Jun 09



I could hardly believe my eyes when I read in the London Guardian on 4 June 2014 that ”Ghana’s most influential witch doctor”, Kwaku Bonsam, had claimed that he was “responsible for the knee injury that was threatening Cristiano Ronaldo’s participation at the World Cup.”

Kwaku Bonsam claims to possess “spiritual powers”, which presumably, can make him cripple foreign football stars. By telepathy? He doesn’t say. Can he transport himself spiritually to Portugal or Brazil to carry out his enterprise? We are left guessing.

But on what basis are we to guess whether Bonsam has the powers he claims to possess or not? You see, unfortunately for him, he has not named a single player of Kumase Asante Kotoko or Accra Hearts of Oak whom he had previously afflicted with an injury, because an opposing team had bribed him to strike that player  spiritually! Does he expect us to believe that he can affect the fortunes of a player whom even Barcelona cannot quite tame on the football pitch – without producing any evidence to support his claim? What does he take Ghanaians for? Who does he think we all are? The sycophantic members of the pseudo-fan club of the Black Stars drawn from the ranks of NDC foot-soldiers?

Well, Kwaku Bonsam can get away with his claims, as far as foreign journalists are concerned. It appears their credibility level corresponds to their sense of accommodating quaintness. To begin with, Kwaku Bonsam is only a “witch doctor” to people who still live in the world of H Rider Haggard and his ilk. Today, in the smart suburbs of Accra or Lagos, which are ministered unto by foreign evangelists who arrive by luxurious executive jets, Kwaku Bonsam would be more appropriately denominated by those  fellow fraudsters of his as a snake oil merchant or a practitioner of “419 in the Spiritual Realm”. If they laid hands on him, they woul;d get their congregations to hold him by the ears and rolle him on the ground, writhing and foaming at the mouth, whilst they rainedloud songs and  babbling sounds  in his ears, until he confessed to being – a devil-worshipper! They would then set upon him and beat him senseless, in the act of allegedly expelling the devil from inside  him.

Not that we should under-estimate the guy oh! For the august American newspaper, The New York Times (which once prided itself in publishing ”all the news that is fit to print”) devoted an article to Kwaku Bonsam on 19 July 2013. As could be expected, the article hinted of Dark Powers in The Dark Continent. Can you think of a better cliché than that? In the 21st Century!

Here are some quotes from the pages of the Grey Old Lady of New York:

“In Africa, traditional religion has always been considered extremely local, while Christianity was seen as a way of joining the larger world…But by using Facebook and YouTube and finally residing in New York City, Mr. Kwaku Bonsam shows that traditional religion can also go global. He’s making it fashionable, in other words…. New York was a natural destination for Mr. Kwaku Bonsam. Ghanaians make up the largest African immigrant group in the city, with a population of around 24,000…”

Describing Kwaku Bonsam’s living room in his residence in the Bronx, New York, the NYT said: “In one corner, a glass coffee table was obscured beneath the elements of a makeshift shrine: a chalice filled with Johnson’s Baby Powder, a bottle of J. H. Henkes’ Aromatic Schiedam Schnapps, a horsetail whip, a Master Lock wrapped in red twine. In another, an Ikea desk supported two Dell computer monitors and a broadcast microphone. In the middle sat Mr. Kwaku Bonsam, dressed in a rainbow-colored smock and stirring a brown liquid in a plastic kitchen bowl. “This is African medicine,” he said, describing the concoction — prescribed to male clients experiencing “sexual weakness” — as a mixture of honey, vodka, tree bark and herbs he had requested from his assistants in Ghana. “Western medicine has a lot of side effects. But with this, there are no side effects.” Bonsam said.

I suspect that it is this ‘African Viagra’ proeuct peddled by Kwaku Bonsam that impressed the NYT writer the most. Poor guy — throughout Africa, such potions are sold openly in the markets — although their “”potency”” is only attested to by the peddlers. In Ghana, they are known as kcte denden aduro (the medicine that makes the penis hard) whilst in Zimbabwe ( so I am told) it is called “”vuka-vuka” medicine.

