MEET THE ‘MAD MAN’ WHOSE CANVASS IS THE STREET


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On the main Awoshie-Ablekuma-Pokuase road specifically at Anyaa market lies a spectacle as baffling as it is gripping. For years, commuters in vehicles heading to settlements such as NIC, Fan Milk, Agape, Ablekuma and Pokuase from their duty post in Accra, Nkrumah Circle and other parts have beheld a mentally challenged fellow scribble down ‘things’ on people’s stores and any available space.

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With the main road constructed with pavement, Ecomog as he is simply known has found an even more fitting canvas to unleash his creative thoughts. Be it day or night Ecomog has something to offer.

Information gathered indicates that Ecomog together with a brother had the misfortune of having challenges with their mental faculties although their sister lives a normal life selling wares at the Anyaa market.

Sadly, Ecomog’s brother died last year. Although he was not creatively gifted as the academician, he channeled his energy in pulling carts for people for a fee. Their mother also passed-on a while back; thankfully their father lives on.

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As to why Ecomog delights in writing so much, sources say he had once been a teacher but overnight had started loosing his mind and over 10 years on, here lies the one-time knowledge giver.

For those who know him quite well, they explain Ecomog could be as sweet as a baby on some occasions delightfully chatting in English, Twi and Ga but when the ‘thing’ comes, he can be abrasive and foul although he is one not given to violent ways. Another endearing thing about the fella as revealed is that he is a fine singer as well and resides in the Anyaa Police station area with his family although he goes days without sleeping at home or showering.

Ghanaians being superstitious as they can be, when asked whether his family has made the effort to send him for medical assessment, many opined his condition ‘efri fie’ to wit it origins from the family.

With a new mental health law in place, it should be possible for care givers or social welfare officers to house mentally challenged persons on the streets and the cost borne by the state.

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All Ghanaians, be they homeless or mentally sick have full rights and ought not to be subjected to inhumane treatment or be discriminated against in public or enclosed quarters.

Research in various psychiatric hospitals show that about 70% of inmates in those hospitals were youth between the ages of 18 to 35 years indicating that mental sickness is a real problem on our hands. The more reason why every right thinking individual needs to get involved in demanding better and humane care for those who have lost the ability to use their mind fully and productively.

The case of chocolate Ecomog serves as warning to all that even as bankers, MP’s, lecturers, nurses, doctors, media operatives, artisans, traders and military folks today, tomorrow is never guaranteed and we shall do ourselves a favour by demanding more from government and corporate groups to build care homes which cater for mentally challenged persons while making the environment friendly enough with gardens, birds and nature being around instead of the concretized situation at the Accra Psychiatric Hospital.

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For one who when in the mood carries load for some coins and still retains the ability to produce writings. The Asante man needs help to regain his mind and help groom pupils to progress academically as he once did. There is no excuse in allowing such a fertile mind to waste and oh those who can decrypt Ecomog’s writings and messages should help out.

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BLAKK RASTA AND HIS ‘SERWAA AKOTO’ LOVE


blakk serwaaLegend has it that the Serwaa Akoto that highlife icon P.K Yamoah sung about was a real life figure whose beauty enchanted many healthy males despite being shy and coy by nature.

And as if one music great singing about her beauty and virtues was not enough some 40 years ago, reggae presenter and Pan Africanist Blakk Rasta has offered visuals for the rendition of the song done in the ‘kuchoko’ vein.

Even as eager and fans await the announcement by the tough musician about his next employer and destination having parted ways with Accra based Hitz FM, he perhaps hopes to appease the fans with the video of the song offered some moons ago.

‘Serwaa Akoto’ pre-produced by Wazumbi and mastered by the ageless Zapp Mallet in his Title Track studio comes to life thanks to the crisp singing offered by the backing vocalist and sublime submission poured forth by Yaw Bayereba.

