Every now and then, on National Honours’ Day, Ghana decorates its heroes and heroines with one of four awards (there’s a fifth, though reserved for those who’ve occupied the Presidency) for various feats of distinction. There have been worthy honorees over the years, but arguably the worthiest — in the last decade, at least — has gone unrewarded.
Don’t get me wrong; it’s a fine thing to be a distinguished scientist, artist, or statesman. But there’s no greater hero than he who risks it all, putting his life on the line — literally — time and again for a cause beyond himself. And that, folks, is Anas Aremeyaw Anas: reckoned among the very best in the shadowy world of investigative journalism.
But if you think being overlooked for honours is the biggest slap in Anas’ face by his own, think again. Elsewhere, a man of Anas’ worth would be deemed a national treasure; here, he’s constantly treated like a pariah. Indeed, where effusive praise has not flowed from toward the ace reporter, vicious abuse has, along with threats to the lives in Anas’ inner circle — his included.
Since he embarked on a one-man crusade — backed by his loyal Tiger Eye PI team — to rid Ghana of ruinous elements, Anas has offered the motherland the chance to purge and progress in key areas, revealing the rot that plagues the country’s security systems, judiciary, industries, ports and sports. There’s been more, of course, and his latest work — exposing the devils undermining the nation’s fight against illegal mining — is further and fresh proof.
Anas, for a while, was actually deemed a hero by the vast majority, condemned only by the criminal few who fell to their own selfish desires, not Anas’ ‘traps’ (James 1:14, 15). But then Anas went past commoners, punched above his weight, and knocked out bigger fish — powerful politicians, judges, football administrators, et al. Then — and only then — did Anas get branded a villain, and he’s remained so ever since to — and only to — the big and bad.
If you — dear fellow average Joe — have bought into that deception, you’ve probably sold your reasoning and conscience to some deluded politician with ulterior motives who, in turn, filters Anas’ sincere and brave efforts through blurry political lenses.
How tragic! How unfair! How foolish!
See, maybe Anas hasn’t exactly done enough to earn an erection of a statue of himself on the premises of the Flagstaff House, but neither does he merit the tons of mud slung at him mindlessly for being all sorts of evil I won’t dignify by mentioning here. What he is worthy of, really, is the respect and recognition served him by the wider world. Anas — a classic example of the proverbial prophet accorded no honour by his people — has been hailed by the 21st Century’s most popular Leader of the Free World, partnered/sponsored by the globe’s biggest media organizations to carry out assignments home and abroad, and feted internationally for such excellence.
And that really is the point, isn’t it?
The world deserves — and appreciates — Anas; Ghana doesn’t and probably never will. Needless to say, it’s our loss.
Daily Mail GH