In a sustained effort to convince the beefy Baffour to run a story I considered critical, I reminded him that New African was Africa's magazine of record. As a result missing out on the action would be a great disservice to posterity. It is self evident. Forty years of impeccable service to the continent and the Diaspora bears witness.
My first brush with New African was in the 80s when I was an undergraduate at the University of Ghana. At first sight I knew I would be writing for this great magazine one day. A journalist friend, Kabral Blay Amihere (now Ghana's ambassador to Cote d'Ivoire), was pleased and pleasantly surprised that it was edited and written by "niggers" (no offence meant). The quality was comparable or even better than some of the world's most famous magazines. I have often heard people say it is like Newsweek or Time.
Teaching in Zambia between 1989 and 1992, I managed to get in my first story, which unfortunately was edited and relegated to the letters column. I did not give up.
My African odyssey took me into South Africa (1993-1995) for a postgraduate degree in law, followed by another migration into Namibia to serve as a senior prosecutor for three years (1996-1999).
I was then a citizen of Ghana, permanently resident in South Africa, and temporarily resident in Namibia. I looked forward to the day when I would have a passport of the republic of Africa.
Despite forays into law, writing had always been my first love. I returned to Durban, South Africa, and got my big break in 2000 when the massive 13th International Conference on Aids was organised for the first time in Africa.
Aids was then an extremely contentious subject, with President Thabo Mbeki under severe attack from the Aids pharmaceutical conglomerates. Positioned in Durban, it was to my advantage to send an email to Baffour proposing to cover the conference for New African. "Judgement Day on the 13th" was the result. I did not look back. After that, I covered the length and breadth of an exciting South Africa, until mid-2004, when I decided to take leave to work as an advocate of the Supreme Court of South Africa.
The Aids conference was a great eye opener. I saw at first hand the extreme extent to which Western business, media and law colluded and coordinated for profit. When Mbeki sought to bring an African perspective on Aids, he was shouted down. When he told the truth that the greatest problem with respect to the spread of Aids...