the person a liar because i started from nothing and with nothing”.
To him, the honour done him by the GJA is more of a challenge than just recognition for his good work, adding that “this has placed me on a high pedestal, where people will expect more (from me) and will not tolerate mistakes I committed in the past; the mistakes that were initially overlooked.”
“To whom much is given, much is expected…it is said that you quit when the applause is loudest, but in my case, the applause is now louder at my starting point,” Manasseh said.
Speaking in an exclusive but quite poignant interview with Kwami Sefa Kayi, on Peace FM’s Kokrokoo Morning Show, Azure Awuni narrated some of the challenging times he went through as a young chap when the breadwinner, his father, had to work as a farm labourer in Bongo and Kete Krachi in order to put food on the table.
Recounting the repercussion of growing up in an economically handicapped family, Azure Awuni said he was initially shy of his father’s line of work for fear of being ridiculed by his class mates.
“In 1990, my father finally landed a job as a night watchman at the Kete Krachi Government Hospital (where he still works) and gradually relocated the family to the township…we (my twin sister and i) had our Basic and Junior High School education in Kete Krachi….I obtained the highest grades in the Kete Krachi district in the BECE and was hoping to attend one of the big schools in the country, but that couldn’t be since my dad could not afford that ‘luxury’,” he narrated.
Asked why he regularly refers to his humble beginnings, the 2011 GJA Best Journalist said often-times when people attain a certain status or achieve some remarkable feat in life, they tend to forget their past, but he prefers to repeatedly allude to how hard things were for him and his family in the past as a reminder of his lowly roots.
An emotional Manasseh, was appreciative of the efforts of his father in seeing to it that he was given the best of education despite being financially-handicapped and appealed to parents not to use poverty as an excuse to provide for their ward’s education.
Click on the audio attachment above to listen to Manasseh Azure Awuni’s full interview with Kwami Sefa Kayi on Peace FM.