The Kasoa ritual murder case – press overview, April 3 – 17, 2021 (Ghana)

On April 4 and April 5 I reported on a shocking ritual murder case in Kasoa, Ghana. Allegedly, two teenagers had murdered a 10-year old boy for ritualistic purposes in a so-called ‘money ritual’. The crime led to a nationwide shock, condemnations, outrage and other reactions. People also questioned the role of the media in promoting a ‘get-rich-quick’ mentality and in protecting the privacy of juvenile suspects and delinquents. In the two weeks following the murder, about 120 articles appeared in mainly Ghanaian newspapers. More details of the crime emerged, notably the role of the traditional priestess who was involved.

Below the reader will discover an overview of the press coverage for the April 4-17 period. Given the abundance of articles, it is not possible to present all articles in full. Instead of presenting the original text, I have added links to the original articles. Unfortunately, it is quite possible that some links may cease to function properly after some time. For the same reason – the large number of newspaper articles – I will not attempt to summarize the information included in the reports. Please read and make your own judgement.

After this overview I will cease reporting on this particular ritual murder case except for specific and exceptional newspaper articles and opinions. The purpose of this site is not to cover each ritual murder case extensively. The interested reader wanting to know more about subsequent events and developments may use search machines like Google for more, up-to-date news. 

For convenience sake I have included some newspaper reports dated April 4 and 5 (webmaster FVDK).

APRIL 17, 2021:

Ghana: Reaping the whirlwind

Published: April 17, 2021
By: Modern Ghana – Femi Akomolafe 

The shocking news that two teenage boys, 16 and 18 years old, lured a 10-year-old boy into an uncompleted building and killed him for money rituals sent Ghanaians reeling. 

The incident happened at the Kasoa suburb of Lamptey Mills on Saturday, April 3, 2021. 

The accused were said to be neighbours to the victim, and are frequent visitors to the victim’s mother’s house where they occasionally share meals. 

The boys, who were said to have got the ideas of get-rich-quick-or-die-trying from one of the numerous get-instant money commercials that saturate television stations in Ghana, were said to have contacted one of the fetish priests who ply his trade on TV, for rituals to become instant billionaires. The priest was said to have demanded human parts and 5,000 cedis 

The suspects, Felix Nyarko, 16, and Nicholas Kiki, 18, were apprehended and have been arranged before the Awutu Ofankor District Court which remanded two boys into police custody. 

They have been charged with murder and conspiracy to commit murder. They are scheduled to reappear before the court on April 20, 2021 . 

The police have also apprehended the spiritualist who turned out to be a priestess. She was said to be nursing a two months old baby. 

Shocked Ghanaians took to the airwaves to voice their revulsions at the sad news. Many lamented that their country has become a place where the only worthwhile endeavor is to get rich by any means necessary. 

Former President John Agyekum Kufuor was among the leading people who condemned the act. The former president attributed the gruesome murder of the 10-year-old boy to the fraudulent commercials that have become the staple of television stations in the country.” He lamented: “How could young people do this? What do they know? Unfortunately, you media people are giving so much exposure to tricksters and fraudulent people, promising everything. When you look at them you should know that these are people who are themselves just bad and ignorant. That is not the way for our society to go.” 

The ex-president’s sentiments were echoed by many shocked Ghanaians who find it difficult to come to terms that young children do not only harbour burning desires to become instant billionaires, but are now willing to kill for it. 

For years, many Ghanaians have expressed concerns about the erosions of traditional ethos that used to guide citizens’ conduct and helped to create harmonious and peaceful societies. The concerns were largely dismissed by those who considered themselves educated, modern and civilised. For them, the traditional ways that were informed and guided by age-long customs were primitive and are too archaic for modern living. 

Alas, instead of copying the Chinese who refused to throw away their traditional ways of life in their quest for modernity, Ghanaians, like most Africans, continue to confuse modernity/civilization with westernization. 

According to the agency charged with granting broadcasting licenses in the country, the National Communication Agency (NCA), 128 stations have been granted a license to operate tv stations, out of which 53 stations are currently operating in the country. 