Unlike some damsels who are eye pleasing but lack substance, Serwaa Akoto’s talk is likened to calm water whereupon it is made clear that should all women possess the attributes of Akoto life would have been bearable for all.

blakk 3We are also informed that Serwaa’s poise is disarming as is her faultless and decent ways. Never one to play dull, having discovered Serwaa’s unique attributes, Yaw Bayereba pens a passionate letter to Serwaa to woo her indicating that he just can’t continue existing without her love.

Blakk Rasta does well in being able to start on a mellow note before raising the tempo cautiously while not distorting the flow.

blakk 1The video for the Serwaa Akoto tune makes for interesting viewing. The native clothes possessing different styles and patterns add colour as does the community scenes interspersed with forest shots and indigenous games such as ‘ampe’.

In order for the community scenes not to be overdone, studio shots are woven in the sequence to offer variety as did the Marina Mall shot.

blakk 2This is another bold outing for the kuchoko legend. Certainly this is not a ‘kpesh-kpesh’ tune rather a soothing one to savour and relish in with a lover.

Blakk Rasta’s previous albums include Rasta Shrine (2000), More Fyah (2002), Ganja Minister (2004), Natty Bongo (2006), Naked Wire (2008), Voice of the Afrikan Rebel (2009) and Born Dread (2011).

Enjoy the original piece by Yamoah and then Blakk Rasta’s rendition:

Yamoah’s ‘Serwaa Akoto’:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YcgQC9SyhHQ&feature=player_detailpage

Blakk Rasta’s ‘Serwaa Akoto’

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-uc-_qyLV1g&feature=player_detailpage

REGGIE ROCKSTONE AND THE HIPLIFE GRAND DEBATE


hiplifeThe history of Hiplife cannot be written without noting some names. For the most part, Reggie Rockstone has been mentioned as the grand papa of Hiplife but some names deserve credit and mentionHiplife is a fusion of hiphop and highlife; Ghana’s premier indigenous dance music. For a hiplife track to hold its own it needs two elements:

  1. A sample from highlife which must ride a solid thumping beat.
  2. It needs a rap or rhyme delivered over the sample in Twi, Ga, Ewe, Hausa or in Pidgin English and the rhyme must be fluid and full of clever metaphors.

Now in 1993 there was a group managed by Panji Anoff named ‘talking drums’ made up of Kweku T and partner Abeiku Ribeiro, they released their very first hiplife track in 93, a twi rap song titled ‘Aden’ but by then the term HIPLIFE had not been coined.

regIt wasn’t until 3 years later in 1996 that Reggie Rockstone and then co-starter of Vibe FM Michael Cook coined the term Hiplife with Reggie polishing and dropping a twi rap track called ‘Tsoo Boi’, it caught on like wild fire.

Obrafour pae obrafuo ok okyeame-quophiemzbelino1But after Kweku T, Abeiku, Reggie and Nananom as well as Akyeame blazed the trail, the hiplife phenomenon really caught on with soldiers Obrafuor entering in 98, TicTac in 99 and Lord Kenya, NFL, Buk Bak, Nkasei, VIP, TH4kwagges and the 1st lady of hiplife Mzbel propagating it’s message and ideals resulting in it being a chief source of employment for many youth.

The reckoning that Reggie often seeks glorification to the neglect of other pioneers is at the heart of the recent hiplife storm. For years Reggie in interviews paints the picture of coining the hiplife term without referencing even Mike Cook with whom the name was birthed. Another let down is the non-mention of the input Kweku T and Abeiku offered in the early days to what is now hailed as hiplife.

ZAPP 1obrafuor hammerImmense recognition has to also be accorded Panji Anoff for producing perhaps the first true hiplife tune in ‘Aden’ as much as love shown Zapp Mallet, Hammer and Jay Q for their efforts.

