CNN Gets Ghana Wrong


Not that you care, but you have recently managed to annoy almost everyone in the otherwise rather goodwilled Ghanaian online community; a shame because many of us actually like your website.

Over time, Africans have become quite used to seeing our stories oversimplified, misreported or under reported by Western media agencies. Most recently, we watched and shook our heads as goings-on in Ivory Coast were simplified into a struggle between “Bad-gbo” (who must have been surprised to hear that his parents had changed his first name from ‘Laurent’ to ‘Strongman’) and ‘good guy’, Alassane Outtara: ‘good’ in spite of the fact that troops loyal to him are accused of some of the same crimes he says his defeated rival should be tried for.


Africans used to – no: still – complain about such bad reporting, but we have become used to seeing our dissent ignored in the news that comes back to us through CNN and such. It’s the Circle of Life.

Or at least the Circle of Western journalism.

You recently published an article purporting to go “Inside the Criminal World of Ghana’s e-mail Scam Gangs“. I won’t post a link here. You know where to find it. Besides, I only post links to factual articles.

Many Ghanaians (and some non-Ghanaians) have complained about the piece in its Comment section. They are – of course – being ignored. Which we are – of course – used to.

I figured the best thing to do would be to take some choice quotes, pick them apart and show what my problems are with them. There may in fact be more problems that I have missed. I represent myself: not all of Ghana.

Please be warned: quotes may be taken out of context. Instinctively I feel this is problematic. However, Western reporting on Africa appears to suggest that it is okay so I will assume that I am speaking your language.

So here goes:

Filed under: Web”

This in fact was my first problem with the piece. I would have filed it under ‘Vaguely Creative Non-Fiction’. Or under ‘Well-Intentioned But Undercooked Journalism’.

“Ghana is doing extremely well by African standards. Of course “by African standards” means there are dirt roads leading past the brand-new, gold-columned presidential palace…”

Condescending, but I won’t even go there. I drive on that road on my way to work everyday and it’s in one of the most tarred areas in Accra. Ask the French whose Embassy is – unfortunately – next door.

“… and it seems 1 percent of the country is blowing their country’s GDP at bars with $50 cover charges while the other 99 is selling bags of water at stop lights.”

Not every rich Ghanaian acquired their money through scamming the State. Note also that those wealthy Ghanaians are always outnumbered at these bars by – how do I put this delicately – white people. Yet we’re not sitting here accusing every white person in Ghana of being here to scam Ghanaians.

The writer gets away with this because of the words “it seems”. If this were a court of law, I’d have yelled “objection!” and the judge would yell “sustained!”… but a picture would already have been painted in the jury’s mind.

“They have huge mineral reserves and lots of foreign money invested in their extraction, all of which ends up concentrated in the hands of the president, his cabinet, and whichever of their cousins they’re getting along with at the time.”

I’m as cynical as the next man about the relationship between our government and companies in our extractive industries. “All of which” however strikes me as gross exaggeration…

“The Ghanaian government likes to boast that their unemployment rate is in the single digits…”

Really? Single digits? Where? Kindly cite one example. Preferably a factual one.

“… unless you’re a relative or close friend of someone in the ruling class, you can look forward to a long and fruitful career in water sales.”

Embellishment. I get it. We do that sometimes too. That said, “Water sales?” Ouch. Ghanaians are way more creative than that. The jobs aren’t here. But we don’t sit on our asses. We do what it takes to survive… and only a relative few do this through internet scamming. Show a statistic – preferably factual – that shows that more than even 1% of the total population is involved in e-crime.

Besides, the use of contacts is a universal phenomenon.

“Sakawa (which originally referred to a specific credit card scam) now means pretty much anything involving money — if you wear a bunch of flashy brand-name clothes you’re dressing “Sakawa,” if you’ve got a nice car it’s a “Sakawa” car — all of which makes sense considering internet scamming is the only way most Ghanaians can afford this.”

Actually, the accusation most often levelled at people who get rich suspiciously quickly here is that they were involved in drugs… and – although sometimes true – it isn’t always the case.

