Sunday, April 04, 2010

GLO Literary Event in Accra- *Strictly by Invitation*

The Nigerian telecommunication giant, Globacom Limited,  which  touts itself as "Africa's fastest growing telecommunications company" is on  the brink of storming Ghana. Well, I should add that they have been on this very brink for a while now! 'Glo' as the company is called, is probably one of the most advertised companies  in Ghana that does not actually sell any products on the Ghanaian market...
Despite the lack of availability of Glo products, they are really making their presence in Ghana felt. Apparently, they are a major sponsor of the Ghanaian premier football league and lately, eye-catching Glo billboards are splashed across town featuring some popular Ghanaian celebrities endorsing Glo. Speaking of popular, there's one woman in the billboards I had never heard of and at least 3 different people have asked me who she is. Her name starts with an 'S'. Any clues anyone?

This past week, Glo caught my attention once again. This time, the  Thursday edition of the Daily Graphic newspaper had a full-page advert about an  Evening with Wole Soyinka & Ghanaian Literary Giants with performances by the Senegalese great Youssou N'dour and many others. Sounded tantalizing to me.
The Glo Advert 

Some years ago, I had the privilege of partaking in an evening with Wole Soyinka at my undergraduate college. I was held spell-bound by this African luminary with his unapologetic views on African governance, corruption and literature. At the end of the evening, when I had the perfect opportunity to approach Wole Soyinka to gush about the genius of the poem Telephone Conversation or how I got to play Sidi in our English class production of the Lion and the Jewel, I literally froze in my seat.

The Glo evening promised to combine the literary prowess of Soyinka with his Ghanaian counterparts such as Atukwei Okai and Ama Atta Aidoo. Perhaps it would also be an opportunity to (think about) approaching the literary giant for an autograph. As my mind drifted off to the happy reunion, I failed to see the small print at the bottom of the advert with the curious proviso "Strictly by invitation". I say 'curious' because I cannot understand why Glo or any other company would go through all the trouble of publicizing an event that was already closed to the public? Can it really count as a Glo publicity gambit?

Luckily, fellow Ghanablogging  blogger Golda was one of the privileged invitees. I cannot wait to read her blog posts on the event. In the meantime, I'm Glo-ing green with envy!


Mike said...

OMG!!! I hope someone can make a video of this event to distribute later. This is BIG.
These are the brains we need to be listening to.

Adjoa Ofoe said...

I saw the ads too, and wondered about the "strictly by invitation" so who were the VIPs who got the invites? the politicos? or the literati? obviously those of us who read just aren't on the right wavelength... says she slightly plaintively

Emmanuel.K.Bensah II said...

Nice post! Good to see you blogging again. "Glo-ing" with green;-)), as am I! Like Mike, am curious to know who specifically and generally were invited, as if the rest of Ghanaians are not erudite!!

Nana Yaa Boatemaa said...

Sorry Abena:( I can't imagine why Glo would publish a strictly by invitation event in the Daily Graphic. Maybe they were just trying to make people like you 'glo green with envy'. LOL

novisi said...

this came and will remain one of the must purposeless programmes i've ever attended.

i was left to wonder whether it was a LITERARY ART event or a magical performance or a mix-bag of activities to make noise about GLO. there was hardly a focus on the literary Art.

if this is what sponsoring of literary art events mean to glo then i'd advice them not to try it again. they better tow the popular line of sponsoring VISUAL excitements like beauty contest or mere Musical contests like all the others do.

i could have said i was disgusted!!!

Maya Mame said...

I saw the ad too and wondered the same thing, why advertise if it's by invitation only? To show off? Frankly, that alone put me off and I am not surprised by what Novisi writes about the event.
I think Glo found a way of getting attention from a specified segment of their target consumer group. Let's see what they think of next, a science fair perhaps?

Abena Serwaa said...

Wow....great comments:
First of all Novisi thanks for the inside filla on event. Sounds like a bit of a hodgepodge.

@Mike: Thank goodness Novisi had some inside filla on the event

@Adjoa Ofoe, EKB & Maya Mame: Seems like Novisi is most definitely an invitied VIP literati!

@Nana Yaa & EKB: *LOL* Not as green as I was before :)

@Maya Mame: *LMAO* Science fair! Nice one...Maybe participants will be tasked to make the best luminescent green goo!

Glo...come to Ghana already!!

Techsonite said...

I see no point publicizing a Strictly-by-invitation advert in newspapers and fliers! It sounds so un-ethical and confusing. Why give a thirsty man water when you have no intentions of hi drinking? Sounds... (Short of words infact)