All hail Dr Twum

All hail Dr Twum

Dr. Twum Kakra, Ibn Kailan Abdul-Hamid, John Paul Kosiba and Henry Boateng are some of my most illustrious colleagues and former co-workers. I chatted with my friend, brother and mentee, John Paul Kosiba (JPK), on the morning of 16th December 2021 and we discussed our mutual friend Twum Kakra, who is graduating with a PhD from the University of Cape Coast on Friday 17th December 2021; and this is how the WhatsApp conversation went:

JPK: Twum is the best graduating student, the valedictorian Robert: Wooooooooooooooowwww, you’re joking, arrrghhhhh this man is making all of us proud

JPK: Yes, he is, very

With this momentous feat, it hit me. Dr. Twum Kakra has been steadily rising in the academy (I will talk about his profuse scholarship later) and this valedictorian feat was just the climax of his seizing the future and deciding to become an absolute star in the academy.

So let me tell you a story about Twum Kakra, the friend and brother I look to celebrate today. Twum studied for an MPhil in Marketing and worked (like John Paul, Kailan and Henry) for two years in graduate and teaching assistant roles with me. He finished, and one afternoon I returned from a Kenyan trip and met him at the Kotoka International Airport. He had just gotten married and told me excitedly he had been looking for me. Because I had missed his wedding, I half-thought he was coming to testify about how wonderful married life was. But he had an even better story!!

As it turns universities in Ghana can hire Masters’ degree holders at Assistant lecturer level. When you start as an Assistant lecturer, you must ordinarily work to get a PhD before receiving an upgrade to lecturer. Twum applied for a job with his MPhil degree, and he narrated to me that at the interview the panel’s chair asked him an interesting question.

The question was: “Are you sure you worked with Professor Hinson for two years?” He answered categorically, “Yes I did”. He told me excitedly the panel then decided that if I had trained him for two years, there was no need for an Assistant lecturer start; and that he could begin immediately as lecturer. Wow! I was gobsmacked and extremely grateful to God that his association with me immediately gave him a pass from one level to the next. But this is not the real meat of my story.

Dr. Twum Kakra has over the years grown to be an excellent research collaborator and someone I hold in particularly high esteem. We have in the past year alone co-authored several journal papers, book chapters and co-edited a masterpiece for the Springer SDG series entitled ‘Responsible Management in Emerging Markets: A Multisectoral Focus’. A book that has already garnered 877 downloads even though it was published only a few weeks ago. We are also working on several other monographs and edited volumes, like one for Routledge Taylor and Francis entitled ‘Entrepreneurial and Small Business Development in Africa: Some Multidisciplinary Perspectives’ and yet another monograph for Palgrave Macmillan entitled ‘Social Media and Africa’s Public Sector: Perspectives on Contemporary Issues’.

We have published several journal papers together and Dr. Twum Kakra himself is published in the Journal of Marketing for Higher Education, Entrepreneurship Education International Review on Public and Non-profit Marketing Journal of Non-profit & Public Sector Marketing, and the Journal of Social Marketing. Given the rate at which he is publishing, I have no doubt he will develop into the behemoth of a marketing scholar I know he will become after this PhD is conferred on him come Friday 17th December 2021.

As I celebrate Dr. Twum Kakra, let me in the spirit of Christmas cheer also celebrate three friends of Twum I have also had the privilege of working with in similar capacities as Twum. The first is Ibn Kailan Abdul-Hamid, a lecturer at the University of Professional Studies Accra and coordinator of the Master of Arts in Brands and Communications Management Degree Programme. An astute scholar and all-round industrious worker, Dr. Ibn Kailan Abdul-Hamid has several co-authored publications with Twum, John Paul and me. He is published in the International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, International Journal of E-Business Research (IJEBR), Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, and the Journal of Non-profit & Public Sector Marketing.

John Paul Kosiba is an unstoppable publication machine who displays research maturity that is way beyond his years. Expecting to graduate with a PhD from the University of the Free State Business School, he is already published in top-tier journals which are usually the preserve of senior marketing scholars. He was also a co-editor on the ‘Responsible Management in Emerging Markets: A Multisectoral Focus’ book.

John Paul is published in the Research in Transportation Business & Management; International Hospitality Review; International Journal of Emerging Markets; Journal of Non-profit & Public Sector Marketing; Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services; Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal; Marketing Intelligence & Planning; European Business Review; Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing; International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management; Journal of Product & Brand Management; Total Quality Management & Business Excellence; The Service Industries Journal; International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management; Journal of Business Research.

A lecturer at the University of Professional Studies, John Paul is already on his way to becoming a world scholar.

And now to Henry Boateng. Henry acts as mentor to John, Twum and Kailan, and I also had the privilege of working with him for two years. The Director of Institutional Research at the D’Youville College in the USA, Henry is easily one of the most prolific scholars to ever graduate from a Ghanaian university. Henry is published in the Research in Transportation Business & Management; Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services; Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics; International Hospitality Review; Marketing Intelligence & Planning; The Service Industries Journal;  Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing; European Journal of Innovation Management; International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management; International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management and Tourism management perspectives, to name a few. I also had the privilege of co-editing a Palgrave Macmillan book recently with him, entitled ‘Marketing Communications in Emerging Economies’.

Public university remuneration in Africa is parsimonious at best – but when your journey leads you to train such global superstars, you know the journey was never about you getting wealthy or printing your name in the lights! It was always about helping to produce world-class human capital for Africa.

Dr. Twum Kakra, congratulations for coming tops even in a PhD class. We celebrate you and will be at the University of Cape Coast cheering you on to even bigger exploits.

To the fearsome four, my prayer for you is from Daniel 1:20, which reads thus: And in every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king inquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters that were in all his kingdom.

May the ten times better unction rest on you now and forever, and may your paths continue to shine brighter and brighter unto a prefect day!! Sawa!!

The writer is a Marketing Scholar with several visiting and honorary Marketing Professorships across the world.



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