Whatever he can or cannot do, I’d like to ask Kwaku Bonsam whether he has ever heard of the Uruguayan player, Luis Suarez. It was Luis Suarez who, you will recall, sank Ghana when we were in the process of going on to reach the semi-final stage in the World Cup in South Africa in  2010 – the first time ever that any African country would have reached that stage. Of the competition. This is what happened:

The Ghana-Uruguay quarter-final match was level at 1-1, and was getting  close to the regular  90 minutes. It looked as if it was going to go into extra time.  All our hearts were in our mouths. Then it seemed as ifour prayers were going to be answered podsitively: Dominic Adiyiah of Ghana sent a beautiful header towards the Uruguayan goal. The goalkeeper was nowhere near the ball. That would settle matters! Everyone thought it was going to be a clean goal for Ghana! Which would send us into the semi-final of the World Cup. Repeat that – the semi-final of the World Cup – just one match more before the FINAL iself!

However, Luis Suarez, one of Uruguay’s forwards, mark you, not even a defender, had somehow stationed himself on the goal-line. As the ball was about to  enter the net – it got to him so fast that he could not head it or kick it – he decided to keep it out with his hands! His hands! In other words, he had become Uruguay’s second goalkeeper!

“Foul!” cried Ghanaians and their supporters all around Africa the world.

The referee whistled zaand pointed to the spot. It wasa penalty for Ghana.

“Good”, Ghanaians thought.

The referee also sent Spares off. “Even better!” we agreed.

But we were angry. And uneasy.

For while a penalty award was all well and good, it was not exactly a goal, was it? Penalties were dangerous things. There had been many spectacular penalty misses in the World Cup. Hadn’t Socrates missed one for Brazil in one World Cup match?

We needed to take the penalty.

Our goal-merchant, Asamoah-Gyan, stepped forward to take it.

Inexplicably, he was afflicted with big-occasionitis and – shot the ball over the bar!



Over the bar!

What calamity was this?

Asamoah-Gyan of all people missing a penalty at such a crucial time?

Asamoah-Gyan forlornly put his head in his hands.

But he had missed. There was nothing to be done about it.

Eventually, the match had to go into a penalty shoot-out.

And Uruguay won!

Oh what pain! What excruciating, unmitigated pain!

Every Ghanaian cried tears that flowed freely from the inner depths of his or her soul. What sort of bad luck was this? What had Suarez done to us?

When we needed a saviour, we had had none. But now, come another World Cup and we hear that a 419 fetish priest has come forward to claim that he can assist Ghana spiritually to win international football matches. He has dispatched a spiritual illness — in the form of a knee injury — to Christiano Ronaldo, of Portugal, one of our opponents in the World Cup, he claims.

Is that not an insult to the intelligence of all Ghanaians? I swear, if I had the power, I would punish the guy by asking him to turn Korle Lagoon water into Eau de Korle – a perfume whose putrid qualities  would be more powerful than Bint el Sudan! (or tulaali) of ancient times!

But since I do not have the power, I would just like to ask Kwaku Bonsam Seven Questions. (For like a guy called Nasni about whom I read when I was in Class 3, ”I always Kill Seven!”)

My Seven Questions are:

1. Kwaku Bonsam, where were you when your countrymen needed you during the World Cup of 2010?
2. Why didn’t you fly through the air on 2 July 2010 to go and blow some spiritual wind on Asamoah Gyan’s penalty shot so that it would lower its trajectory and enter the net, instead of sailing over the bar?
3. Why did you not hold Asamoah-Gyan’s foot down slightly, so that the ball would not go so high and fly over the bar?
4. Why did you not freeze Suarez’s arm when he primed it to stop the ball from entering the Uruguay net?
5. Why did you not get the shark-like teeth of Suarez to bite his own arm hard, as he tried to stop the ball with it?
6. Why didn’t you take the form of all our players and kick all the penalty shots for us, instead of allowing some of our players to miss their shots  and thus lose the match?
7. Have you not surfaced at this time with this Christiano Ronaldo jazz, simply because you think there a)re fools at the GFA who will give you a ticket to go to Brazil, where you can paint your face with red clay (ntwoma) ochre, gold paint and black soil (birisi) and pretend that you can inject undetectable amphetamines or other steroids into them and get them to play like dwarfs who have been attacked by hornets?

Kwaku Bonsam, if you can answer any of these questions convincingly, I shall stop calling myself “Trooper Seven-Seven”.

And I shall also not mind if the Washington Post, trying to outdo its old rival, the New York Times, puts you on the cover of its weekend edition!


UPDATE: https://ca.sports.yahoo.com/news/ronaldo-shines-return-portugal-095716755.html


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