“Right now Sakawa is in its salad days. The Sakawa Boys movie franchise has made it up to “Sakawa Boys 8″…”

Hardly surprising in a film industry in which MOST films make it to part 4 at the very least.

“… and Ghanaians of all ages and interests (but mostly “young” and “not being poor”) are packed into internet cafes finding more and more ingenious ways of ripping off Westerners.”

Again with the embellishments. Are you sure we didn’t go to Mfantsipim together? I remember how my classmates used to embellish stories about having lost their virginity. I finished back in 1994. Let me know if we’re in the same year group.

“… a few, like our guide Seva, see Sakawa for what it really is: a massive bubble just waiting to burst.”

Funnily enough, this was somewhere you could have overstated facts but didn’t. There aren’t that many computers in Ghana. Yet we are already amongst the world’s best at online scams. Very worrying, and as more of us get connected to the internet, this may increase. That said, not ALL Ghanaians are involved in internet fraud – young or old. Not even the majority. I reckon it is – at best – a significant minority. Feel free to prove me wrong.

“The government is scrambling to find a way to keep Sakawa from wrecking the country’s business reputation without cutting off an entire young generation from their sole source of steady revenue.”

E-crime is not the sole source of steady revenue for Ghana’s youth. Not that many youth even have access to computers. There aren’t THAT many internet cafes in Gomoa Asikuma. Most of our youth are engaged in good, honest work including everything from selling foodstuffs (or yes: water), administrative work and work for telecoms and banking firms, to modelling, making clothes, playing football, making music, or even designing applications for phones… it’s a long list. Way more than are involved in e-crime.

“And just to make things more interesting, Ghana just discovered oil.”

*Cue omenous soundtrack to predictable & vague ending of article*

Dun dun DUN! You have a pretty good website. Like I said, many of us are fans. But you have done the many people who have read the piece – as well as an entire nation of Ghanaians (most of whom like your TV channel when they see it) – quite a disservice.

Oh, and Mr. Morton, if one of our own has scammed you before, we are sorry. But it doesn’t justify what you wrote.

Or qualify it as good journalism.

Yours sincerely,

Kobby Graham

111 thoughts on “CNN Gets Ghana Wrong

  1. Sazzie Kluvitse

    Oh my God. I got to water sales and stopped, can’t do it. What is this article supposed to be about?

    1. Rachel Osei

      Sazzie …. gross misrepresentation of the facts. Apparently most young Ghanaians are engaged in ‘sakawa’ which is absolutely annoying especially when so many young people work so hard and honestly too. Go back and read.

      I must admit that I find this whole so called sakawa ‘business men’ at our local internet cafe quite irritating but are they really all Ghanaians, and r they really scamming anybody on those ‘one word an hour’ internet connections and what about the people getting scammed…. where r they and what do they have to say for themselves? In my opinion they are a mere nuisance and do not warrant a CNN article but could I be wrong? I stand corrected.

  2. Naa Dromo

    Such shameful reporting. The people at CNN can do better than this. I can’t adequately express my outrage on this medium, but this is a great shame on the part of CNN. I doff my cap to you Kobby Graham. Good job done.

  3. kofi

    Its the big white elephant in the room. Someone has to talk about it. Pls forward a copy of the link to cnn and bbc…

  4. Jay

    This is crazy , as if the dude who wrote this was asked to throw us in the bin or loose his job. very pissed at this. wat? soome white dude comes here and get himself a small boy guide and yeah thats it, i can write abt Ghana and put on CNN website. mtchew!

  5. Graham Knight

    Good post. But will they feel the need to care or listen! Might collate all our posts on this issue and email them. After leaving 1 comment on their site it won’t allow me to make more.

  6. Nana

    Oh my Gawd Kobby! Love, love, love the article. I saw all the communications between Ghana Blogging members expressing outrage at this article but I didn’t bother to read it cos I am so tired of negative reporting. BUT now I am going to search for the article and also add my 2 pesewas to the official CNN site.

