Gabby Otchere-Darko’s take on Mustapha Hamid’s birthday

Yesterday was the birthday of one of my best friends, Mustapha Hamid. To put it mildly, he is one of the most principled and honest human beings I have ever known in my life.

A sacred trait I pray will guide and guard him for the rest of his life. Hamid is the kind of person when he takes campaign money, based on a budget, and he ends up spending less than that to do the same job, he brings back the change! Abotsi, sorry I was not around to join you yesterday. Welcome to the Club of where real life begins.

Forget the hype at 40. This is it! From this time on, you start becoming even more philosophical about things you took for granted. It is not that after 50 ones performance slows down.

It only matures! One becomes more efficient in how to use time and energy— resources that become more and more precious as the years go by. I’ve known Hamid for over two decades now.

He is admirably religious, disciplined but liberal. It is this personality quirk that allows him to get on well with people. But, he resents cheats and those he considers disloyal. He is protectively Ghanaian.

Jealously Danquah-Dombo-Busiast. Simply put, Hamid is a proud, humble and decent man. He is one of the very few Ghanaians I know who genuinely enjoy reading as a devout hobby!

An intellectual of the highest order; loyal to his friends, his beliefs and philosophy and emotionally and intellectually defensive of the things he cherishes and holds in high devotion.

Hamid was an editor of a reputable business newspaper, the High Street Journal, when we first became friends. He also became news editor at Choice FM. A couple of years later, I invited him to be the editor of The Statesman.

He moved on to become the National Youth Organiser of the NPP, an acknowledgement of his years of service to the party, beginning as a foundation member of the Danquah-Busia Club’s branch at UCC in 1991.

As strong an Akufo-Addo loyalist as they come, Hamid later contested and lost the general secretary position of the NPP in 2005, moving on in 2007 to become spokesperson to presidential candidate Nana Akufo-Addo and remained so throughout the opposition years.

He, at the same time, went on to teach at Cape Coast University; became Executive Director of the Danquah Institute; achieved a PhD while teaching at Cape Coast; became a cabinet minister in 2017 and now looking forward to a new challenging chapter after attaining the ripe age of 50.

His has been half a century of service with integrity and achievements, with much more to come. I consider myself lucky to be worthy of your friendship, Abotsi. Stay honest, stay true, stay loyal to family, party and country.