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Opinions of Monday, 28 September 2015

Columnist: Brako-Powers, Kwabena

Anas Aremeyaw Anas: A Whisper of Hope or an Enemy of Greed? (Part 1)

I didn’t want to add my voice to the already tumultuous noise generated by the ace Ghanaian investigative Journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas till Iris Akwetey, my co-author, requested we pull out a piece not only to enlighten readers about the work of the journalist, but also to furnish them with an updated commentary on his latest fantasy.
Like Raymond Archer, another journalist who carries out behind scene investigations, Anas has found his passion not only for reporting accurate news (If this is possible in Ghana), but going behind the scene to reveal crass-pervasive injustice within the society. In 2010 when Anas’ “Inside Ghana’s Madhouse” work torpedoed both Government functionaries and psychiatrists in Ghana, a friend referred to him as a “whisper that’s difficult to comprehend”. One executive who’s been disparaged by Anas’ work called him “a faceless beast ruining the beauty of society”. These are some of the stories one is likely to hear when the name Anas crops up in any one discussion. In this piece, we will attempt to treat the allegation that persons peddle that nobody has ever seen Anas before as fictitious, a heresy, and with a pinch of salt.
The Anonymous Anas:
Anas is many things to many people: a friend, colleague, husband, father, journalist, and course mate etc. He walks around town every day, and since many people have not seen him it becomes impossible to make him out in a crowd. His management has also add to his iconic figure through the mask he wears whenever he comes to public. A googled result of Anas’ image is everything, but encouraging adding to the hunger for a piece of him. Anas owns wigs, tiny cameras, prosthetic masks, and employs many tricks in the achievement of his works. Many of his public appearances are not done by him, but a delegate he has learned to use as part of one of his many tricks. Perhaps the nature of the work called for that. However, the face behind the name Anas is known by some selected few – a tight-lipped persons who are well-informed of the cloud of danger hanging about Anas’ head. The fact that you don’t know him doesn’t preclude others.
Brief Bio of Anas:
Born into a military family, Anas grew up in a military barracks in Accra the capital of Ghana. A graduate of the University of Ghana, Legon, Anas has fervently been pursuing what looks like his destiny. He holds degrees both in Journalism and Law. He’s an investigative journalist with The Crusading Guide Newspaper (a paper founded by Maliq Kwaku Baako Jnr.) since 1998 to present. He’s alleged to have turned down an opportunity to join the rank and file of the Ghanaian Times Newspaper for The Crusading Guide Newspaper. To effectively carry out his many investigations, Anas together with others founded the Tiger Eye Private Investigations where he occupies the position of Chief Executive Officer (CEO). He’s also the Executive Director of the Tiger Eye Social Foundation.
Anas’ Works:
A great man once said that man walked the face of the earth, and left a footprint of desert in its wake. However, Anas’ walk seems different, at least for now, due to the nature of work he gets done. His nature of journalism, though not new, has proven meaningful (at least it appears that way) as he’s bent on reformation. His evidences have been hard to disprove. He’s done several investigations from 2010 to present ranging from: Inside Ghana’s Madhouse (January 2010), In The Interest Of The State (April 2010), Orphans Home Of Hell (September 2010), Enemies Of The Nation (February 2011), Al Jazeera Africa Investigates (December 2011), The Prez’s Assignment – Stealing the People’s Power (January 2012), Dons Of The Forest (June 2012), Deadly Gold (July 2012), Wild Ghana Project (September 2012), Al-Jazeera - People and Power How To Rob Africa (January 2013), Spirit Child (January 2013), The Messiah of Mentukwa (May 2013), Ghana Sex Mafia (April 2014), Ghana’s Soul Takers (April 2014), Al-Jazeera Africa Investigates – Season 2 Nigeria’s Fake Doctors (December 2014), Ghana’s Food For Thought (December 2014), and the latest of all, Ghana Judiciary Scandal (September 2015).
His Motivation:
Just like any other career, Anas has accepted the hazards, and criticism that dot the corridor of his job, and his belief in truth, and diligent work is seen everywhere. Ron McCullagh a Documentary Film-Maker who has partnered Anas on investigations said the journalist is horrified by the way soldiers behave towards persons they feel are below them especially taxi drivers. “He was appalled by this casual injustice. Anas is totally driven by his belief that corrupt is what’s holding Africa back.” Anas has won 6 prestigious awards counting.
“Name, Shame and Jail”
Anas seems to be emboldened by his belief that corruption is accountable for the sordid performance of Africa, a continent he loves. His mantra “name, shame and jail” decorates his many works and has pivoted him to be one of the most powerful, and influential journalists in Ghana, and Africa. He’s become a hero to the many persons who feel their cry for help, however loud has gone unheard by the top echelon of the society who appear deafened by their greed. To some of these persons, Anas’ works have contributed to amplifying their cry for justice in their own land, and won for them victories. His works though stellar, have earned him irreconcilable enemies in the Ghanaian society. He’s alleged to have sent his wife and children to the United States of America as a way of protecting them from the beasts his works create around him.
Enemy or Friend?
At least he’s not oblivion to the dangers out there. Unlike many journalists I know, Anas is adequately aware of the effect of his works on himself, society, and alleged culprits. This creates a kind of symbiosis best observed after the public outdooring of his works. In a conversation with a journalist earlier this year, Anas said that, “The threats are not imagined. They are real. When you are dealing with bad guys in the society and you take a swipe at them and you miss, you embolden them. I have no time for that. If I pick a story that I want to do, I do it well”.
To be continued…
Kwabena Brako-Powers (GIJ, Ghana)
Iris Akwetey (Model, USA)