It is appropriate to also mention record houses Kassa Records, Black Label, Home Base, Kays Frequency, Super Kass, Noize Management, Slip Music, Abib Records, Soul Records, Precise Music, Goodies Music, Agiecoat Music, Frimprince and Lisarf.

ohene dOm Studious, Hush Hush, Phamous, Stip, Em Klan deserve praise for offering solid visuals which lifted and continue to lift the hiplife tunes.

manifest edem (5)It is worthy to note that in all of the argument, the one true bar of hiplife by which all other hiplifers continue to be measured is the Executioner also known as Obrafuor. It is little wonder that current heavyweights Edem, Manifest and Sarkodie point to Mike Kwabena Elliot Darko as the one who so intrigued them to pursue music.

obuorThe verdict is also out there as to whom the larger public associates with hiplife. When hiplife started taking root and corporate groups sought ambassadors to represent their brands one could recall the Obrafuor-Tic Tac Ashfoamer campagin which fetched both guys 10 million cedis each in 2001, BukBak was used for the u-touch mobile promo, Obour did promo work for Pepsi. Abrewanana and Obrafuor did work for the Kasapeko brand, Reggie did endorsement for Guinness stout whiles Nescafe enrolled VIP, KK Fosu, Tinny and Batman for the Nescafe crème ad as did Samini for the MTN ambassadorial deal.

Reggie-RockstoneAlthough not the most prolific and one who has made the most money from the game, 49 year old Reginald Osei has chalked some successes such as recording with Beanie Man on the The King meets the King track.

Again Reggie is perhaps the one who got his videos shown on Channel O the earliest before other Ghanaian acts followed. There were also the World Music Network deal, varied international music festival appearances as well as making appearances on billboard magazine.

Rockstone however has not sold close to BukBak’s Sika Kokoo album even when he released his first 3 albums plus his Plan Ben single.

It is worthy to note that the Specefon Legend of 2003 did not release any album from 1999 to 2003 and often had long spells where he was musically inactive. This might also explain why other cats have more albums than he does.

Reggie Rockstone certainly cannot lay claim to inventing rap that is a battle for Gyedu Blay Ambulley and his peers to wage. What Reggie can co-lay claim to, is coining the term hiplife for a music which involves using rap either in indigenous languages or English to communicate over a highlife inspired or sampled beat.

kweku tToday Kweku Tutu earns his bread on a South African radio station whiles other pioneers have passed on or veered into other fields. Thankfully we still have Obrafuor, Barima Sydney, Obour, Okyeame Kwame and Reggie himself still supplying us our music doses.

MEK N. BROWNE FOUNDATION READY FOR FOREIGN VOLUNTEER INTAKE, SEEKS GLOBAL SUPPORT


mek n. browne logoThe founder of Mek N. Browne Foundation has intimated that his 5 year old foundation is ready to host foreign volunteers who wish to explore great offerings of the country as well as undertake charity work to put smile on the faces of disadvantaged persons in communities.

According to Mek N. Browne, the objective of his foundation includes:
• Supporting children with basic needs in society
• Advancing the welfare of communities and
• Support empowerment of under privileged parents economically

He mentioned modules through which volunteers and donors can offer support as being:

toy toy2The child edu-Care module: Where school fees of children are paid on behalf of needy parents and guardians as well as study materials provided so they can advance through the school system.

Individual & Local community empowerment support for needy parents module: Needy parents are provided funds to start table top businesses and other micro ventures to enable participants/members obtain funds to feed their nuclear families. The ultimate aim is to financially liberate individuals and the community so that standards of living can improve through the foundation’s schemes.

Vocation and agric module: Despite the foundation’s limited resources, 20 acres of land has been acquired in the central region of Ghana for farming purposes (palm plantation, cocoyam, cassava farming) to enhance the livelihood of dependents in the care of Mek N. Browne foundation.

saloonAbout 20 volunteers work on the farm and earn allowance while proceeds derived from sale of foodstuffs on the open market are used to support other schemes of the foundation. Additionally a saloon and barbering shop in the holding of the foundation serves as employment and learning centres for interested persons.

houseIn-house global family village module: The vision is to physically accommodate homeless and underprivileged children as well as their parents without charge. The foreign volunteers seeking to serve in Ghana are entreated to partake in the activities of the Mek N. Browne Foundation in Ghana where they shall be hosted warmly. When they avail themselves, Ghanaian dishes, beverages and other offerings are made available under the global village exchange concept which boosts tourism and advances the charity work.

