Y Leaderboard Series: Time with Fifi Kwetey, an embodiment of cultural heritage


Fifi Fiavi Franklin Kwetey, a renowned Ghanaian politician and a member of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), shared his journey through life and inspirations on another insightful episode of the Y Leaderboard Series on Y107.9FM.

Coming from a home of 16 children, the former MP for Ketu South, in an interview with Rev. Erskine disclosed that despite being born in Hohoe, he spent the majority of his childhood in the border town, Aflao. He attributed this to his mother’s aspiration (who was then a nurse) to own a midwifery practice in the area.

“I was born in Hohoe and my father was a Barclays Bank manager there and then he passed away after retirement. My mother at the time was a senior nurse at the Hohoe Government Hospital. So, literally they both met in Hohoe and I together with my two siblings were the product of their meeting. In all we are 16 children because my dad had other wives. We didn’t stay too long in Hohoe because my mom moved to set up a private midwifery in Aflao. So, I’ll say I remember more of growing up in Aflao than Hohoe,” he said.

According to Mr. Kwetey, he is more of an Aflao boy. “Hohoe is the place I was privileged to touch the planet so I’m forever grateful. My umbilical cord is buried there so I have a deep connection with the place,” he added.

Sharing fond memories of some activities that happened around the Aflao border, the politician described the community as “a cross road where you meet everybody.”

He shared that although the community was noted for smuggling, growing up in Aflao was a beautiful moment in his life. Just like any young and active boy who enjoyed participating in sports, Mr. Kwetey loved playing football. He mentioned that his favourite position was the midfield and at a point owned a small football team.

“I grew up particularly young and very interested in playing football. I don’t know but I had early interest in it and my main engagement was football in the community. I used to play a lot with my favorite position as midfield. I loved playing there and I was very good at it. I actually had a football club growing up. So I got the jerseys for my friends, bought the ball and if I lose a match I take the ball away,” he said.

Speaking of inspirations and people who had some impact on his life he identified the legendary Bob Marley as his primary inspirer. “I started very early to identify with some people and I think they somehow influenced me. I think my first inspirer was Bob Marley,” he said.

Although Bob Marley’s music was excellent, Fifi Kwetey chose to focus on the more important concepts in his songs, eventually developing a belief in pan-Africanism and the necessity for Africa to be freed not only politically but also economically.

A further impact on the politician’s life was the late President Jerry John Rawlings. Fifi Kwetey had a virtual taste of life in Togo and Ghana while residing in Afloa. His perspective was also influenced by the differences in these nations’ systems of governance and the stark contrasts between their leaders at the time.

From the Late Rawlings, he got to understand that “leadership should be down to earth. The cult of the personality is what I hated growing up because that is what you saw across the border in Togo. It was like one man was god and in fact, when you’re home talking you’re afraid to even mention his name. It didn’t just happen in Togo but across the continent. So, growing up I dejected that form of political leadership. I dejected it with everything I have even with Rawlings I saw he wasn’t perfect but I saw much of an effort to empower the people.”

Considering being a social change activist, Mr. Kwettey disclosed that it was never his plan to become an MP. “I actually didn’t have an ambition to be an MP. Infact, it has never been a personal interest and I never saw myself being an MP at any point in time.”

However, having lived as a successful and renowned politician sharing a word of advice to the younger generation, he furthered, “I believe we all have different destinies and as a young boy growing up. We need to surround ourselves with people who have a positive influence on us and can push us in achieving what seems impossible.

Following the interview, YFM’s programme manager, Eddy Blay, said that the time spent with Fifi Kwetey had been one of the most inspiring radio segments he had ever heard: “Every youth who listened to Fifi Kwetey today will definitely be inspired. It is a great feeling to have accomplished personalities speak to the youth from the heart.

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