    P.S: I was going to tweet @you and remind you of the deadline for this week’s blog off challenge but I see there is no need to:)

  7. Ebenezer Gwumah

    I was especially riled by this:

    “Sakawa (which originally referred to a specific credit card scam) now means pretty much anything involving money — if you wear a bunch of flashy brand-name clothes you’re dressing “Sakawa,” if you’ve got a nice car it’s a “Sakawa” car — all of which makes sense considering internet scamming is the only way most Ghanaians can afford this.”

    What nonsense is this? Internet scamming is the only way most Ghanaians can afford a nice car or brand-name clothes? Dude!? May we be able to maintain our self-control; because I’m thinking of all sorts of expletives for them brothers who wrote this inane piece right here!

  8. Papa Kofi

    this is misinformation,im suprised cnn didnt notify that russia and other western countries are even more involved in internet scam than african countries.Ghanaians started driving flashy cars and wearing flashy clothes before the sakawa era.well i am not suprised because this is not the 1st time im reading an article like this

  9. Naa A.

    I understand the import of your argument and I agree with it. Sometimes we need expressive people like you to put points across and to set the records straight.
    But for your readers,it would have been helpful if you had attached a link to the CNN article in question. That would have helped your review or criticism better.

    1. Kobby Post author

      Thanks. I thought about it. But I don’t want to increase the numbers of people reading the article. Not easily anyway.

      I figured if people want to see it desperately, they will google the title.


  10. nana

    Awesome piece! It is high time people respected Ghanaians and Africans as a whole. If they can’t speak about the good of Africa, they must as well shut up. I will really be elated if we could find ways to get this article on Anyways, there is one thing I want to know. Did our ministers of information say anything about the article? I think I haven’t heard anything from the government. I may be wrong though. Big ups, Kwabotwe boy!

  11. Efua

    Ah, the new Western stereotype of young Ghanaians emerges: men and women in their 20’s either selling puuure wata on the side of the road or huddled around a computer, bedecked in flashy clothing, scamming Westerners. Shameful!

    1. foster

      i think is high time Ghanaian look at the good and better side of the country than concentrating on the negative side.joining hands together and working to overcome the short coming of the nation, will help alot

  12. francisca

    Thanks Kobby. That’s the spirit of the true Ghanaian. I can’t believe CNN employs half-baked Journalists who do not have any difficulty maligning people just for a piece of bread. Its such a shame.

  13. Natty

    Its a shame and it breaks my heart to see Africans who careless and go to extra lengths to prove to Westerners that we live in a dark age. I battle this on a regular basis. This Western media claim to report but in reality they break the core foundation of our identity

  14. Kwaku Dankwa

    And how long did the gentleman research his topic? I think it’s sad, really. Sure, we’re used to being portrayed as all sorts of things, but this one’s just below the belt. I know it’s not the objective thing to do, but I won’t bother reading the article. If what’s in red is really what a CNN journalist wrote (I can’t believe it’s CNN), then it’s a stain on their reputation.

  15. mitch

    Ikve just about had it up to my eyebrows with erm westerns always misinforming the internatinal community about out state of being. They always make it sound like we r trashy uneducated fools. Put out 10 white men, n I can give 10 equally qualifies black men who will excel in every field u put them in. That said, it’s about we africans stop looking down on ourselves n start pushing to da top. Am Ghanaian, n proud to be black and live in africa, n I wudn’t trade it for anything in da world. Sakawa or water selling I don’t care. We the best n it time we start believing n acting like that. Thanx kobby, this was a true eye opening piece.

  16. AKNK

    Good job Mr Graham!! Thanks for taking the time out of your precious schedule to educate some ignorant people of this world…God bless you, Ghana and the world!!

    1. francisca

      thanks Kobby you have done Ghana PROUD. We are very much proud of you. Patriotism at its best, can’t believe CNN can put up such a story about Ghana.

  17. David Klogo

    Thanks Kobby, we really need to keep those foreign journalist in check, they write a whole lots of article about Africa that are indeed not true.

    Tell them

  18. SClarke

    Well, the article was written by someone who obviously found it convenient to forget all the Ebay & Cragslist internet scams by Westerners !

