It was a beautiful Monday morning in the national capital (Accra), and as a bachelor away from home I had to wash my own used clothing…lol. I couldn’t wash on Sunday because I used the whole day to hang out with friends, so I returned home late and had only Monday to clean up.
As I was doing my washing outside, I heard a call from the hall and that was my big brother; “Seidu your man is on TV3 come and watch”; he was referring to Hon. Ibrahim Murtala Muhammed as my man, because I never hid my admiration for him since day one. By then he was the deputy minister for trade under the JM led NDC administration.
Instead of watching with my brother and other siblings in the hall, I decided to just walk across the road and meet my mentor one-on-one at the station when he is done. Our house in Accra is just a stone-throw to TV3 premises, so I didn’t have to suffer seeing him.
Quickly, I texted to inform him I was coming to the station to see him, by then he was not on the “floor” or on the MIC; he quickly replied by asking me to come because he also wanted to see me since I was missed!
Sadly or out of excitement, I didn’t “reason” with myself to change my dressings before going there. Mind you, I was washing; so I was in a lacoste shirt, shorts and bathroom slippers to match with my day’s “work”.
Within some few minutes I was at the porters/security lounge at the entrance of TV3, and that was the first time I stepped foot there actually; though before then I have had a program with the man Asempa at ONUA fm which is an affiliate of TV3 (owners of media generale). Going by the protocols, I was supposed to write my name in the guest book at the security desk and state my reasons for the visit.
But the security man didn’t even allow me to come closer, but to stand from far (like a COVID-19 patient who is coughing and sneezing unceasingly..lol) and explain to him my mission to their station. You know why? because of the way I dressed!!! Maybe to the security man, I was a “second class foot soldier”.
Out of a certain “courtesy”, he offered me a sit; though a different one from that which was occupied by other nicely dressed visitors to the station. And I can say without mincing words that some of the nicely dressed guys were the real “hard guys” at the Agbogbloshie market, but were respected and handled well because they were well “packaged”.
I had to wait patiently on “tenterhooks” awaiting the end of the program to just see the Hon man and “vanish” from the sight of the security guys in the lobby. As if it took years, the program came to an end after an hour. Now the security man whose eyes were on me throughout the period of my stay there was waiting to really confirm by action whether it was the Hon minister who really invited me or otherwise.
Thank God when the Hon man stepped out from the studios, I could feel that his eyes were searching for no other person than me; so I stood up for him to see me with ease. When HE saw me he yelled out “mba bia camna” (to wit come my brother). I hurriedly walked to him with pride but could see and feel that he was not also happy to see me in the way I dressed.
That was a bad day. A day I can never forget! I left the premises in the car of the Hon minister, but not as a happy man because of the experience at the station. I got home and straight I walked into the room and lied down imagining the embarrassment of the day, I couldn’t even continue washing my dirty laundry.
To cut long story short, I returned to the station after a year, dressed nicely in my black suits, with white shirt inside and a red tie to match. My mission this time round was different, as I went to represent the NDC as a party in opposition; recommended to the TV station by the former minister and now PC for the NDC in the Tamale Central Constituency Hon. Murtala Ibrahim (the man I grow to admire defending his party with passion).
I met the same security man who could not recognize me, but stood up to welcome me at the entrance, offered me a book and pen to write my name and mission to the station. He didn’t stop there, but led me into the first studio of the station and prepared me for my makeup to be made before the beginning of the program. Interesting! Isnt it?
After my program, I stepped out at the door to meet him addressing me as “boss you did very well, anyway sort your small boys”….he said smiling…. After dashing him with some few notes from my pockets, in a jovial manner I reminded him of that “dark day”. You know what he said, “eeei so you are the one, sorry boss but you looked like the hard guys who come here to disturb our big men after they are done with their programs here”…”anyway you killed the show” (he took my contact and till date we communicate on phone).
Moral of the story;
Appearance can sometimes be deceptive, yes!you can believe that but never compromise on the way you appear in public even if you have no “official” role to perform there. The way you are dressed is the way you are addressed! Packaging or branding is important in life, business, relationships, politics etc.
By: Dr. Seidu Fiter
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the above article are solely those of the author and does not represent those of TamaleOnline News.