This might be seen as a good development for a country that until the late 1980s operated only one government-owned TV station. 

But that will be missing the important point that most of the stations shamelessly broadcast materials that are not only indecent, unimaginative, and uneducative but sometimes downright criminal. 

Many of the stations run only commercials produced by scammers in priestly garbs and they specialise in heavy commercialization of the Christian religion. They have staples like an instant cure for every ailment. Many of the garishly dressed Pentecostal pastors used their commercials to showcase instant miracles, with cripples, at the touch of the pastor’s magic finger, throwing their clutches away and racing away in sprints that will lower Olympic records. Many pastors openly treat their church members in manners that should be considered violations of basic human rights. 

Of late, some Mallams have launched their own commercials. They are mostly corpulent folks with flowing gowns complete with heavy turbans. Their main hustle is money doubling and other instant-wealth conjuring gimmicks. 

Not to be outdone, so-called traditional spirituals have also chimed in. Dressed in animal skins, with feathers and whatnots, these charlatans also promote how-to-get-rich-without-breaking-a-sweat trickeries. 

A visitor to Ghana who happens to switch between the TV channels will be left wondering if there are deliberate and conscious attempts to dumb the people down with vapid and mindless drivels. 

Apart from a few quiz programmes here and there, almost everything shown on the TV stations in Ghana is hedonistic, narcissistic, and mind-bending materialistic commercials designed to dumbed people down and turn people into uncritical consuming junkies. 

Ghana’s attempt at creating a local film industry, dubbed Ghallywood, continues to disappoint. Producers churn out only pathetic productions with film editors doing their best to cover shoddy storylines, pitiful acting, and crazy camera angles with an oversaturation of video effects. 

And for a country that once reigned supreme in West Africa with Highlife and Palongo kinds of music, today the country music industry is a pale shadow of its old self. The scene is dominated by studio-created beats with few musicians able to play a single musical instrument. 

The result, predictably, has been the abasement of creativity and the promotion of mediocrity to the level of praxis. Unfortunately, no one appears to be bothered or concerned enough to attempt to stem the rot. 

Why did people pretend to be shocked that children turned themselves into killing monsters when all that they watch on televisions are every manner of ritualists telling people how to get instant wealth through dubious means? 

It is not only on the radios and the television stations that people peddle crazy money-making scams; all the country’s highways are littered with posters and billboards filled with advertisements that should never be allowed in a sane society! 

Many of the commercials the TV stations carry are clear vices that border on sheer criminality, yet the Ghana Police Service watch unconcerned as people, very brazenly, break the laws. 

There is also a National Media Commission, which is supposed to regulate the media. 

Per the NATIONAL MEDIA COMMISSION ACT, 1993, the National Media Commission (NMC) was established to “promote and ensure the freedom and independence of the media for mass communication and information per Chapter Twelve of the Constitution and to provide for related matters.” 

Section 2 of the Act states the functions of the Commission as: 

1. (a) to promote and ensure the freedom and independence of the media for mass communication or information; 

(b) to take all appropriate measures to ensure the establishment and maintenance of the highest journalistic standards in the mass media, including the investigation, mediation, and settlement of complaints made against or by the press or other mass media, 

(c) to insulate the state-owned media from governmental control; 

Section 2 (b) is simply laughable because there is no standard whatever in Ghanaian journalism – in both the print and the broadcast media. 

The accusations that the teenagers were influenced by the proliferation of spiritualists on national television drew the ire of the Chairman of the National Media Commission (NMC), Mr. Boadu-Ayeboafo. Defending his commission against the widespread accusation of dereliction of duty, the NMC boss fumed: “To put it on a charge sheet that this is the reason why they did that, I think that this is a very lazy investigation.” 

Although the NMC’s Chairman admitted the importance of the Commission’s role in safeguarding content in the broadcasting space, he was adamant that: “the NMC will remain a paper tiger as long as the Broadcasting Bill remains unpassed.” 