  19. naaahiney

    it is amazing that even in this era when we call ourselves independent, when the west decides to manipulate us and distort information to serve their purposes, they go on a riot and nothing is done about it. Good job Graham, and we should do more about this. Utter rubbish..i cannot find the article on CNN’s website. please please post the link..we need to raise our voices against this!

  20. Joseph

    So my friend asks what I think about the misconceptions of africa. And I told her id like the bad image they have of us stay that way cuz we dont want to get exploited again. If they think we sell water and live on trees then so be it. We like it.

  21. Frankie

    WOW….Is these all we get for our hospitality? No wonder some Asian countries don’t alow these jurnalist in their country. Mr. CNN reporter, i trust you were here in Ghana and had combed the cities well enough to have compiled such a report? Well, God bless you, may you continue to write only such reports for the rest of your remaining years on earth. Some of us know that you guys are just out there to do your worst on AFRICA, but we’ll rise far above it. If you could give some of us the name of your country and just wait to receive the deluge of aticles which can give you where that country started from. The honest truth is that, you guys can’t do anything else to subvert the destiny of Africa, hence these kind of reportage, but we will rise above it. There may be legitimate claims to your report but just to let you know that we have much more better things you can report on which can as a matter of fact open ‘YOUR’ eyes to many things you have never seen or dream of. ”Ayekoo” just like we say it here when one does something good or bad. It also means..keep it up! lONG LIVE AFRICA…LONG LIVE GHANA..!

    1. Kobby Post author

      To be fair, Morton isn’t a direct CNN reporter. But CNN is culpable for not only reprinting his piece but endorsing it too. Personally I think CNN do try… but there is a deeper problem which isn’t just to do with Western media: it’s to do with the West’s general attitude towards Africa, which is well intentioned (their people that is… not their politicians) but often (albeit not always) condescending.

  22. al

    this why i love al jazzeera…………………. they are better than cnn. sure its one of the reasons riz khan left cnn

  23. Stephanie

    I was really shocked with the CNN article myself & im glad u came up with this piece Graham..However, what is our gov’t doin about this preposterous article shaming our great nation Ghana?

  24. Koramoa

    Can’t even begin to describe my anger when I read that article last week. I actually shook with rage, to my colleague’s trepidation!
    Thank you, Kobby.

  25. Anonymous

    Wow. This goes to show the sort of people we put up with. These half educated fools think they can pull any rubbish from their behinds and we will sit and watch them? I’ve studied journalism and it is the sole purpose of evey good journalist to research their work and have better references. You can’t just write an article on what u think and feel. This is just atrocious.

  26. Delalom Tay

    Kobby, very proud of the discerning yet frank and blunt stance you’ve taken on this issue. Excellent journalism. Thank You for making this effort. Cheers


    Boss, is there a way of really letting them know because this shows how unprofessional they are. I have always believed they were puppets i guess i was right.

  28. Kuuku Yankah

    Need I say more? Congrats Kobby. But I will entreat you to do another assignment….How the Embassies scattered across Africa and in particular Ghana are robbing Ghanaians just with the power of a pen!
    How is it that when you are refused a visa part or even the whole of your money is not returned? I recently applied for a 2 year visa from the British High Commission, the counsellor decided he would grant me just six months but guess what, I was told the money was non- refundable even if the six months they granted was far cheaper than the huge sum charged for the two years!
    And I have too many people who have gone through similar problems and I will help you with sources if you need me if this is not a white collar scam what is it? what is the difference between the ‘sakawa’Ghana boys and the embassy lads?
    These days, they wont even give you the right of interview or appeal. At least the ‘sakawa’ boys interact with their clients. I am no advocate for fraud but if the Sakawa boys are the only way we can get some of our pound of flesh, so be it.

    1. Kobby Post author

      Thanks Kuuku. I’m not a journalist (not since I left Joy): more a concerned observer with a couple of observations. But I promise to suggest it to my journo friends. I reckon they would be very interested.

