We all woke up on the 18th July 2016 to meet an unusual message in our various Whatsapp groups in Legon, titled “Legon Clash of Halls” inviting us to follow a link to vote on Twitter for our halls as the “Most influential hall” in Legon.
This was new and interesting, I can’t recall any such platform offered to students of the University of Ghana to decide which hall was indeed the “Most influential”, especially an online platform.
Hall after hall, all fourteen (14) halls of residence on campus clashed, some lost a couple of teeth and fought their way into the finals and some broke their arms and couldn’t fight anymore.
It had an area based group stages, starting from the Four new halls aka diaspora with Jean Nelson winning its way into the finals with 57% of 90 votes, followed by African Union aka Pentagon winning the Pent. City group stage with 82% of 68 votes, Commonwealth for the Traditional Halls (43% of 289 votes) and Volta hall coming out with its clash with Jubilee Hall (68% of 42 votes) followed to make the list of finalists.
Most people (that includes my humble self) didn’t really understand what the Legon Clash of Halls was about even though we liked it, and that was probably because the people organizing it didn’t do much in explaining it to us and this is actually the first written article on the concept.
Then I got the opportunity to interact with the brain behind it all, Gilles Ametepe alias “Politically yours”, a level 200 Political Science and French student in Legon, I got to know him through another innovation of his, the now famous French Corner (this will be a topic for another day).
I wasn’t surprised that all this was coming from him, he has a good track record with French Corner and he is one of the people I see making use of Whatsapp to market ideas and impact lives through Knowledge sharing.
In our interaction (which was not an official interview), he had this to say, “Legon Clash of Halls is a concept that was born out of our will to give the opportunity to students and the general public to share what their opinion was on the everlasting question of ‘Which hall is the Most influential in Legon’. This is an opinion poll therefore we expect people to translate their perception into a vote for a hall or the other. We had people questioning the idea because they mistook “Influential” for “best”, but by “Influential” we mean – the reach of its (the hall’s) “fans”, the worth of its brand name and the extent to which its fan base can be mobilized for a cause. We didn’t use the word “Best” because it would have been overrated and its content more difficult to provide. This is a great experience, it’s not perfect, but it is a good start. We had great advice and support coming from various stakeholders, alumni and students alike such as Francis Adofo Asiamah (Fmr ASU-Legon Chief), Desmond Okunor (Ag. SRC Internship Committee Head), Daniel Otting Awuah (Ag. POSSA Publicity Committee Head), Maame Serwaa Arkorful (A GA member at the Nursing School), Selikem Kudjawu (Ag. SRC Financial Committee Head) and many other people who I can’t mention at the moment. This is to tell you that there is an interest on the part of students and their leaders and it will just get better. The platform we used (Twitter) was also not too conducive to reach a greater number of voters, but we choose Twitter because it has a very simple and easy-to-use polls design. Moreover we had a good number of people who were highly interested but couldn’t vote because they weren’t on Twitter. We are as result planning to take it from Twitter to Google Polls to enable more people to vote. – Legonites, should watch out for it.”
Legon Clash of Halls, has made its way into becoming a talk or rather a chat topic of town, even if, it hasn’t trended on Twitter, it still found its way into the thousands of Whatsapp groups on campus and beyond.
Gilles Ametepe and the millions of young people out there who make use of technology to innovate should be encouraged and supported, and if you are reading this and you know of any young person or project that deserves attention, do well to promote and call our attention to him/it.
Don’t forget to vote during the finals and to all the Legon Clash of Halls and French Corner’s fans out there you can contact Gilles Ametepe on:
He may become “Politically yours” too.