Friday, 18 September 2015
Meet: Anas Aremeyaw Anas, Ghana’s fearless investigative journalist
Anas Aremeyaw Anas is an undercover journalist who specializes in print media and documentaries. Working both on his own and in collaboration with other news agencies and journalists, he has successfully ensured that corrupt acts and practices are exposed in Ghana and other parts of sub-Saharan Africa. Recently, he has been in the news for exposing corruption in Ghana’s justice system. As a result, he has received several lawsuits and petitions as the judges involved in the scandal are being called into accountability.
The man behind it all
For an African journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas goes about his business in a very unconventional manner. While his name may not ring a bell in the minds of the average African, he has broken some of the biggest stories in Ghana and is responsible for a lot of convictions for various crimes in all spheres of government.
Anas has been referred to as Africa’s most feared and famous sting artist. His life and work is dependent on his power of maintaining anonymity.
Aptly nicknamed ‘Chameleon’, Anas’ modus operandi is achieved through numerous disguises. Over the course of his career, he has masqueraded as a bartender, a psychiatric patient, a prince, a trader dealing in contraband, and a madman. His work is no different from that of an agent provocateur and he takes immense pride in his achievements, reflected in his “Name, Shame and Jail’ mantra. Anas keeps a low profile, and very few people have actually seen his face.
It is perhaps his relentless pursuit of criminals and corrupt public officials around the continent, that has undoubtedly created enemies for him, driving his anonymity.
Anas reportedly grew up in a military barracks in Ghana and attended the University of Ghana. He turned down a job offer with the Ghanaian Times Newspaper, instead choosing to work with the Crusading Guide newspaper in 1998.
Although Anas began as a private detective and undercover reporter, he has since been employed by the Ghanaian President and Al Jazeera. His training as an attorney gives him an appreciation of the legal dynamics of his work. Anas focuses on issues of human rights and anti-corruption in Ghana and sub-Saharan Africa. So far, he has spearheaded undercover investigations to expose the Tanzanian trade in albino limbs, contract killing of disabled children in northern Ghana, high-level corruption in Sierra Leone, the counterfeit gold trade in West Africa, and money laundering in the Seychelles.
In 2014, a documentary he was the subject of a documentary, ‘Chameleon’, which chronicled his achievements. The documentary also revealed the challenges he faced working undercover.
Anas works mostly as a multimedia journalist who specializes in print media and documentaries and in 2013, Anas gave a TED Talk (throughout which his face remains hidden), titled, “How I Named, Shamed, and Jailed”.
In what is perhaps Anas’ biggest break, he is at the root of the recently broken Ghana Judiciary Scandal, where he went undercover to expose corruption within the Ghanaian Judiciary sector and successfully leading to the suspension of over 20 judges.
Anas has been widely recognized for his work in upholding the dignity of individuals and fundamental human rights. President Obama highlighted his virtues in one of his speeches and dubbed him “a courageous journalist…who risked his life to report the truth.”
He has participated in the successful prosecution of offenders, including fetish priests who sacrificed children in Northern Ghana. He has also won over fourteen international awards for his investigative work. He was polled as the 5th most influential Ghanaian in 2011 and named one of the “Most Influential Africans of the Year “by the New African Magazine.
Anas’ life and work has inspired journalists and citizens all over the world to speak the truth.
Source- Ventures Africa