    2. Anonymous

      Kuuku im digging your article, the embassies are simply ripping us off, do they have an idea about people who have gone insane or even died as a result of paying visa processing fees with monies raised from the sale of their life time investments and yet are refused visas.

  29. Abena

    Nice article; however, I feel that your arguments should be backed up by a few statistics, just as you pointed out. This will further solidify your points and prove to the CNN reporter that he is incorrect. Well done anyway.

  30. Elyn

    The idiot who wrote the piece should have also added that the youth also sell imported apples,pastries, dog chains among others since that and sakawa is all we do. Nonsense, that guy should be sued.

  31. Martha Kumi

    You know Kobby, I am not really surprised at what this (obviously insane) journalist wrote. These kinds of news and reports have been going on for as long as I can remember. Anytime one watches news CNN, the only news you get to see and hear is about the hunger in Africa, or the dirt or poverty or unemployment in Africa. Even something very good and profound happens in any African country they either add it to the streaming headlines (usually at the bottom of the screen)or they do not talk about it at all. However, look at how they can write a full report on bad things happening in Ghana. This utterly spells out what the westerners think about us, their gross perspective about every African. It is a pity; I now understand why Nigerians would never think twice about duping a ‘whiteman’. Surely there are a sane few, but the many condescending and arrogant ones overshadow them. These whitemen should not be worried when Africans have a certain thinking about them, it is all their fault. Ah! CNN it’s either you fire that journalist or you tear down your whole empire with your bare hands.

  32. tracy

    CNN will only discuss africa when it has to do with something bad, not the achievements of the many Africans we have. I barely watch cnn America because there is never any news on what is happening in Africa,BBC is way better . Let an African country achieve something big… it wount be on the news, but let a dog swallowa peice of bone in America or let there be war in some part of Africa and that will surely be on the news. Why? and Why does the western media continue painting Africa black. They talk about Africa as if its a country and not a continent, no wonder my white class mate did a presentation and referred to Africa as a “country”. wake up westerners, you are tooo ignorant. And to those westerners who get scammed, how do you expect to reap where you did not sew, your greed makes you a victim of scammers. Dont expect us to forever remain your slaves.I am not saying it is good to scamm people but look at it this way…… HOW MANY BLACK PEOPLE GET SCAMMED? The victims are usually white because they are greedy and just want to take from the black man. I am not a racist, in fact i am mixed race but the truth needs to be told.

    1. Kobby Post author

      Many thanks. We should put it in context though: CNN have made an effort, dedicating three whole shows to positive African stories (Inside Africa, African Voices & Marketplace Africa). Also, this wasn’t a CNN story. It was a story. However CNN chose to endorse and spread it. Which is part of what my problem is.

      I don’t think it’s an concerted co-ordinated attack on Africa. I just think it’s wired into Western culture to be condescending towards Africa because it’s been that way for so long that it perpetuates itself.

      The way to break it though is to point it out when we see it and ALSO for us to have more self-pride, which we don’t tend to currently show enough of. Often without realizing it.

  33. Dela

    But isn’t this 2011? I shudder. CNN has not earned my disrespect, no not one bit. They have just confirmed the mounds and mounds of layers of disrespect I’ve always suspected to be hidden behind those fake smiling faces of some Westerners when you meet them in the streets here. But Africa is a continent rising and with this very Ghana leading the rise in many places. We will meet somewhere, us and them…and we’ll be sure to make them remember where they accused us of coming from.

  34. Nana Yaa

    Mr CNN Reporter since you are adopting words and slang for rich and well to do people who drive flashy cars i hope you added “KWASIASEM” to it because your article is a total hogwash if you ask me. CNN swag off…ALJAZEERA here i come!!!!
    @ Kobby i salute you!

