For someone who has spent three years on KNUST campus, I believe I shouldn’t be surprised by anything the SRC does wrong because more often than not, the SRC fails to deliver on most of their promises. SRC administrations have come and gone. Each one of them comes with their fair share of disappointments. The Adu-Baah Charles led administration isn’t different either. However, I am not here to talk about all the things this SRC administration has done wrong— at least not today. My focus today, will be on the just ended Tektalk.
Tektalk, as we have been made to know, is a sort of talk session which is organized by the NUGS and the SRC each year and features a number of speakers who have made something out of themselves in life to talk to students, inspire them and challenge them to do more.
This brilliant idea was initiated five years ago. I say bravo to whoever conceived this idea. The idea behind Tektalk is one that still leaves me in awe. It is indeed brilliant.
For the first two years that Tektalk began, I wasn’t on campus so I won’t talk much on them neither will I talk much about the 3rd year it was organized. My focus will be on this year’s Tektalk — one which was supposed to be the 5th anniversary. #TektalkAt5 they called it.
And while I’m at it, I will try to make examples from the 4th Tektalk which saw known names like Former President, H.E. Jerry John Rawlings and ace TV personality, Nana Aba Anamoah, which undoubtedly, was a huge success! It lived up to its name Tektalk then but for what I witnessed yesterday, I’m not so sure what to say.
So, with all the enthusiasm about the 5th anniversary of Tektalk, I got ready to get seated at the Great Hall to be impacted by the speakers. I am a young entrepreneur and this year, the organizers decided to look at the entrepreneurial aspect of the student life which I believed was amazing and with the theme being, “Unearthing the Entrepreneurial potential of the Youth; A drive for National Development”, my expectations were high…very high.
So you can imagine the kind of enthusiasm I headed to Great Hall with yesterday. This enthusiasm, of course, was engulfed by worries…worries that I was few minutes late and that I had probably missed some of the speakers talk. Then I entered the hall only to be met by an almost empty auditorium with none of the speakers around. Quickly, I checked my time to be sure I had gotten the time right. I had. It was already an hour past the proposed time the event was supposed to start.
I decided to give our duty-bound administration the benefit of the doubt and went straight to my seat. After all, at events like these, some delays usually happen. But this benefit of the doubt begun to change to something unfathomable when I had to sit for more than an hour without the event commencing. More than an hour! I mean, this is a students’ event and regardless that it was a weekend, delays like that were unpardonable. And I wouldn’t want to worry about whether the delays were from the speakers or whoever. My worry is the fact that such a delay happened in the first place. Not 20 minutes, 30 or 40…more than an hour! I have reasons to believe it was actually two hours but I will be lenient.
The delays weren’t the only mistake the SRC made.
To talk about the SRC Presidential envoy giving the welcome address instead of the president or the vice or some influential student leader — the NUGS President perhaps. I mean, where was the president? He was nowhere to be found. He appeared when the event was almost at the climax. I wouldn’t behave like a know-it-all and say I know what might have kept the president from being at the event on time but whatever it was that kept you, I believe Mr President, you could have tried your best to be there to give the welcome address. But that’s only my opinion and what do I know?
And also, what did the UNSA president do in the name of “Reason for gathering?” Eiii. You people and surprises! Master Yusif, I salute oo.
From the onset, the organisers got the idea of entrepreneurship and who should be talking to students about entrepreneurship wrong. The speakers…the speakers. Hmmm. I am a little bit reluctant about the issue of the speakers and it is not for any reason than even though they weren’t the speakers I —or most students — had expected the SRC to invite, they did quite a marvellous work by leaving the students with something. Mrs Patricia Obo-Nai talked very well and so did subsequent speakers. We learnt something about entrepreneurship after all.
For the purpose of this article, allow me to reiterate the theme for the ‘TektalkAt5’ which is, “Unearthing the Entrepreneurial potential of the Youth; A drive for National Development.”
