Number 12: Who is Anas Aremeyaw Anas?
Goal throws the spotlight on the mysterious investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas, whose latest work has made him Ghana’s most favorite and controversial figure.
Following the release of the explosive investigative documentary titled “Number 12” on Wednesday in Ghana, Anas Aremeyaw Anas has become the name on everyone’s lips.
The video, which revealed various corruption and underhand activities of top Ghana Football Association officials and referees, has thrown the football governing body into disarray.
FA boss Kwesi Nyantakyi appears to be the hardest hit, having resigned from office after being caught on camera engaging in the shady deals.
Not only has he been provisionally banned by Fifa from all football activities for 90 days, Nyantakyi also faces imprisonment as he has been put under police investigation on orders of Ghana president Nana Akufo-Addo for a charge of “defrauding under false pretenses“.
So, just who is Anas Aremeyaw Anas – the brain behind the staggering exposé?
Anas is a Ghanaian undercover journalist believed to be born in the late 1970s.
A man synonymous with mystery, he focuses on issues of human rights and anti-corruption in Ghana and sub-Saharan Africa.
In his words, “in our part of the world, sometimes simply gathering information is not enough. You need to back it up with hardcore evidence and this is what I do.”
For former US president Barrack Obama, Anas is “a courageous journalist who risked his life, to tell the truth“, while Microsoft founder Bill Gates describes him as “an undercover journalist who tells troubling but truthful stories in support of social justice in Africa“.
The name “Anas Aremeyaw Anas” is just a pseudonym. Aside from that, no one has ever seen his face apart from his family and people who knew him before his work took off.
During a BBC interview in 2015, he publicly unmasked his face for the first time. However, the revelation showed only a prosthetic.
To him, anonymity is “in fact an important tool in his investigations.”
Anas’ works have always turned up to be explosive and shocking.
Some of his famous previous works include the Torture Chamber OF Bangkok Prisons in Thailand (2006), Soja Bar Prostitution (2007), Humans for Sale: Dons Exposed (2008), Orphans Home Of Hell – Osu (2010) and Ghana in the Eyes of God in 2015.
His efforts earned him major international honors including the Heroes Acting to End Modern-Day Slavery Award by the US Department of State, the Every Human Has Rights Award in France, the Lorenzo Natali Prize by the European Commission and the KCK Award for excellence in Print Journalism from India.
Written by Prince Narkortu Teye / GOAL.com
Oral Ofori is Founder and Publisher at www.TheAfricanDream.net, a digital storyteller and producer, and also an information and research consultant.