5 typical Ghanaian characteristics the Menzgold saga has exposed

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For some weeks now, customers of Ghana’s self-acclaimed gold hub, Menzgold, have been wailing. It doesn’t look like their locked up investments with the gold-trading company will be paid any soon.

Despite all their tears, what it seems now is that their said investments were what the company’s CEO, Nana Appiah Mensah popularly called NAM1, used to maintain his flashy lifestyle.

If you are in Ghana today and haven’t heard or read about the Menzgold drama, you may be the only stranger in Bethlehem. In all this brouhaha, however, the typical Ghanaian character has been exposed. The saga has unveiled how a chunk of us think and why we do what we do.

Observe a typical Ghanaian and you’d find some, if not all, of these characteristics.

“We are gullible!”

It’s amazing how we can fall for anything— both the educated and uneducated. How customers, especially elites, fell for a 10% monthly dividend despite fluctuating world prices of gold beats my imagination. Maybe, Menzgold’s gold was being traded somewhere in Jupiter but if it wasn’t, it was obvious the business wasn’t sustainable.

It’s a reflection of who we are. We easily believe anything with all our heart and soul. We easily fall for everything on the news. We easily believe everything our politicians promise us during the campaign.

Scammers thrive on the African soil, especially in politics and religion, because we barely analyze what we are told. We want to type “Amen” and receive a million dollars instantly. We vote for people because they promise us some juicy policies during elections. Listen, if something is too good to be true, it’s too false to be true!

“When you question ‘sudden wealth’, you’re an enemy!”

Sudden success is questionable. Overnight harvest is suspicious. However, when a few questioned NAM1’s source of wealth, a large section of his beneficiaries descended on such, calling them haters of his success.

In church, we are only interested in people’s fat offertories without asking about their source. In politics, we don’t give a damn about how campaigns are funded. All we want is our share of the booty. Little wonder we are where we are today as a people!

Anytime the exact details of Menzgold’s business model were enquired, people brushed it away. All the customers, especially, were interested in was the returns on their investment. To hell with details!

We are a people who give little attention to details and it affects us in all aspects of our lives. We grow up hating details with passion. There’s so much mediocrity in this nation because no one cares about details. We sign contracts with no attention to details. We listen to our leaders with little care for details.

Our character of lack of details has cost us so much. We elect leaders we are not supposed to. Marriages which were supposed to be put asunder are put together. Little things, like details, make the biggest influences in life. Details can give away red flags. If someone had paid some attention to Menzgold’s details, their lifetime savings would have been safe today!

“We love only winners!”

When NAM1 was all over the place flaunting his wealth, he was the most loved. People were naming their children after him. Others were praying God made them as he was. We literally loved him and his money. When life suddenly took a U-turn, everyone denied ever knowing him— even his beneficiaries. A hero yesterday, a villain today.

It points to one character of Ghanaians— our love has an expiry date. Asamoah Gyan was loved by all when his goals took us to the quarter-finals of the World Cup… until he lost that unforgettable penalty… and he became the most hated.

If you are a young man/woman today doing good for yourself, don’t be deceived by the praises of men. The day you stumble will be the day all your greatness will be forgotten… and you’ll be crucified like all the others were!

“We bow to money, not values!”

Within just two years, NAM1 was literally walking through the corridors of power. He had had the opportunity to enter all the high places in Ghana. Courtesy his wealth, he had managed to get the attention of the movers and shakers of this beautiful country.

He was being chased with countless awards and titles. People twice his age were calling him daddy. It’s only in a country like ours that a lifetime award will be bestowed on someone who has been in the limelight for barely two years. Money can indeed buy and sell anything. For us, it buys our conscience and sells our values.

We are a people who bow to money. We are blinded by money. At the sight of it, a man’s name changes. At the sight of money, our conscience takes a vacation. We keep shut about the truth. The love of money is the root of all evil and the love we have for those who have money is the root of all hypocrisy!

The writer is a playwright and Chief Scribe of Scribe Communications, an Accra-based writing company (www.scribecommltd.com).

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