The founder who is also an oil and gas consultant having earlier undertaken works for Grace Petroleum, Giant Petroleum, Goil/Shell, Daewoo Engineering and Construction however called for support to scale up operations and positively impact the lives of even more needy persons and defenseless youth.

land“There is need for other well intentioned Ghanaians and other nationals to support Mek N. Browne Foundation to reach more people in the urban and rural areas as global economic downturn is making it difficult to secure funds for projects.

“It’s not only cash which is needed, new/used but decent clothing for kids, school bags, boots, books, bags of rice, maize, tins of sugar, milk as well as detergents and soap are all needed. Donation of such items will not just be timely but very much appreciated” the entrepreneur cum philanthropist added.

He said those willing to support the foundation with cash and material donations can do so through:
Mob & WhatsApp #:+233 (0) 578 555 800
Telephone #:+233 (0) 302 985 435
Email address:meknbrownefoundation@gmail.com
Office Location: Accra, Ghana West Africa

Mek N. Browne also noted that his foundation is a Ghanaian registered foundation having complied with the provisions of Section 27 and 28 of the Republic of Ghana’s Companies Act, 1963, Act 179 and has been incorporated with full rights entitled to start operations with the liabilities of its members being limited by guarantee.

He said the corporate mission of the foundation is to: Create Religious Human Capital for Community Development whereas the vision is to Achieve Holistic Life Enhancement via Individual Support.

On why he strives to support the less fortunate; Mek N. Browne explained his mother firmed by her Christian faith and chieftaincy background ignited the passion to help others. He recalled during his tender age, his mum assumed direct and total responsibility of catering for the needs of over thirty 30 children daily, even though she only had three 3 biological children.

Managing Director of Mek N. Browne Foundation, Francisca Titiati who has served with PLAN Ghana as Community Development Officer and as Programme Assistant at UN WOMEN noted that Ghanaians and foreign nationals with financial muscle should contribute funds and human resource to the Mek N. Browne Foundation so more can be done to safeguard lives.

‘AMAZING CHILD REALITY SHOW’ WINS BIG AT TELEVISION AWARDS, NEW SEASON BECKONS IN SEPTEMBER


amazin-childTV Africa’s ‘Amazing Child’ reality show emerged victorious from the Accra International Conference Center after shrugging off stiff challenge from competitors to scoop multiple awards at the second edition of the Television Awards Ghana 2015.

television-awards-ghanaThe Accra International Conference Center served as the attraction point for media operatives, government functionaries, industry captains and entertainment barons as the show designed to reward hardworking TV personnel took flight on 14th August 2015.

The awards ceremony was co- hosted by humour merchant Derrick Kobina Bonney simply identified as DKB and the irrepressible Afia Schwarzenegger.

2015-tv AwardsYesterday’s Prime Time Awards follows the Industry Awards held last week. ‘Amazing Child’ secured awards in all the children’s show categories winning the:

Outstanding Children Show – Amazing Child (TV Africa)

Most Popular Children Show – Amazing Child (TV Africa)

While shrugging off competition from ‘Talented Kids’ of TV3 and Multi TV’s ‘Kids Paradise’.

Tv-AfricaThe Most Outstanding Individual Performance in the television children’s show category was also won by Ama Nhiraba of ‘Amazing Child’ indicative that the ‘Amazing Child Reality Show’ is touching base with the hearts and minds of Ghanaians.

The industry and prime time awards were determined by a faculty which consists of representatives of all the TV stations. Additionally a public voting system was aggregated to choose winners for certain categories such as the Most Popular Children’s Show which attracted a 100% public voting from fans.

Aside ‘Amazing Child’ winning big, TV Africa’s ‘Egya Pa’ won the Most Outstanding Television Talk Show of the year beating the Delay Show, A Different View with Gina West and the La Gata discussion programme to win the award.

