Kwesi Yankah: My time with Anas

Kwesi Yankah: My time with Anas

Monday, 14th November, I used to be all set going to see the newest operation by this thriller man, Anas Aremeyaw Anas, who for twenty years had gotten Ghana turning on his 5 fingers.  

He had gotten the neatest Ghanaian, large or small, trying over his shoulders in each little transfer on the unsuitable facet of the regulation. A single bat of the eyelid from behind his beaded veil will get men of fame tumbling from the high heights, and whimpering like day previous babes. Call him a gladiator of national values; however he’s additionally an investigative journalist

 The announcement of his forthcoming  challenge, ‘Galamsey Economy’ thrilled me, and acquired me heading to city to seize a ticket. The theme by some means merged with my very own, and I began dreaming sympathies with my little anti-galamsey efforts. I known as my pal Ace, who dissatisfied me saying  a synopsis of the present within the media, had nothing to do with Galamsey. Ouch! That was a blow beneath the belt. My day was ruined, and I did a fast u flip, and headed again residence chewing roasted corn.

The misleading title, Galamsey Economy, gave sufficient clues that the pet boy most likely regressed whereas I used to be trying away. Did any individual censor the unique story and resolve to give the game away, a Freudian slip? 

That didn’t sound just like the Anas I had realized to admire.  In reality, I had met him twice. First, the actual human Anas Aremeyaw Anas, eyeball to eye ball; and years later Anas as a phantom, a hooded scare crow. Being a author myself, I knew his early beginnings as a slim scrawny journalist working for Kweku Baako’s Crusading Guide within the Nineteen Nineties.  I later met him when he got here to do Law at University of Ghana, and visited my office as Pro-VC for pupil and tutorial affairs; that was around 2006. He was a quite simple and charming character, removed from a little bit monster, snooping and monitoring govt vices. But I by some means lost monitor of him, till I began seeing glimpses of the cool gentleman, successful international awards with spellbinding tales.

I used to be surprised by his early investigations like Ghana’s Mad House, the place under cover Anas just about was a loopy man, and entered the asylum in Ghana right here, as a affected person. He went on admission, and from day to day ate with inmates and, like them, acquired injected with every day doses of all related medication,  depressants and all. And why take this bother? He had sacrificed his life for the sake of unearthing the story of gross human rights violations in psychological establishments.  That masterpiece in investigative journalism led to the passage of the 2012 Ghana Mental Health Act. Wow!  That was a man after my coronary heart.

Over the years, he had turn into a family name within the subregion and past. Otherwise, how might Anas have attracted the eye of world statesman Barrack Obama, then US President? In his speech whereas in Ghana in 2009, Obama drew consideration to “that courageous journalist, Anas, who risked his life to report the truth.”  I said wow again, exceedingly proud having met the younger man from throughout my desk in Legon.

September 2015, I used to be among the many giant throng of people that queued up at the Accra International Conference Centre, ready to see the debut of Anas’ masterpiece on judicial corruption that uncovered 34  Ghanaian judges engaged in vices of assorted sorts. Those judges and over 105 judicial workers had been caught on digicam receiving bribes to affect judgment in Ghanaian courts. The public was certainly amazed by a scandalous underworld of intercourse, bribery, blackmail, corruption, by revered men in wig and their associates, who thereby resolve to free rapists and other criminals and conversely throw harmless ones in jail.

Days after I had watched that challenge, I noticed one of many shamed judges, partly disguised in a cap, and pushing a baggage in the direction of the departure lounge of Accra airport. It was weeks later news unfold that one of many named judges had quietly left the country.

November 2016, a year thereafter; I acquired a uncommon alternative to work together with the man Anas, in full flight and regalia.

9th November that year. Here was Anas at my doorstep. I used to be in full cost of Central University as Vice Chancellor, and had launched a distinguished lecture collection, which had introduced to campus the likes of Dr Kwesi Botchwey, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, Professor Adigun Agbaje from Ibadan University. To maintain students’ enthusiasm, why not Anas as the following speaker? The thought alone turned the campus topsy turvy. Anas at Central? Yes. It was a scoop, and I had conspired with the dynamic director of  the school of communication research, Dr Ransford Antwi, for the shock.

Wednesday morning. The 3,000 capability auditorium of Central University was not sufficiently big. A uncommon gem was in the home. There was pleasure; however additionally panic, a safety nightmare. The query was how to host Anas with out placing him in jeopardy; who would escort him; how to work together with him, and so forth. The campus safety was on the alert, however even not sure from what path he was coming. Did he say which entry route he would use; which gate? From which path: Tema or Aflao? The gentleman had decided to hold us in the dead of night.

9.45am. Anas was on campus with plain clothed safety, having by some means eluded our campus watch canines. He had materialized.

The packed auditorium was a mixture of students, workers and college that had been all ears, to search solutions to hearsays and puzzles in regards to the man. How does he get his a number of spooky tales; what makes him ubiquitous? And is that this actually journalism? But even before the encounter, I acquired a way of his operations talking to students. I used to be told Anas had pupil volunteers all around the country working for him freed from cost. These had been properly skilled and may very well be reached anytime to assist with secret operations. Some of the students, I used to be scared to hear, had been at Central University!

But who was Anas himself? Before us that day at Central, had been three hooded lookalikes, certainly one of whom was the actual Anas. The reality was additional compounded when after my introduction of the visitor speaker, all three lookalikes stepped up from the high desk and stood behind microphone stand. After a second of suspense,  the actual Anas took the microphone from me and introduced himself whereas the other two dummies stood fidgeting all through the interplay.

The 90 minute dialogue with students was thrilling and educative, giving him the chance to narrate his harrowing life experiences: disguises, escapades, shut encounters; frustrations, successes and slim misses. The award successful experience with psychological sufferers the place he was injected with depressants,  was probably the most audacious; and he explained the security measures he took to cut back adversarial health effects.

 All eyes rivetted on him, he spoke freely, pacing forwards and backwards the crowded auditorium and bending often to chat with particular person students. Vigilant from a distance was his personal safety, that was alert, and prepared to sprint and intervene the place needed.

After the encounter, my workers and I returned to my office, ready for Anas to be a part of us for additional interplay and refreshments. But that was a mirage. Anas Aremeyaw Anas had mysteriously disappeared!

November 2022, a couple of days in the past, and 6 years after Central, Anas was enjoying at a theatre close to me; however I responded with waned enthusiasm. The as soon as traditional enterprise appeared to be limping, and claims of  entrapment by culprits, had been gaining floor. Is Ghana dropping this nice morality software? Is the challenge heading in the direction of commodification? Has the pet Anas even decided to defend the true monsters of galamsey?

Kweku Baako, mentor of Anas, I urge you to pause and evaluation the complete Anas enterprise, or just call it a day.

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Credit: myjoyonline

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