2 Sakawa Boys Die
The deaths of two youth under baffling circumstances at Alajo in Accra have prompted varied speculations with most residents alluding to sakawa, the money-making spiritual phenomenon which is now the obsession of many boys in the nation’s capital. Bismark Kofi Asante, 20, and Musa otherwise known as Junior, 19, both of Alajo, dropped dead suddenly on Thursday, sparking a flurry of anxieties among members of their families and friends. The frontispiece of a house in Alajo, host of one of the many internet cafes that have sprung up in the nation’s capital, was the cynosure of the neighbourhood on Thursday morning as curious persons mostly the youth assembled to digest news about the deaths. Twenty-year-old Kofi Asante had gone to Kasoa in the company of a certain Agyeman where he complained of being unwell and hungry. His host, Agyeman, prepared some coffee for him to drink after which he went to the gents and vomited. After sleeping for a while, he was said to have taken leave of his host and returned to Alajo. Later, Agyeman phoned to find out how Kofi Asante was doing, but was confronted by a certain man nicknamed ‘Nigeria Man’, who asked him what he had given the young man as he was unwell and vomiting. After a while, Kofi asked to have a pastor pray for him. When the pastor arrived, he was said to have asked for some water and milk upon which he prayed over and gave to Kofi to drink. Kofi’s mother, not amused about the spiritual intervention, asked to have her son taken to hospital. At a neighbourhood clinic, he was administered some drips and injection and referred to the Ridge Hospital, but died before reaching the facility, DAILY GUIDE was told. Musa aka Junior also complained of similar symptoms of feeling unwell and demanded to have a spiritualist pray for him. He too could not make it and died subsequently on the same day as he was being conveyed to the hospital. The sakawa phenomenon started with the youth of some suburbs of Accra employing the internet to dupe unsuspecting persons in Europe and the USA using their credit card details which they come by through friends in hotels and relations working abroad. They advanced to the stage of serving as pimps between young girls in Accra whose pictures they posted on the internet and thereby proceed to make monetary demands. In some instances, these youth make phony business proposals to the foreigners, who often swallow the bait and end up being swindled of large amounts of money. In most cases, the foreigners land in Accra only to discover that the business promises made to them by their unknown internet friends were nothing but ruses. With information about many fraudsters on the internet dawning on persons living abroad, the pipe is drying up for the young boys, many of whom have bought cars from the criminal activity. Many of the youth have now gone spiritual, traveling to as far as Benin, the unofficial voodoo headquarters of the world, where they seek spiritual intervention to get rich overnight. The interventions, DAILY GUIDE has learnt, come with caveats, some of which include abstinence from bathing, and staying awake all night among others. While some parents- a few of them- have questioned the source of their kids’ overnight wealth, many turn a blind eye to the status change. The mushrooming of internet cafes in slums of the nation’s capital is largely due to the sakawa phenomenon. Many of the youth, having reaped from the monetary rewards of the sakawa craze and with the availability of modems and laptops, now do the browsing in the safe confines of their rooms away from prying eyes. They ride in flashy cars mostly Toyota Corollas and Camrys which they soon dispose of as if it is one of the conditions of the spiritualism. Strangely however, the Tesano Police, in whose jurisdiction Alajo falls, was not aware of the mysterious deaths and it is likely they would never be informed officially, given the unusualness surrounding it. At the time of going to press, word reached DAILY GUIDE that Robert, the youngman alleged to have led the other two to the jujuman, is not dead but on admission at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital exhibiting similar symptoms as the two deceased persons.
Source: Daily Guide