  35. kings

    Don’t u realise is the same Ghanaian journalist who told the cnn reporter that most flashy cars are driven by sakawa boys, do u think a white man will consider a ‘toyota corola ex’ a flashy car whilst when he stand besides any street in Gh he can see about 13 of the latest 2011 benz models within 2 hrs and even we Ghanaians don’t consider corola ex as a flashy car so what the fuss. The report about the top officials syphoning the oil money is right though but the rest is bogus, we wake up @5 just to find somfin to do so I fink we not that lazy is just that we……

  36. Christine

    I really do agree with this article Kobby! its made my day really. They just sit there and talk out of their asses with no facts but what they think. Funny am here in America and the ignorance of some people still allows them to say “I thought you lived on tress”. smh

  37. norvisi sokpe

    A STanding ovation to you kobby!as usual,impeccably written!i wanted to send you a link to a certain documentary which was shown on french national television five times in january.unfortunately,i can no longer find it and even if i did find it,its entirely in french so understanding might be difficult.well it was titled ‘GHANA,LA NOUVELLE POUBELLE'(they even had the guts to male it rhyme)which litterally and figuritively means ‘GHANA,THE NEW RUBBISH DUMP’.so this documentary is a very insulting depiction of ghanaian life and to typify this,they used pictures of just agbogbloshie,nima and kaneshie market(being pics of the capital,accra).that documentary was an hour and 30 mins long so u can imagine how bad it was.following that,there was another documentary about prostitution in my little town in the north of france and according to the reporting journalist,all the prostitutes in the caen come from ghana;just because they are black,either speak only english or speak english with an anglophone accent.its sad and that day i was miserable to the point of tears but really,there was nothing i could do.

    1. Bella ♥ ♥

      Seriously, the CNN should be very careful of what they say, especially about Africa. Because the new generation of Africans that are coming up have been exposed to so much that it is so obvious they can’t fool us anymore. But how on earth is how we make our money even their business. I’m sure they’ll be thrilled if Anas does a piece on some of the illegal ways some of them make money. The fact that no one has been able to expose them yet does not mean they’re clean!!! Plus i am highly disappointed in them for “making” such a report and proudly posting it on their website. they are just displaying the intensity of their ignorance, that’s simply it! And they of all people should know that news such as this is very delicate and as such should be based on FACTS!!! Even i, a Ghanaian who, “sells water” knows this simple fact! and i mean AMERICANS seem to know everything about everything, everyone else is backwards, according to them and yet they’re in such deep economic crisis. Wow! How intelligent of them! CNN I’m highly disappointed and please don’t repeat this mistake! Make sure that you have all your facts right before making such claims ever again, especially about Ghana. Because as you can see, there are highly educated Ghanaians like Kobby who would make sure the truth is brought up. I’m sorry but this is really shameful for a so-called “reliable” source like you!!!
      P.S. i really wish you read Kobby’s article and all of these comments as well!!!

  38. NANA AMA

    good job Kobby,Whoever wrote that piece should be ashamed of himself for the stupid work done.was thinking of reading the whole piece but on second thought i think it will just be waste of time to read such Fictitious nonsense……

  39. Roland

    I honestly don’t know what to think, but i don’t care how many journalism awards you have, if you don’t check your facts don’t print. He may think he did awesome research, but he knows nothing, not like someone who grew up there seeing every side of the coin, every day if his life for 20-50 years.

  40. adwoa

    Very well said Kobby. These western journalist, precisely CNN think they can get away with publishing untrue as such nonfactual news about Africa as they getaway with it all the time.Very good analysis kobby.



  42. Anonymous

    When our African neighbours can come to Ghana live, abuse or hospitality and to top it all acquire our national pride, treasure and identity–the NATIONAL PASSPORTS–why then won’t the crimes they commit here be branded Ghanaian. Not that some Ghanaians aren’t involved in this but we all know where the bulk of the trash comes from.

  43. Kofi Ghana


    1. Deladem

      Kofi Ghana i believe you live in Ghana and Accra- which part of the road to the Presidential Palace is dusty? Tell me all the rich people or the young men who dress nicely and drive cars are all Sakawa. Tell me all the people who have good jobs have relatives who are ministers or MPs or government officials. I wonder if your job was given you by a minister or an MP or you are able to feed because one minister or the other put money in your pocket. Save us the normal phenomena clause. Its a disgrace. CNN and the westerners should just do the right thing and stop exaggerating and undermining us.