The question Mr. Boadu-Ayeboafo failed to answer is why he and his 15 or so “paper tigers” in the NMC continue to receive allowances and other perks from the state whilst they nothing to regulate the abysmal content Ghanaians are forced to consume on their airwaves. 

An African adage says that the way we laid our beds is exactly the way we will sleep on them. 

Many religions affirmed that we shall reap exactly what we sow. 

From whichever angle it is considered, the Kasoa ritual killing is a tragedy of epic, even staggering, proportions! 

A classical example of societal FAILURE! At all levels!!! 

Children should be in schools or at vocational centers to learn a trade, not plotting to kill and get money quickly. 

Society is in serious trouble when eighteen years old children have nothing on their minds except instant, unearned wealth. 

Rather than throwing up hands in lamentations, the question should be asked: What exactly was expected when licenses were granted to people to set up television stations with absolutely no clear guidance on content? 

Fẹmi Akọmọlafẹ is a writer and author

Source: Ghana: Reaping the whirlwind

More articles – click on title to access the article (if still available on internet):

I would have killed all my family members if I was into sakawa – Guru
Published by: Ghana Web – April 17, 2021

APRIL 16, 2021:

Kasoa murder is a warning for us to be vigilant at all levels – Chief Imam
Published by: Ghana Web – April 16, 2021

Gyan-Apenteng wants Broadcasting Bill passed
Published by: Graphic Online, Rebecca Quaicoe Duho – April 16, 2021

Nana Kwasi Gyan-Apenteng noted that the recent Kasoa ritual murder had thrown the spotlight on the NMC in the media space and called for a national discourse on the way forward. He said something good must come out of the Kasoa incident, with regard to how to regulate the media space.

APRIL 15, 2021:

Source: Chief Imam condemns Kasoa ritual murder
Published by: Modern Ghana – April 15, 2021

National Chief Imam, Sheikh Osman Nuhu Sharubutu

Ritual Murders: Public officials must also be responsible
Published by: Ghana News – A GNA Feature by Eric K. Amoh

Kasoa murder is a warning for us to be vigilant at all levels – Chief Imam
Published by: My Joy Online, GNA – April 15, 2021

#SayItLoud: How to curb fast money craze among the youth? – Kasoa residents speak
Published by: Ghana Web – April 15, 2021

APRIL 14, 2021:.

Kasoa ritual murder: Mahama consoles victim’s mother
Published by: Ghana Web – April 14, 2021

ASEPA writes: The Kasoa ritual murder, Kasoa has been a ticking time bomb for years!!!
Published by: Modern Ghana, King Amoha – April 14, 2021

Ritual Killings; media, regulatory agencies blameable!
Modern Ghana, Tahiri Lukman – April 14, 2021

Kasoa murder victim, Ishmael Abdallah

Kasoa Ritual Killing: Mallams Are Not Spiritualist, Don’t Confuse The Two- Baba Jamal Charges Media
Published by: Peace fm online,Ghana – April 14, 2021

The blood of 10-year-old ritual killing victim will speak – Seer warns
Published by: Ghana Web – April 14, 2021

OneGod, Ghanaian spiritualist

Government is being lazy with its tax approach – Minority leader
Published by: Modern Ghana, Richard Abayeta Abugre – April 14, 2021

Kasoa boy’s murder demands national soul-searching – Prof Naana Opoku-Agyemang
Published by: My Joy Online, Ghana – April 14, 2021

APRIL 13, 2021:

Kasoa Murder – The media sector reform that is long overdue
Published by: My Joy Online, Kwaku Krobea Asante – April 13, 2021

Kasoa ritual murder would’ve happened under NDC; don’t blame Akufo-Addo – S N Mensah to Asiedu Nketia
Published by: Ghana Web – April 13, 2021

Source: Kasoa ritual murder would’ve happened under NDC; don’t blame Akufo-Addo – Bishop S N Mensah to Asiedu Nketia
Published by: Modern Ghana – April 13, 2021

APRIL 12, 2021:

Africa/Ghana – “Ritual killings are a threat to national security” denounce the Bishops
Published by: Agenzia Fidez – April 12, 2021

