Ghana’s most celebrated investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas has been awarded the African Hero of the year 2016 by the Ohio University African Students’ Union (ASU) in Athens, Ohio, USA. ASU President Saba Zewbu says her organization was proud of all the achievements Anas continues to make, especially when it comes to unveiling cases of corruption in Africa.
Accepting his award while wearing his trademark disguise, Anas Aremeyaw Anas told the audience how he often succeeds in unveiling cases of corruption through his investigative pieces. According to him, teamwork and a high sense of professionalism has carried him through his journey as undercover journalist.
“This is where my style of journalism comes in. I don’t just painstakingly blow the lid off bad things by the bad guys, but I go the extra mile by collaborating with the Police and other State institutions to ensure that these bad guys are put away in jail. The records are there to show. For instance, my team and I have ensured the arrest and prosecution of herbalists who were secretly killing children born with some degrees of deformity a in small village in the northern part of Ghana. I did this by pretending to be the parent of a deformed baby who wants his child killed. I built a prosthetic baby and carried it to the shrine of these priests. While getting ready to give a portion of poisonous concoction which could be seen boiling on the fire in the shrine, my team alerted the police who then moved in and arrested them.
“In Tanzania, I collaborated with the police and blew the cover of some people who were engaged in dealing in the body parts of albinos which they believed had some magical powers. By posing as someone who is willing to offer for sale a prosthetic arm of an albino I had built, I was able to infiltrate the ranks of these people and successfully gather enough evidence in real time for the police to move in, arrest these guys and send them to court to be jailed,” Anas revealed.
The African Hero award was established in 1991 as part of efforts to honor the political achievements of South Africa’s first black president Nelson Mandela. Since then, it has paid homage to personalities impacting the lives of Africans across the world. Past awardees include Cameroonian scholar, novelist and publisher Professor Francis Nyamnjoh and Ghana’s first heart surgeon Professor Frimpong Boateng among many others.