I warmed up to Blakk Rasta when he declared the 10 candidates for hell on radio. To prepare a list of candidates for doom is one thing but to have the balls to make public the candidates some of whom are alive required balls of steel and to see him on television on the DJ Challenge show with his ‘amore fire’ chants sealed the deal for me.
So for many years I was a faithful listener of the ‘Taxi Driver’ show which has been on for 8 years and couldn’t miss it for all the coffee in Brazil.
But gradually Blakk was leaking water, not to any rival say Conscious Queen of Pink FM, Mr. Logic of Y FM, Fifi Selah of Pluzz FM but to the lofty standards he set for himself for which listeners have been spoiled for aeons.
The ‘Taxi Driver’ is not your average reggae show where music is the main dish and very little else is offered, Rasta’s claim to fame is as much his strength in playing crisp music as well as his gripping talk.
It is not for nothing that he maintains that he is Ghana’s best, Africa’s finest and the world’s most wanted. Blakk offered the ‘Boiling Pot’ a.k.a ‘Kukushiew ni mu’ where he picked a topic and digested it passionately and then there was the ‘Shocker Box’ for relaying happenings in the reggae and music world as well as the ‘Black Sense’ segment.
Sadly over the years the ‘Boiling Pot’, ‘Black Sense’ and ‘Shocker Box’ became mentions in his intros but were not attended to as segments.
Eventually his time consciousness dropped, meaning he often started the show at 10:30 am instead of 10:00 am and when the sit-in DJ holds the fort with music Blakk upon arriving starts all over again with his sig-tunes and intros which takes the shine away from the show.
But core fans forgave all of these and eagerly awaited his entry because of the immensely popular African History Class which seeks to among others expose the vile and evil scheme of the Europeans/Caucasians, highlight the achievements of Africans and the negroid race and expose ills in the society and generally be an advocate for justice.
And it is here that when Blakk enters his element, he is a delight to listen to. For years many men, women and children passed through western themed educational programmes without being exposed to the life and works of African martyrs such Kwame Nkrumah, Marcus Garvey, Patrice Lumumba, Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Muhammad Ali, Muammar Gadhafi, Shaka Zulu, Thomas Sankara, W. E. B. Du Bois, Walter Rodney, Steve Biko, Kwame Toure, Harriet Tubman, Fredrick Douglas, Booker T. Washington and Khalid Mohammad among others.
Others knew the names but little about their roles in advancing African civilization.
The ‘kuchoko’ legend deserves praise for this project and imparting knowledge to the educated, semi educated and downright uneducated in African affairs.
The ‘Salaga soldier’ has passionately advocated for the enlightenment of the Ghanaian society to objectively look at the merits of marijuana (weed) use and determine how we proceed as a nation being mindful that many countries which limited marijuana use now permit its wider use.
The Netherlands took the lead in appreciating the wonders of God’s own plant by allowing its use in the country, going a step further by opening weed bars where patrons could come in for a marijuana drink, smoke or cake. The boom in tourism and the inflow of other nationals to the country because of its unique services is a matter of public record.
America which allowed marijuana syrup and cigarette sale in the early years and then later banned the product for recreational use has now decriminalized its use in certain states for medicinal and recreational use.
Italy seeing the light has also given the green light for its open use even enlisting its army to help with the cultivation to meet demand.
Britain the colonial suppressor delegitimized marijuana use when it was in charge in the country, since their departure Ghanaian authorities have maintained the law restricting marijuana use on the books.
The claim that marijuana is the cause of madness or mental imbalance is flawed. Having undertaken my diploma project at the Accra Psychiatric Hospital, it became clear that factors leading many citizens to be admitted at the facility range from relationship troubles, work related stress and responsibilities, accidents affecting the brain, dependence on hard and destructive substances including cocaine, heroin and even liquor use including all those being advertised on radio, TV and in print media as if they were play things.
In all of these, I am yet to hear a call on the ban of marriages, use of vehicles and liquor use as they all could lead to loss of the use of the mental faculties and even death.
Of course there certain unpleasant experiences with marijuana use, they include coughs often associated with those who smoke rather than eat, drink or vaporize it.
Panic reaction occurs in people who are novice users especially those exposed to a plant very high in THC.
Paranoid thinking: That police are after them. Since marijuana use is illegal in most states, this often is an exaggerated reality.
For those who care to know 29,000 people who follow the Rastafarian religion in Jamaica see marijuana as herb and not drug so does the millions who follow the faith globally.
In Northern China, the herb was used for religious and healing purposes before gaining entry in India where British nationals took it to England and then America. In England it immediately became Queen Victoria’s treatment for her menstrual cramps.
The misconception that use of marijuana led to debauchery and violence led to marijuana’s medicinal and recreational values to be downplayed. Despite the American government’s war on marijuana usage, in 1988 the chief administrative law judge of the Food and Drugs administration issued a ruling recommending that marijuana was one of the safest therapeutic agents known to man. He added marijuana was safer than eating 10 potatoes in a day.