  44. Anonymous

    u cme to our country we treated u well and this all we get….prosperity will judge us…no wonder natural disaster kills them like fowls… matter wat am proud to be a Ghanaian

  45. lifentimez

    i guess they figured they could keep posting negative news about Africa and get away with it as they usually do.
    its our job to fight such comments and stop allowing such poor reporting on Africa by speaking up.

    I hope d govt of Ghana does something about this. Write to them or call in and make them apologize publicly just like Mrs. Dora (the Nigerian minister) did when Sony put out the ad bashing Nigerians.

    that said, do you mind if i reblog this kobby?

  46. nana agyemang

    and here I was; thinking fox news was best at churning outlandish and frivilous reportage,(excellent piece MOBA).

  47. BILL

    They are only going to laugh at this outrage expressed by Ghanaians. The ultimate solution: a world class media from Africa for Africans. That way, they smear, we smear.

    Stinking journalism at its peak!!!

  48. Percy Korsah

    Excellent writing mate, these so called Journalists should be employing your services and paying you good money for your intellect and factual reporting. Its better than youu joining me to sell water to the 1% of the country`s population. Kudos

  49. Nii Boafo

    Good work kobby!…..these westerners challe!….not all of us are fraudsters! come on!… crazy reporter!

  50. John Anthony

    My brother, you have done well! Succinct and apt response. You are good. In fact, you are excellent.

  51. Kajsa

    Haha, esp. at Mfantsipim comment! Graham is right, we should round up posts and notify CNN. Linking to their article might have put your critique on their radar as well, but I understand why you did not want people to “find the article easily”…it really was crap.

  52. Boniface

    its much demeaning to our dignity…this reporter must be “anti-Ghanaian” …Good Job Graham

  53. Yolanda Aserweh

    finally, someone who can speak up.i just hate the way they generalize will amaze u to know that most of these reporters do not even come down to find out what the situation is actually on the ground.

  54. M Mensah

    Thank you for this thorough and balanced response to the CNN piece of National Enquirer-like journalism.

    The bit that makes this article even more annoying is that I believe it is a rip-off of an MTV show titled “The Vice Guy’s Guide to Everything”. One of their episode from December last year dealt with Sakawa in Ghana, and basically said the evact same things expressed in this article, coupled with video images of some whirling jujumen blowing powder into the faces of the crowds of men seeking their Sakawa giving charms.

    The MTV show is definitely meant for entertainment. So, for a reputable news channel like CNN to associate itself with the knock-off version of an entertainment program and repackage it as investigative journalism, is rather disappointing.

    Thanks for taking the time to point out how silliness and exaggeration of the CNN article.

  55. Chichimambo

    uuuuffff Kobby you critiqued him justifiably. His article does sound bitter and very condescending. No solid facts clearly means biased, and an overtly biased article, is definitely bad journalism at its peak!

  56. LBizzle

    Honestly speaking, it looked like a high school report. It had all of the ignorance and arrogance of a little white kid in America who comes from a land that was build for free on the backs of slaves and indentured servants (read: more slaves) and a government that takes what they want when they want it if and when they feel like it. He looks at this issue down his long pointed nose as if he could never fathom this filth in his world or in his life. PUHLEASE. We are so over you and your kind, Thomas Morton. Yes, sakawa is an issue here, but I think someone already said, no one has put a gun to the heads of those who greedily fall for the scams…

  57. kwasi

    Useful article by all standards. You run around town for a day or two and you think you know all about Ghana huh? Ghanaians work HARD! Like every society, we may have some individuals involved in e-crimes but it doesnt warrant this foolish article. E- crime is everywhere!

  58. Jeanne

    Ah! i’m so pissed off, when will these white folks stop reporting negative things on Africa, we’ve heard it all.Good job Kobby. And to all the white people out there, we in Africa however you people may think are very happy in our continent. I am currently in Europe and i can’t wait to leave it returning no more.CNN, please get your facts straight before writing such junk on Ghana, its people are honest and hardworking, and i am referring to the average Ghanaian.

