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Opinions of Saturday, 3 September 2016

Columnist: Adofo, Rockson

Captain Smart and the magical electrical bulbs

Captain Smart, a programme presenter at Adom FM, Accra, Ghana, in my estimation, has not been very fair with Ghanaians today, Thursday 25 August 2016.

While preparing to go to bed, I heard him interview a certain woman by name Hajia. I can’t recollect her full name but it sounded northern. This woman said someone has sent out a WhatsApp or some social network video to sabotage
her business.

The woman in the course of the interview said she has imported some lighting bulbs from a company in India into Ghana. She said the bulbs have three main benefits which are, they last longer, thus, have long life (2 years), they
are mosquito repellent- preventing anyone using it in their room from being bitten by mosquitos hence not catching malaria and it is value for money, only GHC25.

She claimed to have signed a contract with the Indian company to be the sole distributor of the bulbs in the whole of West Africa. Additionally, she had got the Ghana Food and Standards Board to approve of its safety and sale in Ghana, written to President Mahama to assist her launch the
product.

The President wrote to the Ministry of Health to check if there were no health implications to the public and in the absence of any such problems, assist her to launch it, she said.

The product has been launched and is on the market as we speak.

Sadly, Captain Smart who has not crosschecked the information supplied on air by the woman, started accusing Ghanaians of being too pull him down – skin pain, the Ghanaian terms for those who are jealous of successful persons and will also pray or do whatever they can to cause their downfall in life.

He tried to politicise the situation by citing a posh hotel on the Accra – Kumasi road as allegedly claimed by the public to belong to NDC Ofosu
Ampofo or Mrs Agyemang Konadu Rawlings whereas indeed it belongs to a completely different person he, Captain Smart, knows very well.

He said, those who falsely alleged it belongs to NDC government Minister Ofosu Ampofo did not want vehicles plying the Accra - Kumasi road to stop there to patronise the hotel since they are principally NPP sympathisers, he
seemed to suggest.

Going to the Adom FM studio, I could hear the voice of a male in the background saying, even when you go to some hotels in Accra, they have installed some bulbs that dispel or attract to kill, insects including mosquitoes.

Yes, bulbs and electrical fittings tested to have the potency to repel or attract insects to kill, are installed in the hallways, lounges of hotels and commercial warehouses, kitchens etc., but not in bedrooms.

Therefore, that background speaker should go and get his information
right unless he is telling me about the typical-minded way Ghanaians go about doing things in Ghana hence the saying among Ghanaians back home, “Ghana deE saa” in their local Akan parlance.

Going back to Captain Smart, he advised the woman not to mind the video on the alleged social network intended for sabotaging her business.

He promised to help her go about doing the business successfully. He asked her to bring some of the bulbs to him to sell and to advertise it on his radio station for her.

What a hasty conclusion bordering on irrationality on the part of Captain Smart. I would have expected him to find out from the Food and Standards Board if the woman’s product has been certified by them to be without health risks to the public if used and how they came by their conclusion.

Why did the woman go to see President Mahama about the product’s launch since it’s not her invention but simply a private business person going about her “buy and sell”, but not manufacturing, business? Is it not because
she may be an NDC member if I did hear her very right when she said her business is not doing well in Kumasi because of some negative political connotations?

Any meaningful Ghanaian would expect Captain Smart to get the documentation on the product, contact the manufacturer to get more information. Again, malaria torments people in certain parts of India. If the efficacy of the bulb in
fighting or killing mosquitoes is as alleged by the woman, why are they not used in all Indian homes in India to fight the mosquitoes in the country?

Why are Ghanaians so cheap to be fooled by every Tom, Dick and Harry?

This woman’s story reminds me of a case a friend of mine (name withheld), once confided to me. He joined a certain group in France as a would-be commercial products distributor and investor.

They proposed to him to take tons of women’s body- bleaching cream that had barely been banned and subsequently withdrawn from the European markets
for containing some discovered chemicals that cause body cancer to its users, to Ghana for sale. He refused despite their persistent prodding and promise to pay him heavy dividends.

