James Ebo Whyte’s Fellowship

I recently wrote an article about the symbolism of the mighty tree. The expression; a mighty tree has fallen is used often when a great person is deceased. This was the very essence of that article intended to honour the late Dr. Clement Hammond-Aryee who passed away recently. For reasons I now cannot recollect, I never managed to publish that article. I am now of the view that mighty trees must be recognized before they fall. This is not often the case as many of our standing mighty trees are not being recognized.  The great thing about might trees is that they are still extremely useful, serving countless purposes even when they have fallen. If you understand the word legacy, then you know what I mean.

I had an encounter with a standing might tree recently. Our search for high performing personalities led me to the Roverman production offices for a life-changing encounter with Mr. Ebo Whyte the playwright, entrepreneur extraordinaire and motivational speaker of a special class. One can always tell when he is in the presence of a mighty tree. The canopy of it’s leaves is a place of rest and comfort. You experience that phenomenon instantly when you are near uncle Ebo. Perhaps that is why he is called Uncle by everyone—he has the father to all kind of presence.

The roots of a mighty  tree go deeper than most of its neighbors— Uncle Ebo is a trained statistician, self-taught chartered accountant and marketing professional, whose career in management cuts across the Publishing, Financial, Pharmaceutical and Automobile industries. His wealth of knowledge and depth of experience is of great benefit to anyone who encounters him. When the roots are deep enough, they find sources for abundant minerals which manifest in the quantity and quality of the fruits. If you have seen an uncle Ebo play then you have an idea of what I am talking about.

The branches provide a place for the nesting of all kinds of creatures. Mighty trees are not made overnight. Og Mandino puts it in an interesting way in the book; The world’s greatest sales man;

 “To create the Olive, king of all tress, a hundred years is required. An onion plant is old in nine weeks”,

Uncle Ebo is not an overnight mighty tree and his depth and wealth of experience is demonstrated even in the simplest conversations. The impact of a mighty tree on its environment is very far-reaching beyond its majestic presence and this can easily be said of Uncle Ebo. He writes award-winning plays, produces and stages them. He writes for the monthly Roverman report. He writes and presents his daily food for thought on Joy FM’s super morning show and runs the whole Roverman operation all to the highest standard.  He has helped in the team building efforts and rebranding processes for many companies and is known to have helped and mentored numerous people in all walks of life through his hard hitting, inspirational and realistic presentations. He has successfully written and directed over 20 plays which have become reference points in many lives. I will not even begin to attempt a measure of the impact of the very personality and work of Uncle Ebo as it is not possible.

In the hour or so I spent with him, I got to meet some of his team members— very exciting people with high work ethics. I learnt about his abhorrence for corner-cutting while still managing to maintain a fun filled exciting climate. The whole atmosphere radiates with high performance. I asked questions about the production process and was baffled at how much work is injected into it. Uncle Ebo is uncompromising when it comes to quality and it reflects even on his choice of people. He wants to give the best possible and going the extra mile does not appear to cost him much in emotional labor. This will explains why his plays have revived what was almost a dead genre of our arts. He does not strike me as the type who is trying to be different—he is just doing his best and you are different when you are the best because everyone else is in the average bracket.

In the short while I was a there, I learnt a lot that will influence the way I do things. Sometimes you think you know what you are about until you meet some who actually knows. Uncle Ebo has a keen interest in what people think about his work; that’s the mark of a good entrepreneur who has a burning need to make sure that his patrons are happy. Personally my expectation was literally shattered when I went to see his play; Women on fire. If I could summarize his driving philosophy in one sentence, it will be;

think more about the world you live in and the contribution you make to it”.

He clearly does this and as the saying goes, as a man thinketh, so he is. We presented him with the SPiD-UP Performance Recognition Fellowship Status (The highest category in the program) for his work. All around you there are people doing ordinary things in an ordinary way. Writing and producing a play was ordinary until Uncle Ebo wrote his first. 


About Markus Kennedy Katey

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