The pioneering work by Tod H. Mikuriya, MD states that conditions treated with cannabis include hepatitis C, diabetes, hypertension, asthma, epilepsy, migraine, appetite loss, diarrhea, Crohn’s disease and multiple sclerosis in addition to having anti-tumor effect on lung, breast, typhoid, brain and prostate cancer.
According to Dr. Donald Tashkin MD, tobacco smokers have a marked increase risk compared to those who smoked only marijuana. He said tobacco smokers who smoked 2 packs a day had a 20 fold (2000%) increased risk whiles those who smoke 1 to 2 packs a day had an 8 fold (800%) risk of getting lung cancer.
Whiles tobacco contains nicotine which makes smokers dependent; marijuana on the other hand contains delta-9-tetrahydro cannabinol (THC) and 60 other THC substances called cannabinoids which help fight cancerous and diseased cells.
It is not for nothing that Mighty men such as Peter Tosh, Bob Marley and Culture as well as numerous other people advocate and use marijuana for recreational and or medicinal purposes.
Obviously Blakk Rasta’s claim that about 80% of MPs smoke wee and that a doctor can tests all the MPs to confirm his claim in addition to asserting that MPs who smoke wee do not want to go public because as lawmakers they know the substance is banned was unguarded hence the scrutiny of the MP’s.
On that fateful Thursday, Abubakar Ahmed appearing before the privileges committee needed to make peace with the MP’s but lost a fine opportunity by demonstrating to all that deeds and not just words was the staff he was made of.
It was that reason why TV and radio mediums dedicated airtime to cover the proceedings but the Blakk Rasta, the taxi driver, the one who could dominate his fellow colleagues including Kwame B and Andy Dosty, the one who could taunt people and hit politicians and preacher folks hard, the man who sang about Kwame Nkrumah, Muamar Gadhafi and has taught many about the life, times and hardships of freedom fighters and those for the Pan African cause could not emulate the bravery and integrity of those great elders.
Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, the Osagyefo, Sankara, Lumumba and countless others knew the inherent danger in the fight against vile and sinister opponents but stood by their convictions, some going to jail others dying for the cause but posterity continues to remember them because of their integrity.
Having apologized for his class defamation which ridiculed the position or office of parliamentarians in the eyes of right thinking members of society, Blakk ought to have then gone on to make his case in his ginger like manner that the time was right to decriminalize marijuana use for recreational, medicinal use and for economic gain e.g. fibre ropes, hair and skin pomade etc.
Rather many were stunned to see a headmaster-pupil, cowed and tamed Blakk Rasta who in venturing to apologize ended up stating that ‘he was on heat’ when those pronouncements were made. One thought Blakk was a fireman and not an on-heat man.
If there was any group of I could vouch for, it is the Rastafarian brethren and ‘sistren’. Having marched with them in the ‘Hands off Libya, Hands off Africa’ demo against Nato attacks on Gadhafi and again crossed paths with them during the centenary celebration of Osagyefo’s birth at the Nkrumah mausoleum in the presence of late Kofi Awoonor and elder Kenneth Kawunda where they chanted and immersed themselves in the activities, I can say had Blakk made his case tenaciously without fear even at the peril of losing his job or going to prison, the massive campaigns that would have been undertaken by the Rastafarians to free him would have beaten Tsatu Tsikata’s but alas Blakk’s nerves failed him.
No matter how it is sugar coated, Blakk himself knows it was an anticlimax whether or not managers of Multimedia tamed him and with that a broken myth and aura of an irrepressible, indomitable fellow.
It thus was no surprise that the following day, Blakk was not on air. He needs retrospection; ask himself questions as to how he now proceeds with his career. For those who swallowed everything Blakk issued, they sure would examine his pronouncements more keenly now and those in authority who were in dread of him would now heave a sigh of relief and be brazen towards him.
Another curious thing about Blakk’s appearance at the committee meeting was him taking an oath with the Quran. For one who professes that he is a nayabinghi that was peculiar and continues to generate conversation in certain circles.
Now that the ‘Buffalo foot man’ is under scrutiny some have called for his claim of being Mr. Endowed be verified, urging females who have tasted the rod to make public if those claims are false or solid.
Multimedia has a tooth ache it needs to contain, how do you handle the livewire of Hitz 103.9 FM such that he does not draw unneeded attention on the organization yet show him that he is loved and respected?
For the barak obamo, kwame nkrumah, serwaa akoto hitmaker, certain tough calls have to be made. For one, the interview which generated the whole issue could have been better managed.
For another, the publication by sister station Adom FM on its webpage could have been done differently and the coded mocking by some on-air staff at Adom and Hitz could be disheartening for Blakk and could inform his decision to keep faith with the station which gave him a chance or move and start a new challenge bearing in mind his the top guy or one of top guys in the mid morning show range.
Some have labeled Blakk a coward, fake and a false Rasta, I am constrained in pouring all these words on a man who has done so much for the African cause but as human became unguarded and is now entangled in a tricky web. I pray Jah gives you the strength to pull through my brethren in struggle.