Wayne Winston, Wyclef, and Emmanuel are revealed as the latest names for the Ghanaian ‘con man' known as Dr K. O. Foudjour who, on Friday 28 August, has succeeded in summoning a host of unsuspecting Ghanaian personalities and celebrities to the Alisa Hotel in Accra to participate in a non-existing Global Blueprint Excellence Award event.
By the time it dawned on the whole public that the event was ‘awam,' funny thoughts began to flash through my mind about how easy it took a certain Dr K. O. Foudjour, a.k.a Dr UN, to become the newest patron saint of con, after fooling Ghana’s twenty-two crème de la crème from the entertainment, media, political, and even within the university space under the guise of a UN’s “Kofi Annan Excellence Award” using ‘Ananse’ tricks.
This is a trick fit for the Guinness Book of Records! Maybe the beneficiaries of what I’ll describe as ‘Ananse' awards were carried away on the account of Dr UN's glowing testimonials without finding solid evidence of his supposed achievements.
Indeed, as I observed how the whole story unfolded, it seemed to me Dr UN is a world-class con strategist. How he stage-managed the award using all the energy, craft and ideas inside his little grey matter like the folktale spider (Ananse) has shaken all and sundry.
And if I may ask, were these Ananse awardees ill-fated? Trust me, maybe before this whole trick by Dr UN (or Dr Ananse for want of a better word) was uncovered, some other qualified dons in this country might have cursed their stars for not meeting up to Dr Ananse’s shortlist.
But what damage has this calculated trick cost the award’s originator and recipients? I feel beyond the little disrepute the awardees would be enduring by now, the gravity of damage for both Dr Ananse and his victims can’t be unequal, since the planning and execution of the scam have absolutely nothing conspiratorial to offer.
Let’s be minded too that far from seeking financial luxury, it appears Dr Ananse was merely using the Ananse awards to extend gentle respect to all award recipients for their unrecognized meritorious services, and nothing more.
Let’s also agree on this one point: when we look at the modus operandi of fraudsters and con-artists in general, we can comfortably judge that Dr Ananse meant no harm with his confidence tricks especially as no huge cash transactions have changed hands.
On this note, while we can’t stop averting our thoughts on what happened, I think the following can count as useful lessons:
- Let’s take note that everything, from religious, career, business to political recognition is always a subject of deception or manipulation, so we need to be watchful not to fall for it.
- As deceptive as the award might be, all members of the corporate community now have an inkling of going beyond glowing testimonials of individuals and organizations to find solid evidence of their achievements before engaging them.
- Lastly, whenever you spot a great opportunity, insist on time to get independent advice before making a decision. Don’t agree to offers or deals right away.
To this end, even though no morally balanced Ghanaian would support Dr UN and his tricks, I think the main rationale behind his Ananse fraud in making awardees feel recognized for their labour in building Ghana still standout. To that extent, what’s disappointing about him (Dr Ananse) is his shrewdness; this I wish Ghanaians could pardon him.