Meanwhile the new season of the ‘Amazing Child Show’ is set to make a return in September 2015.

AFIA SCHWARZENEGGER AND HER ‘ABEN WOHA SHOW’


Afia-SchwarzeneggerBy now even hard core haters of Valentina Nana Agyeiwaa also known as Afia Schwarzenegger can testify that the mother, wife, radio and TV host is a creative force who cannot easily be tamed.

To think that just 7 years ago, this in-demand lady was an unknown quantity baffles many but such is the red hot form the former star of the Afia Schwarzenegger Show is in that already she has provided her set of skills for Hitz FM, Happy FM, eTV, UTV and now Kasapa FM.

afia shwaaThere is nothing out of the blue on her new show code named the ‘Aben Woha Show’ which airs from 10 am to 12 noon on week days but already Valentina is drawing in the numbers.

Often, the show opens with old time gospel tunes from the 90’s from stars such as Abawa Cornie, Mama Esther, Tagoe Sisters and others from that stellar squad with Afia singing along.

Other genres such as highlife and urban music also have representation as does Afia’s comical LPM’s coupled with doses of proverbial sayings and historical tit bits.

Afia’s formula which is being part abrasive, part endearing and part comical seems to be working the magic as the number of WhatsApp messages and phone-ins suggest assisted by Benduka the producer.

For a station which is less that 3 months old and a programme even younger, the striking thing about the ‘Aben Woha’ mid morning show is the sheer volume of adverts the show commands easily translated to revenue.

One cannot tell if the jingles are rolled over from mother station Starr FM or are as a result of Kasapa’s sale and marketing team but already Ghacem, Star Assurance, End-Point Homeopathy Clinic, Winzol Dewormer, Herb Afrik and Mandigo Bitters handlers have all fallen on the Adabraka based station to help them reach targeted audiences to boost sales figures and beat the competition.

The greatest bane of Choice 102.3 FM from whom EIB Network acquired the frequency was that adverts were not flowing in to enable management adequately remunerate staff, pay utility bills and innovate.

In 2010 when I worked at the station as a news guy and sales officer, the trauma I underwent was with difficulties in persuading potential clients to do business with the station, as they maintained to advertise on Choice with no result, they would rather advertise on Peace FM and Joy FM for 4 times the rate knowing they would reach their targeted audiences.

Not even attempts by my immediate boss then, PNC’s Youth Organizer Abu Ramadan who was the sales head to offer barter terms could assuage their skepticism. It is tragic that a station which groomed the likes of Jon Germain, Yaw Ampofo Ankrah, Kafui Dey and had Tommy Annan Forson fell from such grace while peers Joy FM and Radio Gold continue to thrive.

So to see the immediate transformation on that same frequency delights and at times intrigues me indicating that programming, positioning and prudent management makes a critical difference in the life of a radio station.

Afia incorporates Facebook comments from fans into her show endearing herself even more to them as they can’t have enough of her. She proves she is a cunning fellow who continues to give fellow presenters a run for their money. On one occasion Afia asked listeners to offer the English name for local delicacy ‘kulikuli’ and the volume of resultant response was disarming. Her lovers without a doubt show their affection in tonnes.

As with most gifted folks, Valentina Agyeiwaa’s weakness is use of abrasive and risqué language which can be tasteless, if only she could contain some of her urges, the future promises to be even brighter for the radio/ TV host, actress and humour merchant.

It is increasingly becoming clear that it isn’t for nothing that Kasapa 102.3 FM maintains that its presence ‘adzi bebia.’

WHAT’S GOV’T EXCUSE IN LETTING DOWN THE PEN PAL BOYS?


SAKAWA-BOYSIt started innocently enough largely in 1998, where Ghanaian kids developed a liaison with foreign pals in America, Europe and Asia. In the beginning the joy was to show off to friends, even girlfriends that one had a Caucasian friend and it was with great joy that students went for their letters and other parcels from the post boy who had aggregated the receivables for onward transmission.