Kasoa ritual killing: Duty bearers must act to change the image, narrative of Kasoa – Deceased family spokesperson
Published by: Modern Ghana, Kwame Kwakye – April 12, 2021

Krachi Youth Association Demands Justice For Murdered 10-Year-Old Boy At Kasoa 
Published by: Peace fm Online, Ghana – April 12, 2021

You can’t be idle and expect money to flow in your life – Gyakie advises the youth
Ghana Web – April 12, 2021

Ghanaians always glorify ill-gotten wealth – Peter Toobu
Published by: Modern Ghana – April 12, 2021

APRIL 11, 2021:

Nepotism and unbridled greed are the root causes of the recent rampant killings and suicides in the country
Published by: Modern Ghana, Daniel Yiadom Boakye – April 11, 2021 

‘We Can’t Do Anything About Juju and Money Doubling On TV’ – NMC says
Published by: GH Base, Kpakpo – April 11, 2021  

Lucifer advises youth against ritual money
Published by: Ghana Web – April 11, 2021

Kasoa ritual killing: Nobody wants to be poor, time to redefine our values – Oppong Nkrumah
Published by: Ghana Web – April 11, 2021

Rev Obofour advises the youth after Kasoa ritual murder 
Published by: GH Page – April 11, 2021

Social media users attack Akufo-Addo for mourning Prince Philip while silent on Kasoa boy’s murder
Published by: Ghana Web – April 11, 2021

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo

APRIL 10, 2021:

“You didn’t speak on the Kasoa Ritual Killing but you are quick to send tribute to Prince Philip” – Ghanaians harshly criticize Akufo-Addo
Published by: GH Base, Journalist Albert – April 10, 2021

Ghanaians Descend On President Nana Addo Over His Silence On the Kasoa Murder But Sent A Tribute To Prince Philip
Published by: GH Gossip, Charles Kofi Amoaku – April 10, 2021

Ritual Killing: ‘Juju’ Woman Reveals What Teenagers Wanted From Her…
Published by: Peace fm Online – April 10, 2021

Charity Mensah, the traditional priestess (Juju) who was arrested in connection with the murder of 11-year-old Ishmael Mensah has revealed that the two teenagers currently in police grips for their alleged involvement in the ritual killing contacted her on phone to be perpetually rich. She said the two boys, who were only in touch with her via phone, requested for the “pocket no dry” charm.

Charity Mensah, made this known during police interrogation after her arrest earlier this week. She was arrested alongside her errand boy, Desmond Nii Adjei, at Amanase near Suhum in the Eastern Region.

Citi News’ Anass Seidu said during interrogation, she did not say whether she demanded a human body for the alleged rituals.

“What they [teenagers] wanted was “pocket no dry” charm so that they will never lack money in their lives. According to information we picked up from the interrogations, she [priestess] told the boys that she could do it for them. There have been several phone interactions between one of the boys and the traditional priestess and the police have in their possession phone records of their conversations.”

“She is yet to confirm to the police that she directed them to bring human parts or a human being for the ritual,” Anass Seidu said.

The two teenagers still in police custody over the killing–Felix Nyarko and Nicholas Kini –have also alleged that the priestess was aware of the killing and went ahead to instruct them to bury the body of the deceased.

During interrogations, they said the priestess assured them that she will visit the place later at night with some aides to collect the body of the deceased for the ritual.

Charity Mensah is yet to confirm or deny that allegation.

Meanwhile, the priestess said to be a Beninois and a 2-week-old nursing mother has been granted bail.

Her Ghanaian husband and herbalist is reported to have fled with their baby.

But for the timely intervention of the Police in Suhum, residents of Amanase would have burnt down a shrine believed to be for Charity Mensah. 

Angry residents led by the regent of Amanase gathered at the shrine on Friday morning in protest ready to damage the shrine.

This was their way of expressing their anger at the priestesses who they say has tarnished the image of the community after she was arrested on Wednesday in connection with the suspected ritual killing last week.

