And Hakeem is prohibited from using his wealth to pay for medical treatments for his mother and younger female sibling. While the above narrative represents a popular fictional tale, many circulating stories about occult sources of wealth are widely accepted as true. To him, this is in obvious reference to reported cases of some young men and women resorting to occultism with the aid of some spiritualists in their quest to acquire quick money. However, it was not until mid that one witnessed a sustained mainstream media focus on sakawa, beginning with a report in The Daily Graphic in May see figure 2. Although one may argue that politicians do not have the option to discuss such matters frankly in public, it is precisely the predictable moralistic con- tent of such official discourse on social issues that makes a critical approach to the sakawa films invaluable. Such protests and illegal actions in recent Ghanaian politics, and the initial near silence from state authorities, point to a larger problem that is also dramatized in the Dons series: Click here Commercial reprints: Numerous movies, especially those from Kumasi, follow this trend.

The term sakawa consists of saka to put it in and wa to [have] put some- thing in. Pentecostal Views in Ghanaian Video- Movies. Although I have watched many sakawa series created by different producers, I chose these examples not only for their popularity but also because they represent three dominant types of filmmaking in contemporary Ghana. Second, the article investigates the sakawa phenomenon through a critical interpretation of the prominent themes in popular sakawa video series such as Sakawa Boys , Agya Koo Sakawa , and The Dons of Sakawa —hereafter referred to as The Dons. Sakawa in Ghanaian Public Media In , the period of my initial research, sakawa was a widely discussed topic in many Accra neighborhoods, with stories published, for example, in The Daily Guide, and references to the phenomenon appearing in other printed sources such as calendar posters see figure 1. Haruana Iddrissu, Communication Minister, highlighted that the image of the country is at stake and the government will do all it can to reverse the creeping image of a country of immoral young men and women. First, it looks at sakawa as an analytically relevant example of recent mate- rial approaches to religion that view religious ideas as inextricably linked with tangible practices Morgan The inseparable relationship within traditional religion between the physical and spiritual worlds can be seen in the practice of invoking material blessings from the Supreme Being and dead ancestors through libations and sacrifices.

Thus film producers tap into, and appropriate, circulating stories with potential appeal to audi- ences. Sakawa Beliefs and Ritual Practices In various conversations with people who claimed fo be knowledgeable about sakawa, I became aware of some of the alleged rituals associated with the phenomenon.

Some of the policies include employment opportunities for youth in the secu- rity services, sanitation, and trade.

Sakawa Boys 2 –

This critical approach is conceived as a response sskawa the persistent myo- pic view of such popular movir as irrelevant to key debates around problematic Ghanaian issues and also to calls in global media studies to de-Westernize the field. What is par- ticularly interesting, however, is the near silence on some of the factors that sustain the practice, such as widespread unemployment.


The next section is concerned with the thematic focus on sakawa of the Dons series within the context of other sakawa films such as Sakawa Boys and Agya Koo Sakawa This article examines the phenomenon as an analytically relevant example of a material understanding of religion. He said the internet has a lot of resources and services which the youth can take advantage of but rather they focus on its misuse which not only destroys their future but also affect society in general.

West African Popular Theatre. Confessions of Satanic Riches in Christian Ghana. Pentecostal Views in Ghanaian Video- Movies. Journal of Objects, Art and Belief 4 2: In particular, it focuses on the question of how popular representations of sakawa enlighten us about the motivations of those who engage in these illegal activities. Numerous movies, especially those from Kumasi, follow movei trend. He urged them to rather study hard to achieve academic excellence, stressing that schoolchildren must channel their energies into profitable ventures that would enhance their future development.

The sec- ond premise is that the sacred and the profane worlds are closely inter- twined. Filmmaking, Mythmaking, Culture Making.

Dons in Sakawa 1 A

sakaa The inseparable relationship within traditional religion between the physical and spiritual worlds can be seen in the practice of invoking material blessings from the Supreme Being and dead ancestors through libations and sacrifices.