Thanks to the conditioning of the African to relegate African values and traditions, the Europeans were only too eager to offer bibles, mission tracts and other related materials to their African pals but soon the missionary materials lost relevance, leading the young guys and on a few occasions ladies to start demanding cash, electronic gadgets and other urban items.

Yet again, the Europeans were not perturbed in sending a few gadgets and on some occasions cash to their Ghanaian pen pals but as with life, to whom much is given, much is expected and through whom much is stolen, much is demanded and so when onetime willing givers were sticking their heels to the ground, the Ghanaian youth sought ways of extracting form their pen friends items through fair or foul means.

Although the pen pal business has taken hold in Dansoman, Adabraka, Tema, Achimota, Nima/Netwon/Alajo, Kasoa, Abeka-Lapaz, Kumasi, Taifa, Medina and Tamale, there is little doubt that Agona Swedru remains the pen pal capital of Ghana.
Agona Swedru is a town in the Central Region of Ghana commanding some 70,000 inhabitants. Sadly the district cannot boast of thriving industries.

For a town close to the capital city Accra, most folks are storekeepers, market women and drug store operators. The lack of a factories or industry to absorb the mass number of youth in the district has led to an insatiable appetite for cyber related activities often leading to fraud and a veering into the supernatural realm.

sakawa3Although the term being bandied about is Sakawa boys, the youth in Swedru engaged in cyber activities distance themselves from the Sakawa tag, preferring rather the pen pal tag. The explanation being that when one employs his skills to outmaneuver a greedy/naughty/perverted foreigner that is simply doing the pen pal business. It is only when a spiritualist is sought to influence the process for larger sums when it enters the Sakawa realm.

It involves going to a grave yard at midnight for rituals, sleeping and carrying a coffin, abstaining from certain practices or deeds, wearing chanted upon beads/talisman etc.

So how is it that citizens from supposedly tech savvy lands such as the US, UK and EU get defrauded of large sums without let or hindrance?

In Swedru, the tactics and strategies vary and as they put it everyone has a format that can be used on him/her. One way is to use dating websites where details and photos of targeted persons are sought. The scammer in Ghana then visits a porn site or dedicated sites such as mate 1 to download various pictures and videos of a model undertaking various activities such as cooking, masturbating etc. Some of these sites are free, others require registration and payment but when it’s done, the Ghanaian scammer would then initiate contact with his prey often innocently.

The contact would be minimal so as not to arouse suspicion but nonetheless the scammer gradually ups the interaction through messages posing as a lady having assumed a new identity with aid of new pictures and videos.

Yahoo Messenger was popular but Whatsapp has taken over and thanks to advanced technology a male can adjust settings on his phone to sound like a lady.

For those naughty European men who seek to have pleasure outside of their confines, it is here they fall in the trap as they are lured with mini-cam visuals downloaded earlier from known sites. Having been shown nude pictures and naked videos, the pleasure seeking European is then lured as demands emerge. It could be deliberate tampering with the webcam setting to show blurred images or breakage in phone calls. Consequently a request would be put in to buy new laptop, phone etc.

Having wooed the prey for sometime, there is then talk of visiting the foreigner in his home country hence need for dollars/pounds/euro to be wired down here in Ghana to acquire a passport, travelling documentation and undertake tests.

cash dollarThere is also the occasional request for money to take mum or dad to the hospital for medical treatment. Sex is a powerful thing, once the fellow is hooked thanks to the naughty images he has consumed, he keeps sending funds with the hope of beholding the beauty to pound the ‘yonni’ but it’s hardly to be as the excuses keep coming in even after several funds have been sent. Eventually the line is severed as the pen pal chap in Ghana vanishes into thin air.

Others hire females who show real flesh in real time, such pen pal guys take their cut and on certain occasions, the ladies travel and meet up with their clients abroad. Others arrive in Ghana and the ladies sexually cater for them for weeks and months in hotels and guest houses.

