Humour - My TV Licence Fee

Source: By Mawuli Zogbenu
Date: 12th-january-2018 Time:  2:20:06 pm

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I want to believe the fact that you copied ‘Many happy returns’ or ‘the same to you’ and kept posting pasting it in response to the sea of messages received on New Year’s day without having really read what you received. Meboa? The one that embarrassed me most was one received from a highly respected retired Court Judge. I responded to the message and later discovered what he had actually sent: ‘Hello Mawuli, please where can I get vinegar cider to buy’? Guess my response to this message: ‘Many happy returns’. Ao!! In 2018 please never assume anything o. Open your eyes.

E bi so alcohol dey? It was on 25th December, 2017 when I celebrated my birthday with some 2 tots of apio and started seeing things differently. In my living room, my 32 inch TV suddenly started looking like 64 inches. Worse of all the brand name started changing from SAMSONG to SQNY and then suddenly HYSENSE and before I knew it, it was RG! I was watching a football match and could see about 44 players on the field! Ei, akpeteshie. While watching GBTV, I would be seeing a popular MoltiTV presenter crossing and I kept blaming the network whereas everything was fine with my ‘undrunk’ wife who was also watching the same channel. Akpeteshie and things? Hmmm!

Sometimes I wonder why we pay hundreds of Gh cedis monthly to GSTB to develop another country that is already far ahead of us in terms of development. Do you think if we fail to pay our monthly subscriptions to these GSTB channels, they can sustain giving us competitive contents? Let us develop our own too la. After all, GHC3 cedis a month will not kill us. Massa, let’s pay the thing and stop the plenty eyi! GBT, you too come and explain the thing well er. Today, it is not for content; tomorrow it is for GRA. Which is which? Abeg, come and explain the thing well. But what happened on the night of the CAF Awards, GBT-TV? Ewurade! Hmmm! No further comments. Maybe when we pay, we will get better things o; let us give it a try and if they fail us, we will shout!

Are some of the people in the villages saying that they cannot afford to pay GHC36 annually but can afford TV sets? Oh ho! Please let us be patriotic and stop resisting every attempt at making us better. Can we please look at the positive sides too small? Haaba!

If not for anything at all, GBT-TV was the only ‘wife’ we all had in the past. You remember ‘Armstrong hewor mayeni eeeeei Armstrong hewor mayeni daaa…‘Armstrong hewor mayeni eeeeei Armstrong hewor mayeni daaa…mayeni hornnnn hornnnn hornnnn bambaaala. Hahaaaaa. Idi Kokko and his friend Dimon in those days who used to go and tif ‘a meal of aprapransa’ from their master Mikejordan Amatey in 1990 or so on GBT-TV? Those were the days TV was TV though mostly black and white. Was it Thursday theatre or TV theatre? Ah! How sweet were the days of Korjo Kwakye, Osofo Dazie and Dr Rokoto and co in Obra and Talking Point which ‘was hugely a waste of time’! Hope you haven’t forgotten ‘Mr Mensah’ and ‘Rainbow Speaking’ in Showcase in Ga and Ewe. Please let’s pay the thing la, ah!

Lai momo o, yooo. Now that we have many ‘girlfriends’ to choose from, we are doing something something about our ‘old wife’ who was the only one who gave us ‘warmth’. After all they still give us comprehensive news on TV and if you know the conditions under which they work before bringing us sports highlife among some of their flagship programmes, you would understand the essence of these fees. Abeg, this is purely my OPINION o, yoo!

Every payment, some of us would resist, why? Ah! The only payments we keep quiet and pay without making our wives hear about …mobile money…to girls! But on a more serious note, the court matter that came inside too scare me o! Eish!

Me, the first TV licence I paid was in 1990. As a young boy blinded by adventure, I was ready to venture into every potentially dangerous game. One of these games I found myself in was the round board game in which a number of items were printed and displayed for people to try their luck by spinning a pointer. You remember?

There was something you would spin and on whatever the handle points at was what you’ve won, eg, ‘walkman’, sardine, etc. There were other items the handle can point to, indicating a straight loss. One needed to pay first before being allowed to contest in the game of chance – a complete gamble.

My first attempt was a successful one at Kantamanto- I won a wall clock. There were a few attempts that I lost but won items like chocolate and a keyholder before. Ei, please is it true that chocolate doubles as a very good aphrodisiac? Ask any correct medical doctor and you would be surprised, those of us who suffer occasional ‘half-clutch’ and sometimes complete ‘brake failure’!

So one fateful Friday at the Kaneshie Market was a huge game board where TV sets and video decks were on display. Even though I didn’t have any money of my own besides what my father sent me with, I was attracted to the spot and I needed to pay before the game. It was clear these guys had better items and knowing my winning records, I knew I was going to make it. I was asked to pay one hundred thousand cedis (today’s GHC10.00 which was so much money in value in 1990) before I could play which I readily parted with. There were three attempts to spin the handle. My very first attempt pointed on ‘NO ITEM’.

Though initially disappointed I was confident I had a lot of ‘supporters’ who were encouraging me to go ahead with the second since they were impressed by my first spin which they believed I did skilfully well in spite of the loss.

I spun the second time and kpam, it landed on a brand new 14-inch colour TV. This was accompanied with a spontaneous applause from the on-looking crowd. At this point, all I wanted was the TV but listen to the game supervisor: “wait a minute, in order to seal your win you need to pay your TV licence fee since the law enforcement agencies are on us and want to ensure that all winners of TV sets paid their TV Licence fees”, the supervisor indicated. Though the amount was quite big it certainly was far less than the value of the TV. I paid the money immediately for the processing of the TV Licence. In no time I was issued with the Licence nicely laminated with my name on it.

All I wanted was my TV whilst imagining how glad my parents would be for my ingenuity in transforming the small amount of money into a 14-inch colour TV, a commodity very scarce in those days.

While preparing to be presented with my TV set, the game supervisor asked me to spin the handle again to confirm I had really won it. “Oh why”, I asked in amazement. He tried to explain that that was the procedure.

Convinced by my previous records I did not challenge him any further. I spun it again and my goodness the pointer settled on a rusted kropot. The crowd appeared disappointed and pretended to be sympathising with me. All pleas to be given another chance landed on deaf ears. It was then it dawned on me I had been swindled. The TV set was no longer mine since I could not seal the win with my third spin after paying the TV Licence fee. I couldn’t help it but to cry out with ‘azaan’ sympathies from my supposed ‘supporters’ whom I later discovered were partners of the supervisor to ‘cheer unsuspecting vulnerable boys up’. All my money was gone!

Walking home from Kaneshie to Kisseman, my thoughts were dominated by the possible beatings from my father at my failure to return with the items I was sent to buy.

Indeed the beatings I received after I handed my Dad with the TV Licence er, hmmm. What got him angrier was the fact that I was stupid enough to pay TV licence fee for a TV set I did not own. He later cautioned or rather cursed me that if I was not careful, when I grow up, I may get my marriage certificate before I do ‘that thing’ that married people do, and it came to pass. That was a good curse, abi? Massa, let’s pay the ‘this thing’ and stop the ‘that thing’! Happy new year!


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