The Lydia Forson Open Letter to President Mahama: A Close Reading

lydia-forsonThe biggest news about Ghana’s energy crises this weekend is, perhaps, a beautiful open letter supposedly written by luscious actor Lydia Forson to President John Mahama. That letter is a really impressive work when assessed as a literary text.

That letter is massively engaging readers’ attention and drawing comments, tweets and retweets for many reasons. I’ve read it; first on on Saturday, almost 24 hours after it was published, then I read it again on GraphicOnline and later on some other newssites.

Immediately, I was tempted to write a commentary on the said piece of letter. But wait: one must read Miss Forson’s original letter so I don’t do anything silly; like getting into defamation trouble: No! There’s a glitch there, unfortunately.

Missing Links

The first thing an analytical reader would notice about the story is that the media haven’t given readers any hyperlink to the letter, although cites Facebook as the source.

Of course, those links are expected or rather they are a must when dealing with online content. But all the other newssites and blogs I checked don’t have it too. Lastly, I checked out the Lydia Forson Facebook page and still I couldn’t find it. And there’s not a screenshot of it.

Well, for the fact that there has been no rejoinder from the letter’s “author” 48 hours after the news, I’m inclined to believe that the report is correct as it is, and that I can make a commentary on it.

Beautiful Literature

As I said earlier, Lydia Forson’s latest letter engages the reader’s attention for many different reasons. One of the strongest appeals of the letter is that it is a beautiful piece of writing. You noticed that too? It is no surprise that she has writes such an really punchy piece. Remember, she works in many roles in the culture industry, and she is a young cultural idol. She is an African Movie Academy Award winning actor.

A close reading of Miss Forson’s fairly short letter reveals a skilful use of a number literary devices. The reader cannot help but notice the first person point of view. Using that approach she is able to draw the reader intimately to herself as the writer and the idea she is putting across.

Another fact the reader can’t miss is “that kid in school who is always last, always gives the wrong answers and never seems to grasp what is being taught” simile. The comparison so vividly stimulates the imagination and draws the reader into her feelings about the president and dumsor. It is perhaps, the strength of feelings it evokes that has influenced even the authoritative GraphicOnline to write a headline with it.

Then, there is the diction that tell the reader about her frustration and angst with the persistent dumsor, and of her courage and defiance.

My conclusionn on the letter which I’ll call the Lydia Forson open letter on dumsor to President Mahama as an impressive piece of work. And I hope you won’t be surprised when you find that the letter becomes an important text in literary review and creative writing courses, because I sure will recommend it for my students.

The Letter

Here’s what the said letter says:

I’ve been [wanting] to write this for a while, but every time I start I’m just reminded of all the drama my friends face on my behalf every time I “speak” my mind. I’ve told them to stop fighting my battles, but well they won’t listen.

Personally, I’m past caring about what people think of the things I have to say, it’s not for their benefit that I write; it’s for the many people who don’t have a voice or a platform like mine to express themselves.

But last night I had an encounter with a man who all but told me that I need to shut up about issues that aren’t about me or don’t concern me.

Now being the lady that I “pretend” to be I basically tried to keep my cool and let him know, my parents didn’t raise me to be a fool. They raised me to ask questions, think and have an opinion.

So in honour of the fool whose STUPIDITY can’t be cured, I’m about to go in on something I’ve tried to stay out of, you know, just to piss him off a little. Ha, I like that, piss him off!

See I’ve kept mute over this ‪#‎dumsor issue going on between my friends on social media because the last time I wrote to President Mahama, he ignored me.

Chaii, dude didn’t even call me !!?????

How much rejection can one take Huh?

One person refuses to marry me and another won’t call me?

Well, I’m too much woman for them anyway.

Sorry, I digressed.

Anyway…. Mahama

Our president is like that kid in school who is always last, always gives the wrong answers and never seems to grasp what is being taught.

But for some reason you keep rooting for him, you keep hoping he will come out and shock everyone, come out and put people to shame, come out and make people take back every little mean thing they said about him.

You keep waiting and waiting until you all graduate and he’s still stuck in the same class because he didn’t pass.

I hate that I have to say this about someone I truly do admire and like many people really want him to make a change.

But when you frustrate people enough, your feelings don’t matter anymore.

The truth is by now you should know, the president really doesn’t care about us; we the little people, we the ones who are not significant enough to be bothered about.

I mean how do you believe what he’s constantly trying to feed us about understanding us.

Please, Mr. President take several seats on that one because you really have no clue what it’s like to live like us the COMMON people.

Hey I have an idea, why don’t you try having your lights off for maybe 48 hours (and that’s being generous)

And sleep in the heat because you’re afraid to leave the windows open, in case thieves try to break in.

Oh and on top of that add the fact that you can’t even afford a generator because you’re not making enough to buy one, and when you finally do make some money the value is basically useless because the cedi continues to depreciate.

Let’s see if you don’t lose your mind.

Then and only then will I believe you understand just about 3% of how frustrating it is to live in Ghana.

So really I’m not even going to address you Mr. President.

I’m going to sit here in the heat and hold my breath till you SHOCK me. (hope I don’t die from waiting)

FYI please tell your little minions who call me every time I write to you to stop, I don’t like that.

And their voices aren’t even sexy, aaah, it’s you I want to hear from. So if it’s not you, they shouldn’t call me. They should also keep their threats in the sandbox they play in when they meet their buddies for play time; I don’t play with kids, too grown for that.

And please oh I apologize to everyone this post will offend, I already apologized the last time and hoped it would cover this post as well. But hey, there’s more to come so my apology covers all the things I haven’t even thought of writing yet.

Happy May Day


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