July 11, 2009 ÒHe was visiting tribal leaders in Cape Coast, Ghana, and I was struck by the contrast in the attire as the President was shaking hands.Ó (Official White House photo by Pete Souza) This official White House photograph is being made available only for publication by news organizations and/or for personal use printing by the subject(s) of the photograph. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way and may not be used in commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products, promotions that in any way suggests approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House.

Another format is to use the business route, where the pen pal chap attracts the interest of the foreigner with land and gold prospecting deals. The foreigner is then asked to send cash for documentation whereupon genuine looking paper work is sent to him and photos of innocent looking gold and other treasures are sent him to whet his appetite. As it often turns out before they realize, they’ve been hoodwinked and it’s too late.

sakawacashOthers hack into systems and then steal credit card details and then shop with them while having the goods delivered in Ghana.

While I lived in Swedru for a year, it was common sight to see teenagers patronizing the cafes, not to research on assignments from school but rather to perfect their cyber skills. The kids start early such that when a kid gets to class 5 and 6, its game on. The love of quick cash has led to a steep decline in completion of the junior secondary stage.

There is poverty in Swedru, often the well to do are not indigenes as the banks, hospitals and even schools maintain a good number of professionals who hail from Accra, Kumasi, Cape Coast and other parts. The result is that parents often give their blessings to the kids who bring them money, build homes for them and support their siblings and relations.

The pal boys have enormous clout, there is talk that the private residence of the chief of the town was constructed by the gamers and so they continue to receive the support and blessing of the chief.

A visit to the town reveals a photo of shortage of accommodation spaces as most buildings were mud structures. There is no grand plan to build accommodation quarters for professionals transferred to the town. Yet again, it the pen pal boys to the rescue as they continue to build and rent homes to radio presenters, bank staff, nurses/doctors and utility company staff. It’s not uncommon to have 40 year professionals bow and greet their 17-25 year old landlords.

Some pen pal guys receive their funds through the Western Union system but others also use the bank system where arrangements have been made with certain managers who take their commission once a withdrawal is made. At times there is disagreement on the percentage to be received and alarm blows but for the most part, it’s handled neatly.
With Swedru coming under keener scrutiny some of the boys are opting to withdraw their cash at Bawjiase, Kasoa and Accra.

If you are a 40 year old man in Agona Swedru and you’ve not been productive and fortunate in life, you could feel scorned especially from ladies you might have admired and wished to behold. The pen pal boys have spoiled the Swedru chics for sure. It is common sight to see them in the front seat row with their guys rolling and balling. It is only in Agona Swedru that being a borga (been-to) means absolutely nothing, for whatever a borga hustled to acquire abroad, the pen pal boys have and even more.

bently davido car davido-manager cars sakawa ride sakawa_gh_c_2parliamentInterestingly, the vehicles MP’s, and ministers hold dear are common toys on Swedrus’ streets be it Posh Cayenne, Hummer, Range Rover, Lincoln Navigator, Benz, Bentley or Ford Expedition.

The feats the pen pals boys have chalked are at times miraculous; take the case of one who was said to have defrauded a US senator of 20,000 dollars. Another is said have got to a car dealership where a particular one caught his fancy, there were some folks haggling over the price which was about 850 million old cedis, enter the pal boy who stunned everyone including the seller by offering him 900 old million for the ride just like that.

cash33Living the good life can be a thrill but for those who assume that the goodies would keep flowing, soon get a rude awakening. The smart ones, enter the pen pal business call it cyber fraud business, hit it big and then pull out by investing in a venture.

In Agona Swedru, there are phone and electronic gadget shops, paint shops, hardware shop owners and boutique operators who are identified as onetime gamers who diversified their money making ways.

sakawa4 watchessakawa6Others who once commanded huge sums in their bank accounts are now paupers thanks to ostentatious living (drowning bottles of liquor, purchasing of needless kicks, jewellery and clothes), reckless womanizing and lacking business acumen.