The regent of Amanase, Osabarima Obengfo Addo Agyekum, issued a three-day ultimatum to the Inspector General of Police and the police service to furnish them with updates of the arrest made.

“It is only now that we’ve understood the gravity of their activities to the extent of taking a life in the name of giving money to the youth for that matter.”

The 11-year-old boy, Ishmael Mensah, was buried yesterday, April 8, 2021, after he was allegedly killed by his two teenage friends at Atia Coca Cola in the Ga South Municipality.

The two teenagers, Felix Nyarko and Nicholas Kini, were earlier arrested by the Kasoa Divisional Police Command following the killing.

Earlier reports suggested that the incident occurred at Kasoa, but local authorities clarified that the area is located within Bortionor Ngleshie Amanfro in the Ga South municipality.

More articles:

Source: Kasoa murder: Fetish priestess, another arrested
Published by: Ghana Business – April 10, 2021

The Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service has arrested two more persons including a fetish priestess for their alleged involvement in the murder of an eleven year old boy for ritual purposes.

Charity Mensah, the fetish priestess and Desmond Nii Adjei, were arrested on Thursday, April 8, 2021, at Amanase near Suhum in the Eastern Region.

Felix Nyarko, 16, and Nicholas Kini, 18, were earlier arrested in the murder of the boy for ritual money.

Nyarko and Kini upon their arrest told police that a spiritualist they saw on television directed them to get a virgin’s dead body in addition to GHC5,000.00 for the money rituals.

The police said the teenagers, who lived in the same community with the deceased, lured him from his home to a nearby uncompleted building where Kini, allegedly hit the back of his neck with a wooden handle of pickaxe.

The police said Nyarko also allegedly hit the victim with a cement block, killing him instantly.

The two were arrested and remanded by the Ofankor District Court to come back to court on April 20, 2021.

DSP Juliana Obeng, PRO of the CID confirmed to the media.

More articles:

Prof. Gyampo On Why The Teen Killers Should Not Be Blamed…
Published by: Peace fm Online – April 10, 2021

Source: “There’s nothing like spiritual money-doubling, anybody who promises that is fraudster” – Kwaku Bonsam exposes fake spiritualists
Published by: GH Base, Journalist Albert – April 10, 2021

APRIL 9, 2021:

Kasoa ritual killing: Teenagers contacted me for ‘pocket no dry’ charm – Priestess reveals
Published by: Modern Ghana – April 9, 2021

Charity Mensah, the traditional priestess who was arrested in connection with the murder of 11-year-old Ishmael Mensah has revealed that the two teenagers currently in police custody for their alleged involvement in ritual killing contacted her on phone to be perpetually rich.

She said the two boys, who were only in touch with her via phone, requested for “pocket no dry” charm. 

Charity Mensah, made this known during police interrogation after her arrest earlier this week. 

She was arrested alongside her errand boy, Desmond Nii Adjei, at Amanase near Suhum in the Eastern Region. 

Citi News’ Anass Seidu said during interrogation, she did not say whether she demanded a human body for the alleged rituals. 

“What they [teenagers] wanted was “pocket no dry” charm so that they will never lack money in their lives. According to information we [Citi News] picked up from the interrogations, she [priestess] told the boys that she could do it for them. There have been several phone interactions between one of the boys and the traditional priestess and the police have in their possession phone records of their conversations.” 

“She is yet to confirm to the police that she directed them to bring human parts or a human being for the ritual,” Anass Seidu said. 

The two teenagers still in police custody over the killing –Felix Nyarko and Nicholas Kini –have also alleged that the priestess was aware of the killing and went ahead to instruct them to bury the body of the deceased. 

During interrogations, they said the priestess assured them that she will visit the place later at night with some aides to collect the body of the deceased for the ritual. 

Charity Mensah is yet to confirm or deny that allegation. 

Meanwhile, the priestess said to be a Beninois and a 2-week-old nursing mother has been granted bail. 

Her Ghanaian husband and herbalist is reported to have fled with their baby. 

