Ghana votes in general elections in December this year. The electorate will be voting to elect a president and Members of Parliament (MPs) for the country’s 275 seat legislature.
As the day draws close, different individuals and groups – state and private – are calling for peace in the polls. The country’s most influential investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas has joined the peace campaign.
Anas, is a multiple award winning journalist who has broken some of the most crucial investigative stories in the country’s history. He is the incumbent journalist of the year after the release of a story on high level corruption in Ghana’s judiciary.
Anas has cemented his place as a champion of human rights, anti corruption and social justice. His stories have led to arrest and prosecution of people he refers to as ‘the bad guys.’
Anas who is himself very strong on social media is using a combination of electronic media and social media to power the peace campaign dubbed ‘All for Peace,’ (All4Peace).
‘‘This campaign for TV features two short, inspiring films that highlight 22 Ghanaian celebrities each saying a sentence that supports peace in our country, and advocating for harmony in this turbulent election period.
‘‘The campaign also has a radio version, and a social media version, which is composed of portraits of the celebrities with the #All4Peace logo, and which has already spontaneously gone viral,’‘ a statement released by his outfit noted.
Anas has been using his social media clout – Twitter (@anasglobal) and Facebook (Anas Aremeyaw Anas) – to push images of influential persons from Ghana’s entertainment/ showbiz, law, media, religious and sports arena.
Among those who have signed up for the campaign is the Metropolitan archbishop of Accra, Most Reverend Gabriel Charles Palmer Buckle. The man credited with founding Ghana’s version of hiphop – i.e. Hiplife, Reggie Rockstone is also on board.
As part of making the campaign participatory and open to all Ghanaian to share in this celebration of peace, Anas has created a Facebook page “Anas4Peace”, where, using a template, people can become a part of the campaign.
Some of Anas’ works since 2010
Even though he started out as a newspaper journalist with the New Crusading GUIDE, Anas opened his own investigative firm where he put his investigative stories into documentary film formats.
In January 2010, Anas released an undercover piece title ‘Inside Ghana’s Madhouse.’ He got admitted into Ghana’s biggest psychiatric institution in order to reveal the rights abuses and corruption that was going on at the Accra Psychiatric hospital.
In September of the same year, he released ‘Orphans Home of Hell,’ a piece that put the spotlight on Ghana’s biggest orphanage, the Osu Children’s Home, again with corruption and child rights abuse at the heart of the report.
Down the years, Anas has released other human rights centered films, like ‘Careless,’ which zoomed in on Ghana’s biggest private orphanage which had similar issues as Osu. He also released Messiah of Mentukwa, a film that underlined the extent to which religion could be used to perpetrate issues of human rights abuse.
In the area of anti-corruption, his main works beside the award winning ‘Undercover in the Eyes of God,’ include a detailed exposé at Ghana’s biggest port, the Tema Habour, he titled it ‘Enemies of the Nation.’
He also did a nationwide assignment in cocoa growing areas, ‘In the Interest of the Nation,’ exposed security officials who were actively engaged in smuggling of Ghana’s cocoa beans for their parochial interests.
In the second part of this piece, I look at investigative collaborations that Anas has been involved in over the years and his social media presence. A bit of his awards at home and abroad will be chipped in.