One such fellow’s case makes for grim observation. He was one of the money men but poor choices and a brash with the law enabled him meet misfortune, today he is a space to space vender who strives to cloud his identity with a scarf.

Others are not so fortunate. The case is often told of a young pen pal chap who started making it big but then died mysteriously yet another tale which makes for grim reading is on a gamer who was living the good life with his girlfriend. On one occasion, a friend of the gamer disclosed to the lady that his guy had a pot under their bed which contained some items. The curious lady beheld and retrieved the pot, instantly the boyfriend went mad and started roaming the streets for it was his only to see.

The guy’s family relations however did not sit idle as they also consulted an oracle which prescribed a way out but at a cost.

The cost being that the girlfriend whose curiosity generated the whole trouble would receive the madness ‘abodam’ instead. As we interact, the gamer has regained his senses and the curious lady roaming Swedru’s streets.

benzwest hill mall ws2Left Eye spot, Nkubem spot and Greenland hotel serve as the grounds for display of the cash and rides although in recent times the West Hill mall is serving as a new play ground for the gamers.

In Agona Swedru, the speculated dons include the Size Zero group which has a hiplifer hailing from the town as an associate, Ditos Money, Moro, Junior and one Addo. In Accra and Tema speculated dons include Baron Wan, Jibril and Criss.

wanlov2Speculated spiritualists consulted for fortification include Indian Man and one Fear God although most gamers prefer to visit Togo and Dahomey (the home of snakes) a.k.a Benin for their fortification. Whichever way one looks at it cyber fraud has its attractions, for Wanluv de Kobolo to admit that when he got stranded in the US, had it not been his pen pal guys in Ghana who continuously wired money to him, he might have perished, speaks volumes about the gamers critically role.

mahamaEvery government’s role is to protect the meekest and the weakest in the state and also to redirect the misguided. It is clear that the Swedrulites have a skill which can be harnessed for good. For semi illiterates and even so called illiterates to manage to defraud so called advanced citizens can only be an opportunity being allowed to waste.

There is a big cyber army being mobilized all over the globe. The Americans, Russians, Chinese and North Koreans have already shown the massive recruitment and investment they’ve done. The Sony attacks and retaliation shows how activities in the virtual world can affect the physical.

assangeThanks to Wikileaks, Julian Asange, Edward Snowden and Bradley Manning, we know the unethical spying and things so called beacon of democracy United States does to solicit information for their advantage. If allies such as Germany and France are not spared the invasive activities by America, they very well care a hoot less about Ghana.

All these NGO’s, Volunteer Corps and ‘komenene’ are intrinsically to solicit information and gather data on our way of life to continue to condition us and advance their cultural, economic and spiritual dominance.

Thankfully, the ‘Swedrulites’ have shown a streak of good form with ICT, hacking and identity theft. Government must as a matter of urgency set up an academy better still a cyber enclave in Swedru to channel such cyber skills to the good of the country.

The security capos and intelligence capos ought to have by now developed programmes and modules as to how the state can use the genius of the Swedru folks to penetrate the defenses of other states to retrieve information and set up defensive barriers against other states invading our cyber space.

More crucially Swedru can become a hub for electronic and tech inventions. It is not enough to brand such skillful Swedrulites as troublesome and seek to imprison them while they could be molded to serve their motherland.

Of course it isn’t only foreigners that scammers target, fellow Ghanaians and other African nationals aren’t spared either.

sakawa7The advice is be on guard, if you have no dealing with a dead president be it Gadhafi or Abachi why would you be enticed to send money and account details to inherent some of their funds?

Why can’t you turn down an invitation to have cyber sex when you know not the offeror from Adam?

If an item cost 1000 cedis why would you presume it safe to offer 400 cedis for the same item offered by a recent acquaintance?

When folks contain their greed and pleasures they would find that life can be simple.

Ingest this tune from Original Shana even as he states his case on Sakawa letter to the leaders:

http://www.hulkshare.com/orishana/shana-sakawa