It was amazing that what we got were employees, filmmakers and politicians. Regardless, they gave us something to ride home with so I would give that to them. But please please and please again, to the SRC and any other SRC that will follow. Please, when you give a theme for an event, make sure you call in speakers who fit into the scope of the theme.
Personally, I feel it would have been amazing to bring some of these top men and women known in the entrepreneurial field to talk to the students. Also, the SRC could have employed the services of the Kumasi Innovation Hub — a very great establishment on this very campus with a lot of knowledgeable people in the entrepreneurial field. Amazingly, they have very young individuals who are innovators, entrepreneurs and C.E.Os who are doing undoubtedly well! It would have been good to hear from these young people as well. Take it from someone who has been associated with them for months. They have great stuff going on there.
Master Adu-Baah Charles being an entrepreneur himself, I expected better but well…people disappoint sometimes.
The issue I will hammer more will be the patronage of the event. It was poor! I mean look at last year’s Tektalk. The Great Hall was overflowing with students. Many didn’t get places to sit. But yesterday, I don’t know what to call what happened. Now, I wouldn’t want to emphatically say that, this or that happened that is why the event wasn’t patronised but what I will do is probe into the issue. I will ask relevant questions and except the ‘duty-bound’ SRC to find answers themselves.
What could possibly have led to the low patronage of the event? Did it have anything to do with the speakers? Weren’t the student populace enticed by them enough? Did it have anything to do with publicity? Did the SRC fail to utilize the help of the able media houses on campus? Did the SRC fail to send reps to various classes — if not all, at least the large lecture halls — to talk to the students about the event? Well…we will leave it at just that.
The poor organization of the event weren’t supposed to be a part of my write-up but I couldn’t turn a deaf ear to all the agitations I heard at the auditorium while I was trying my best to enjoy the event and get inspired by the speakers.
I mean, ‘I was my somewhere’ as a student as anyone else in the auditorium trying so hard to mind my business.
Trust me, I tried but the comments that were coming from the audience were so loud I couldn’t ignore. Even that, I was strong-willed. I ignored them just to be met with more after the event. I actually got a number of the students coming to me. And many of them were wondering what it was that they’d just witnessed.
To them, the SRC failed to organise the event to their expectations. With all the TektalkAt5 brouhaha, they expected better! And oh, so did I! I expected the 5th Anniversary to be massive than the previous.
Others even went ahead and talked about the citations that we’re given to the speakers. Allow me a deep breath before I say this one. They wanted to find out what sort of citations those were? And what price they were purchased at. Ghc 5.00? Or Ghc 10.00? Well, looks like you guys will be in the best position to tell us. But we hope you don’t tell us you spent a million Ghana cedis on them!
We are watching you.
And lastly to why most of us go for events on campus — item 13. You and I know that most often than not, we attend programs regardless of what there is to learn when there is the assurance of item 13. It is that magnet that pulls us to an event. So with an event that was expected to have at least half of the student populace, I didn’t expect what I heard.
But I heard the item 13 wasn’t enough. For a program rumoured to cost 51,000. And even with the room not filled to the brim? How can that be possible? I am not so sure how as I’m still finding answers myself but I hope someone does and let me know.
So these are few things that I picked up from the event yesterday. They are my opinion and well…the concerns of the students that you, the SRC is supposed to serve. They won’t change.
I believe you should pick a thing or two from them, learn from them, and not present the students, whose dues they wish to be put to good use, such an event.
Allow me to end by quoting from two of my favourite African proverbs.
“Ears that do not listen to advice, accompany the head when it is chopped off.”
“If you close your eyes to facts, you will learn through an accident.”
I am Alpha, a third-year student of English and the Vice President of the KNUST writers Association.
I stand with Malcolm X to say that, I’m for truth, no matter who tells it. I’m for justice, no matter who it is for or against. I’m a human being, first and foremost, and as such I’m for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole. I choose to be human over anything on any day.
Send your comments, feedback, and backlashes to @let_alpha_write on Twitter.
A reportage for Campus360 Gh (www.campus360gh.com)