One of the bosses told him, “African women are stupid. All they care about is having their skin bleached without questioning what they use to bleach. Just take them to Ghana and you will get a lot of money. They are not aware that the product has been withdrawn from sale. By the time they
realise, you will have sold out all of them”.

What an insult to the intelligence of my friend who is a Ghanaian and on top, an African. He is a true Christian. I have known him since 1980. He refused, but rather used his money to purchase about three 40-feeter containers full of a type of medicated soap of high medical benefits to both
adults and children called “Savon de Marseilles”, to take to Ghana to sell.

Although the soap has been tested and on the French and other European markets for several decades if not centuries, since they were new and unknown to Ghanaians, he ran at a loss.

If he had sent to Ghana the bleaching cream which although was cancer potential, he would have become a millionaire by now but he felt it was not only against his Christianity beliefs but how could he as a Ghanaian, sell a dangerous product to his countrymen.

Some Ghanaians do not care about the harm their products or actions will cause other fellow Ghanaians as long as they will get the money they intend to acquire and as long as their action or products have no direct adverse impact on their immediate family members.

There are no electric bulbs used in bed rooms that are 100% able to repel mosquitoes as the woman was alleging on the radio. She said you can even leave your windows open and no mosquito can enter to bite you because of the mosquito repelling power of the bulb.

This is a complete lie. She is in to make her money so she will tell any story to get her money by fooling Ghanaians to patronise her product. Why has
she chosen to enter into a monopoly contract with the manufacturer of the bulb not only for Ghana but the whole of West Africa?

Never in my number of years’ experience in the electrical industry have we installed bulbs in rooms en masse, alleging that they can repel all insects. Yes, in doorways in commercial buildings/hotels we do but they don’t even kill
all insects that come into the area but stay far away from such electrical fittings.

What I can do to help fellow Ghanaians in order that they are not conned by anyone, or to help the woman that her business does not suffer losses if truly the quality of her product is what she says it is, is to do a quick research on it.

I work with many Indians who come from India. I shall inquire from them if it does exist in India bulbs that are used nationwide in bedrooms to repel mosquitoes in particular or insects in general. These Indian friends go to
India several times a year or when they are on annual
leave.

I would not even mind going to the Brick Lane area of Tower Hamlets in London where the Indians abound to inquire about it.

I love the programmes hosted by Captain Smart but on this one, I totally disagree with his approach unless he wants to condone and connive with the woman to financially exploit the already suffering Ghanaians.

Lest I forget, the said video alleges that the bulb has some adverse health effects on its users. We need to find out if that is true or not by doing as I have suggested above.

We should not allow someone who is desirous to make quick wealth come to play on the intelligence of Ghanaians with their dodgy claims and Ghanaian connections if that is the intention of this woman.

In this day and age of globalisation with the attendant free trade, why should she go and sign a contract of monopoly with the manufacturer to become the sole distributor of the bulbs in the whole of West Africa as she said? Is she not with the intent to make quick buck like many of the modern day Ghanaians who do not want to wipe off a single sweat but would like to become rich overnight hence going for “sikaduro?”

For lack of knowledge, the bible says, my people perish. For lack of knowledge and the desire for quick buck by some rogues, my Ghanaian compatriots suffer.

“Aaaa! Captain Smart, wasei me nna” but I shall not charge you for that.

Lest I forget, have Ghanaian programme presenters sat back and mused over why there is currently many deaths among Ghanaians in Ghana? Could it not be down to the numerous advertisements they put out on their radio stations regarding medicines and other products they keep encouraging people to buy without certifying their medical authenticity and usefulness to the populace?

Finally, let no Indian company come to fool you. Go for better solutions to rid Ghana of mosquito bites. Use mosquito nets and other such useful products.

I shall publish my findings when the research is conducted as
promised.

Rockson Adofo