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  61. Capone4r

    The days of writing unsubstantiated facts about Africa are numbered cos i believe enough is enough…The dark continent is filled with light now and anybody who fells like he wants to settle personal scores with Africans through the powerful and biased media houses that the West have should rethink about it again cos we are no more taking this from them…It’s a shame that such a big organisation like CNN would lie with dogs and not expect to get up with flees.
    Guess they said that if you wanna hide somefyn from the black man, hide it in a book. Well we are not only reading the books now but we are writing them as well.
    Wanna write thrash about Africa, Go ahead and write, BUT pls keep it in ur room or else when we get wind of it we’ll let you know what’s wrong with ur facts and congratulate u for your rights.

  62. Vanessa

    Dear Kobby,
    The day i read that article i was soo pissed, esp wit that comment on “ghana is doing well according to african standards”. Omg! That statement really says much abt the power of free media… But so does ur article. I appreciate ur boldness and intelligencr and for letting Western media kno that we Africans will not be quiet and subject to their ridiculous judgements anymore!!!

  63. Capone4r

    I got intouch with one of a snr. guy named Peter… at the CNN here in DC, who eventhough is not responsible for Africa…i drew his attention to the dissatisfaction that this article has created amongst Ghanaians and apparently the same guys had carried some similar stunts on Liberia…My question was why did the CNN give them such big margin of errors or they are alright so far as they are sellin…

    1. Kobby Post author

      Apparently the crew that came down have a bit of a reputation. I recently heard something about their putting together of the story that is really dodgy. Someone else will put that info out though. Watch this space.

      As for CNN, apparently they aired the video yesterday. They can kick rocks. I’m switching over to Al Jazeera.

      Truly pathetic.

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  65. Obaa Ghana

    Kobby G…. why go to CNN website for world news, when you can try AlJazeera or BBC?
    Anyway… great response!

  66. zainabusman

    Great article. Now I feel a bit guilty because I came upon the video a few weeks ago and shared it with a friend here in the UK. By the way I am Nigerian. The Western media is always keen to paint Africans in a bad light. Sometimes their researchers or journalists just conduct some shallow research over a few days and then they feel they automatically “have in-depth knowledge” of an entire society, and the authority to speak on that. They end up mixing-up and distorting facts, misrepresenting us. Its not fair.

  67. John

    I read the article and saw no fault with it (I am a Ghanaian). The only part where I thought they went a bit overboard was “They have huge mineral reserves and lots of foreign money invested in their extraction, all of which ends up concentrated in the hands of the president, his cabinet, and whichever of their cousins they’re getting along with at the time.” Don’t know how accurate that is but asides from that, I thought the article was on point. They did not say every Ghanaian practices Sakawa, but it is a growing trend there (I have known people who are/were personally involved).

    I find with Ghanaians this whole pride nonsense (how dare CNN speak of my country like that, etc etc), when the facts speak for themselves. I was in Ghana recently and my American dollars were absolutely worthless. Prices have skyrocketed, and if I had a tough time with my American dollars, then I can’t even imagine what the guys on the streets there are experiencing. The economic divide is so clear there that it makes me sick. So of course more and more of the youth resort to Sakawa tactics, armed robbery, etc etc.

    I thought the article was on point and a good one, and not so much a representation of Ghana but more a picture of reality in a sarcastic fashion. Sorry it stung your pride.

  68. Yaw

    I saw that article and found it very interesting that such an institution like CNN would allow that. That said I think it is about time we as Africans begin to boycott some of these media platforms whose duty to Africa is only to paint it ‘black’. An example was during the world cup where they could not find anywhere they were showing the Ghana games but somewhere in the north with a tv under a tree. Very funny

  69. sarajevosmith

    Reblogged this on sarajevosmith and commented:
    Hi Kobby.
    I’ve really enjoyed reading some of your posts.
    I live in the UK and I’m interested in the extent to which sakawa is likely to be a political issue in the December elections. Is taking action against sakawa likely to be a vote winner? What are the two main parties saying about it?
    Best wishes,

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