Yesterday, a good friend of mine started posting on Facebook about a radio presenter in Tamale who called a nurse a prostitute and threatened to release her nude photos after the two sparred on Facebook over the DJ’s characterization of nurses as useless. I was evidently hesitant to get into the fray as I didn’t know the full details of the problem so I asked for more information and here we are today.
Apparently DJ Halik Musah of the popular Zaa Radio in Tamale, popularly known as DJ Tell, posted on his Facebook page on September 14th that
Nurses are so useless in our hospitals. For God (sic) sake that profession is not about wearing the uniform and makeup thinking you are on top of the world. Stupidity is wat (sic) they exhibit in our hospitals. And they also go on strike to demand better condition (sic) of service. What service?? (sic) I wonder how some of this (sic) useless girls makes their way there. And yet they get paid. Ghana is a joke.
On the face value of this post, you may give Halik the benefit of the doubt and say his frustration at the ineptitude in our public servants got the better of him so he was venting his frustrations and was not thinking properly about what he was saying. But given that he is a public personality whose voice reaches a lot of people in the region, I would have hoped he would think a bit more about what he is saying and the nuances that are required of public personalities. For the benefit of the doubt, I could and people who would defend him may say he qualified his pretty damning critique of nurses with the restrictive qualifier:some (in his later edit of the post). But the sense one gets from the original post still stands. That Halik in his original thinking lumped all nurses into a negative tag as useless.
First of all, this post is pretty reckless coming from a public persona. As a journalist, it behoves on you to investigate and report on issues with utmost specificity that the profession requires. I could forgive an ordinary citizen having been frustrated by some shenanigans of nurses at a hospital visit and writing this. But as a journalist, you could have used such an experience to highlight the lack of proper work ethic at our hospitals and make a proper journalistic work out of such an experience. This would have led to enlightenment and hopefully improvement in the situation. But I doubt Halik even posted this as a result of a specific encounter with nurses at a hospital as the following encounters will showcase.
When one nurse in Tamale responded with her own post about why nurses should not be perturbed by Halik’s reckless post, we begin to see the motivation behind his post. Sadia Abdul-Razak known as Sadia Sundiata on Facebook, a nurse in Tamale wrote this in response to Halik’s post:
Why would you be angry because Halik Musah said “nurses are useless”? Maybe his wish was to be “useless” too but God directed him somewhere else so it hurts he is not “useless”…but maybe he has friends and family who are “useless” because they are nurses. The mistake of others should not make you label everyone as useless. It is a free world and he is entitled to his opinion. It is a free world and you can go to nursing school. If a nurse is useless in the hospital what adjective would you use to describe a local DJ? You asked how we got there? With our SSCE/WASSCE results an after ⅔ years of training NMC gives us license to practice as a nurse.
Given that Halik had just labeled all nurses as useless, Sadia’s response is pretty mild, She rarely uses harsh words on him as she would have been within her right to given his post. She mainly tells him how they got to be nurses and he too can get there if he is unhappy with the work nurses do and wants to improve the profession. Pretty stale and uninteresting response. But the response is beyond reason and showcases Halik as a two-bit misogynist and the loser he is:
And what adjective will you describe a local sex worker who call herself a nurse and want to defend useless nurses. And you claim certificates, what will be the use, if a JHS drop out can feed you and your family. What is more local than a village sex worker. I still can’t find any adjective because am coming back…Well well well, every reason to drop this NUD photos of Sundiata Sadia have been given. I have just been added more. Loading. The only thing that can prevent it is to tell who initiated the chat first. With who and for wat. (I have left in all the grammatical errors because they are too many to put sic in them all)
What Sadia does next is screenshot all the Facebook messenger and WhatsApp messenger exchanges between her and Halik prior to this whole brouhaha and it becomes clear that Halik had been trying to sleep with Sadia without success. His harsh words directed at Sadia can be interpreted as nothing more than the pouting of a jilted and rejected loser who can’t accept the fact that a woman denied and rejected his advances. But the challenge in our community is seeing such pouty little men and boys for who they are.
Halik’s employers have not reprimanded him for this unprofessional and pretty much immature and criminal behavior. He continues to hold a job as a presenter at Zaa Radio. I am yet to hear most of the media personalities in Tamale reprimand him or speak against such despicable behavior. He continues to hold his post after publicly threatening to release the nude photos of a woman who stood up to his ignorance. The only Northern media personality I have seen rebuke Halik is Abdul Hayi Moomen with an appropriately titled Facebook post lambasting Halik. Halik is an intellectually bankrupt guy who immediately resorted to tired old misogynistic tactic of devaluing the argument of a woman by resorting to calling her a prostitute. People with such low intellect must not be on the air polluting the minds of our young generation.
He, and given the response he got online with many boys cheering him on, needs to be taken off the air and his megaphone snatched from his loud and ignorant mouth. In his original post, he targets only female nurses as his vitriol is directed at them. Is he unaware that we have a growing number of male nurses in Ghana and Tamale? My own uncle who is now a doctor and a powerful figure in the health sector in Tamale started out as a nurse. Four of my own male classmates at GHANASCO are happy nurses. In his myopic and old school condemnation of nurses as girls who love makeup and not their job, Halik showcases his ignorance of current socio-economic and employment trends in Ghana. He is a disgrace to journalism in the north and Zaa Radio is forever tagged with the ineptitude and crude behavior Halik exhibited.
But beyond the role his continued stay in his job at Zaa Radio plays in our culture, Halik must be reprimanded by the police and security agencies. In Ghana, it is illegal to post nude pictures of people without their consent. It is actually illegal to post nude pictures as this is pornography. In this case, Halik is threatening Sadia with revenge porn which is an even worse crime. He must be investigated for his threat and anyone found in possession of the photos must be reprimanded legally.
Boys and men in northern Ghana must be taught to reason with their brains and not their penises. Resorting to slut-shaming a woman to win an argument is despicable. It shows your intellectual bankruptcy and ineptitude. When Sadia basically responded to him with a cool head and he had nothing to offer back, he basically fell back on patriarchal nonsense by calling her a prostitute which had zero bearing on the argument or conversation. When she exposed him as a loser and a creep who she rejected, he upped the ante by threatening her with releasing her nude pictures. I don’t know Halik personally but I will say this: he is unfit for the airwaves in Tamale given his embarrassing debacle with Sadia. He must be immediately removed from his post by Zaa Radio. And I will encourage Sadia to file a complaint with Ghana Police in Tamale to investigate and get to the bottom of his threat to release her nudes.
To conclude, our women and girls must be fortified against the shame of misogyny and patriarchy which seeks to shame them over their natural gifts and bodies. When nudes are released of boys and girls, the boys feel empowered and girls are shamed. Whether or not Sadia has nude photos, she must not be cowered by such shaming tactics. Nude pictures of either sex must not serve as a way to silence women and girls from having and airing their opinions in any argument.
About the Writer
Umar Mohammed is a son of Dagbon and a doctoral student at Texas A&M University in the United States. His interests are in Society, Culture, History, and Social Change.