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The budding romance between Akosua Manu, Deputy CEO of the National Youth Authority, and Gabriella Tetteh is the exception that has proved a weird new rule. Why? Because Bipartisan romances are becoming a thing of the past now with the very heated and hostile political climate in Ghana. The publics’ strong reaction to such pairings shows that “the political realm is, as with all shifting norms, a place where the increasingly urgent questions around guilt by association is being tested crudely.

These two friends who seemed not to like each other when they first appeared on Metro TV’s Good Morning Ghana show are now the ” best of friends”. One is NDC, the other is NPP, and both consider themselves feminists, and seem well to be navigating friendship across the political aisle. Mixed ideology friendships in contemporary day politics have become less common, at least not as open as exemplified by these two.

While Ghana’s President is now tasked with navigating a divided Parliament with almost equal numbers, many politicians and political figures of opposite parties are expected to put aside their ideological differences to forge working partnerships and friendships.

At least in the public eye many of them appear not to see eye to eye on fundamental political questions but seem to respect each other as public servants and work across the aisle to find common ground.

Akosua and Gabriella shared the distinct path of attending Wesley Girls Senior High School in Cape-Coast to being elevated as spokespersons of their respective political parties.

The two panelists who are often seen battling it out on political matters have become decidedly more amicable, with all two expressing newfound respect and admiration for each other.

They’ve gotten so close that each is trying to coerce the other to join her political party. Both were seen attending a common friends birthday party recently

The two were also seen together battling each other over fitness on TV.

Gabriella now considers herself as Akosua’s  “Manager”

“I have to say that we became very dear friends. That doesn’t mean we didn’t fight each other. We fought each other like tooth and tongue but afterward, we’d put our arms around each other and laugh about it,” Akosua told me.

Gabriela recounts on Facebook how Akosua tried to convince her to cross carpet to the NPP

Akosua wrote about how Gabriella intends to convince her into the NDC. I am sure many will recall the cordial friendship that existed between Nana Akomea and John Mahama in the early 2000s and how they both publicly teased each other on set but still accorded each other with respect.

Despite their differences, they act as sounding boards for one another when it comes to respect and friendship. For Akosua, finding common ground is just as much for her as it is for her numerous followers on social media. “You don’t want to go out of your way to teach your fans to be disrespectful,” Akosua says. “I want to set them up to go out into the world and not make fools of themselves.”

The two women are learning to school their colleagues on politically divisive topics in ways that don’t undermine an opposing worldview, because the truth is  “screaming at people that they’re wrong has never changed anybody’s mind in the history of the world.” Gabriella agrees: “If you want to be heard, you have to learn to listen.”