Curran, James, and Myung Jin Park. As the discussion above suggests, a particular set of beliefs that is shared mogie many people in Ghana—that is, moral condemnation of criminal behavior combined with a belief in the capacity of religious rituals to produce a material outcome—accounts in large part for the ready capacity of most Ghanaians to condemn the criminal act of sakawa practices while believing in the spiritual efficacy of the alleged sakawa rituals.

They spend the rest of their time engaged in small-scale Internet fraud and black- mail. Sakawa indexes a cyberfraud practice in Ghana allegedly linked with occult rituals. Such a reflection, I argue, serves as a counterdis- course to the sorts of comments produced by Ghanaian political leaders who are arguably themselves audiences of sakawa movies, particularly those of Shirley Frimpong Manso.

Calendar Poster In recognition of the sakawa phenomenon in the mainstream media, Movie Africa Productions also released Sakawa Boysthe first film series on sakawa. From Imagined Communities to Aesthetic Formations: In this context of high youth unemployment, the prolifera- tion of illegal enterprises is only one of many consequences.

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He is od that he has two choices of ritual sacrifice: It then offers a critical reading of a popular sakawa video series and contrasts its thematic perspectives with the reactions of some Ghanaian political leaders to the possible motivations for the practice. The gentleman is sent away and dies that very day upon reaching home.

Skip to main content. African Popular Entertainment at the Crossroads. Communication Practices and Intercultural Encounters.


Discussion of Political Discourses on Sakawa Salawa dominant themes are evident in these comments of Ghanaian polit- ical leaders.

Log In Sign Up. They are then required to perform and observe specific rituals with the pythons in order to ensure their wealth, and failure to do so carries the threat not just of renewed poverty, but also of madness or even death.

For example, among the Kwahu ethnic group in the Eastern region, wealth purportedly gained through occult means is referred to as sikaduro literally, money medicineand Obo, one of the major towns in Kwahu, is known for its several inhabitants who have acquired wealth through such means.

Religion, Media and Culture: Similarly, the political discourse betrays a will- fully? Eventually they sever their ties with the Chief, who they feel compen- sated them inadequately for their services, and establish an independent cyberfraud business.

Some of these rituals include self-inflicted wounds that never heal; sleeping in coffins for a number of days skawa cemeteries; carrying coffins during the night to isolated road intersections; and eating the con- tents from rubbish dumps. Although I have watched many sakawa series created by different producers, I chose these examples not only for their popularity but also because they represent three dominant types of filmmaking in contemporary Ghana.

Hoover, Stewart, and Lynn Schofield Clark. However, the films take a broader approach to the sakawa phenomenon, one that enriches our understanding of the socioeco- nomic and political factors that produce it. Interestingly, although the movies join ,ovie general political discourse in denouncing the phenomenon, they go beyond mere condemnation and suggest socioeconomic and political conditions as possible motivations for sakawa youths.

John Evans Atta-Mills died on July 24,and his vice president, John Dramani Mahama, became president in the December presidential elections. See Cole for a concise history on this traveling rull tradition.

Justin has to be faithful to Stacy, his longtime girlfriend. Domination and the Arts of Resistance: This move had the laudable goal of helping to educate qualified stu- dents who were not admitted to the government-owned universities, but its unintended consequence is that large numbers of university graduates cannot find jobs or high-paying work that is commensurate with their skills and education.

Practicing Religion in the Age of Media. A large group of people were hooting at skawa driver of a speeding Toyota Corolla who, I learned, was a sakawa boy. There are also a number of popular narratives and morality tales in Ghana that crosscut ethnic affiliations and promote the belief that people can per- form certain occult rituals to generate financial wealth.

The rest of this section consists of excerpts from newspaper reports about the sakawa phenomenon and the response of Ghanaian political leaders. However, all the friends flout these rules.