Priestess’ shrine nearly razed

But for the timely intervention of the Police in Suhum, residents of Amanase would have burnt down a shrine believed to be for Charity Mensah. 

Angry residents led by the regent of Amanase gathered at the shrine on Friday morning in protest ready to damage the shrine. 

This was their way of expressing their anger at the priestesses who they say has tarnished the image of the community after she was arrested on Wednesday in connection with the suspected ritual killing last week. 

The regent of Amanase, Osabarima Obengfo Addo Agyekum, issued a three-day ultimatum to the Inspector General of Police and the police service to furnish them with updates of the arrest made. 

“It is only now that we’ve understood the gravity of their activities to the extent of taking a life in the name of giving money to the youth for that matter.” 

The 11-year-old boy, Ishmael Mensah, was buried yesterday, April 8, 2021, after he was allegedly killed by his two teenage friends at Atia Coca Cola in the Ga South Municipality. 

The two teenagers, Felix Nyarko and Nicholas Kini, were earlier arrested by the Kasoa Divisional Police Command following the killing. 

Earlier reports suggested that the incident occurred at Kasoa, but local authorities clarified that the area is located within Bortionor Ngleshie Amanfro in the Ga South municipality.

More articles:

Kasoa ritual murder: Juju woman to face court today
Published by: Modern Ghana – April 9, 2021

Kasoa ritual murder: Amanase residents attempt burning juju woman’s shrine
Published by: Ghana Web – April 9, 2021

The angry residents stormed the shrine on Friday morning

Kasoa ritual killing: Police stop Amanase residents form burning shrine of arrested priestess
Published. by: Modern Ghana – April 9, 2021

Kasoa ritual murder: This is a moment of national reflection on our value system – Oppong-Nkrumah
Published by: Ghana Web – April 9, 2021

Be circumspect in your reportage on crime in Kasoa – Media urged
Published by: Modern Ghana – April 9, 2021

Kasoa Ritual Killing: Blame parents first – Ras Mubarak
Published by: Ghana Web – April 9, 2021

Kasoa ritual killing: traditional priestess granted bail
Published by: Modern Ghana – April 9, 2021

Ms Charity Mensah, a traditional priestess who was arrested in connection with a recent alleged ritual killing that has received widespread condemnation has been granted bail.

The suspect was arrested alongside her errand boy, Desmond Nii Adjei, at Amanase near Suhum in the Eastern Region on April 7, 2021. 

Charity Mensah was granted bail due to her condition as a nursing mother. 

She is expected to regularly present herself to the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) to assist in investigations. 

During interrogations, it emerged that she was in touch with one of the two teenagers arrested by the Kasoa Police last Saturday. 

Citi News’ Anass Seidu said although the priestess and the teenagers had never physically met, she recalls that they had contacted her to get a charm that will make them perpetually rich. 

It is unclear whether she gave the directive for someone to be killed as a ritual to make the charm possible but the teenage suspects alleged that she gave them the express instruction and even assured them that she would come with her aides to exhume the body of the deceased later that night after they had killed him for the ritual. 

Police are still investigating the matter and say the traditional priestess will soon be arraigned. ‘Ritual killing’

Two teenagers, Felix Nyarko and Nicholas Kini were earlier arrested by the Kasoa Divisional Police Command for allegedly killing 11-year-old Ishmael Mensah at Atia Coca Cola in the Ga South municipality. 

Some eyewitnesses said the suspects allegedly lured the deceased, known as Ishmael Mensah by his peers, into an uncompleted building and smashed his head with a club and cement blocks killing him instantly. 

They subsequently buried him in the building.

Police say the suspects planned to recover the body at midnight for the supposed rituals. 

The two suspects were remanded to police custody on their first appearance in court on April 6, 2021. 

They are to reappear in court on April 20, 2021.

More articles:

Government must treat ‘quick money’ ritual as a national security threat – Ghana Catholic Bishops 
Published by: My Joy Online, Arna Cromwell – April 9, 2021

The Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference (GCBC) has raised concern about the steady increase of some persons killing for ‘quick money’ rituals in the country.

