Sunday, August 2, 2009

Sakawa Money - The Life Changing Factor

As a little girl, I hated it when my mother “lied” about buying me a new toy, dress, or socks (I adored the little white soft cotton jackets that kept my feet warm in the Accra sun). To me, she just tricked me to get me to stop asking her for things, so I asked harder, and longer…more persistently. It did not make a difference; well maybe it did. It annoyed her, but still no new socks. I have my own money now, yet I still don't get new socks whenever I want them. It turns out that back then, life prevented my mother from getting them for me. And now, there always seems be something more important to do with my money than buy new socks. I am thankful, that somehow, I find the money I need; or at least some of it. The rest, I just have to wait for it to come from "somewhere". Luckily, I live in a land of loans, credit, spending lavishly and living off money that is not mine. I can buy a car I do not have to have because it looks nice, and then pay for it later. In the course of events, life takes a left turn, and I end up…in a rut. Mortgage payments, credit cards, loans, federal loans, school loans, car loans, home loans. It all seems so easy! That is, till you have to pay. What happens when there isn’t this luxury of "spend now sweat later"?

In this weeks’ Ghana news, there are stories of drug barons being released from jail. Minds are racing and mouths are busy spewing theories, thoughts and opinions. Some cry out that it's the end of the world as we know it, and others curse the incumbent party. Freedom of speech makes no exception for nonsense- I am hereby allowed to express myself - be it wise or not, it may be said. The drug business, in every country yields, when successful of course, a very hefty profit for those involved. Many get into it for the luxury of cash. Take Peter and Kwesi, both university students in Ghana, who have both jokingly told me where they got their sudden inflow of money from. “Chale, I just swallowed some, I went and I came back. Easy money.” Swallowed what and went where? And who sent you there and gave it to you? Unanswerable questions blocking my mind, unable to be uttered because as much as they confuse me, I do not want to know the answers. Some work two jobs, others less honorable jobs, generally, people do what they have to do; readjust their lives in order to gain the money to further change their lives.

Let us not talk about armed robbery! I live in Teshie Tsui Bleoo, somewhere so far from town you cross the jungle before you get there. Driving alongside the jungle, panthers and chimpanzees at midnight scare me beyond sanity, because somewhere in those bushes, could be a band of thieves armed with rusty nails, machetes, guns or even atomic bombs! Who knows? Rumour has it though that thieves rarely surive the Teshie mobs so, I have nothing to fear.

The Ghanaian Journal reports from the Today News that, a new strand of "sakawa" has been born among the Ghanaian youth. This is reported to be a form of cyber fraud. "It is a way of defrauding many unsuspecting Whites or foreigners on the internet." says the Ghanaian Journal, and this has apparently become vastly impotent with the newly found wisdom of the prey. Hence, the variant SAFAWA. Change one consonant in the name, and you have a brand new way to make money, however Safawa is said to be an "advanced form of Sakawa" as the Ghanaian Journal puts it. According to the journal, occultism is the very heartbeat of Safawa. Those involved may be asked to engage in unusual performances, as a heavy sacrifce to earn their money, these include abduction of babies and children for ritual purposes, sleep in coffins and with corpses; walk bare-footed, eat from refuse dumps and any other essential prescriptions of their occult masters. One has to work for their money!

A story that caught my eye in the news this week was titled “Men Turn Snakes”. According to reports from The Daily Guide, four young men went to see Nana Ogya to turn them into rich men because they were burned out from the tedious life of the day-to-day job which had failed to make them extensive empire builders with a mass of wealth to their names. The great Nana Ogya asked for 500Gh Cedis from them (five million cedis) in order to make them rich. He also asked for the precious waste of their girlfriends’ monthly visitors. He warned that if they failed to produce the required goods, they could turn into animals or something bad could happen to them. Two of the men fulfilled all the necessary requirements and returned with the other two who produced no remnants of their female companions’ personal bodily contents. As Nana Ogya had warned, the poor young men turned to snakes.

Dear me! The lengths to which one will go to achieve wealth! I have heard some baseless and hearsay whispers about money-making tactics which include nights spent in coffins and the precious sacrifice of a friend’s life. However, poor Kofi Adjei, 28, Kwame Tetteh, 28 are still snakes in Ghana waiting for Mallam Fatau, who says he can turn them back into humans, to locate Nana Ogya, in order for their lives to carry on. The quest for money, is truly a life changing factor.


This article was written by LSG Staff Writer Flossy Azu.

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1 comment:

Ananse Web said...

Yea Floss. It's scary how they can actually sacrifice their lives and dignity for short-term money. As for the snakemen, they can finally dance to r-kelly's music the proper way. i hear they eat banky and kenkey like any other human.