The GCBC in a statement on Thursday called on government to treat the matter as a national security threat.

This comes after two teenage boys were remanded into police custody for allegedly killing a 10-year-old.

The suspects, Felix Nyarko, 16, and Nicholas Kini, 18, are alleged to have gruesomely murdered Ishmael Mensah Abdallah with the intention of using his body parts for rituals.

Thus, speaking on Joy FM’s Newsnite Thursday, GCBC’s Vice President Archbishop Philip Naameh who was of the view that the media played a role in influencing the teenagers said content of the media must be censored.

According to the Most Reverend Father Naameh, the adolescents must not be exposed to certain information at their age since it only heightens their curiosity.

“We need to protect our youth from certain things. So some of what the media carries out there should be censored for the youth. Because if things like ‘how people can come by quick money’ is put out there they would want to experiment it.

“And this means we have not taken enough precaution to evaluate what we are feeding to the minds of our young people [to a level that] they think about the possibility of killing someone in order to come by wealth is wrong,” he said.

Indicating what could be done to resolve this ‘national security threat’, the Archbishop called for the evaluation of religious leaders in the country.

He stated certain information by the ministers whether; Christain, Islamic or traditionalists can influence the youth into committing crimes.

“Religious ministers, whether they are Islamic, Christian or any other religion especially these days when people are declaring themselves to have a certain rank within the line of the religious Association.

“All that should be looked into, we cannot just throw anything out in the air and expert that our youth will not want to follow up on that,” he stressed.

Meanwhile, the Director of the Faculty of Academic Affairs and Research at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) says the Kasoa murder incident involving two teenagers goes beyond being a national security threat.

In his view, Ghana as a country needs to redefine its values, principles and ethics to prevent a reoccurrence of the act.

APRIL 8, 2021:

Boy killed in Kasoa ritual murder buried
Published by: My Joy Online, Kenneth Awotwe Darko – April 8, 2021

Screenshot. To watch the video ‘What really happened at the burial of the 10-year boy at Kasoa will shock you’ click here

Stop exposing faces of teenage murder suspects – Child Rights International to media
Published by: Modern Ghana – April 8, 2021

Child Rights International has issued a caution against the exposure of details and images of the teenagers alleged to have killed and buried a 10-year-old at Lamptey Mills, a suburb of Kasoa in the Central Region.

The organization in a reminder said such actions are against the sections of the Juvenile Justice Act that protects the rights of juvenile offenders. 

While expressing regret over the incident, Child Rights International said publications that expose the image and identity of the deceased and the suspects are unethical and does not protect their privacy and dignity. 

“Teenagers and victims are being displayed on various media platforms and this is against the Juvenile Justice Act. It is the duty of the media to treat this issue with all seriousness, considering the teenagers involved. Although some people may not see anything wrong, it is not lawful to publicly parade and expose the identity and pictures of the two teenagers,” it said in a statement.

Child Rights International thus urged the public to be circumspect in dealing with the issue and allow the law to take its course without further exposing the teenage suspects to potential danger. 

Read the full statement below:

Child Rights International has expressed dismay in the murder of a 10-year-old boy by two teenagers in Kasoa, a suburb of Central Region. The organisation, which is committed to the inherent dignity of every child, condemns the act and expresses its condolence to the family of the murdered boy. 

However, as a child-centred organisation, the reportage from the media is unethical and does not protect their privacy and dignity, the victim and the two suspects are teenagers and therefore must be protected and handled lawfully. 

Section 3 (2) & (3) of the Juvenile Justice Act states that: (2) A person shall not in the course of arrest, investigation or trial of an offence connected with a juvenile, or at any other stage of the cause or matter, release any information for publication that may lead to the identification of the juvenile. 

In (3); Any person who contravenes subsection (2) commits an offence and is liable on a summary conviction to a fine not exceeding 250 penalty units or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding 12 months or to both. 

In view of the above, the teenagers and victims are being displayed on various media platforms and this is against the Juvenile Justice Act. It is the duty of the media to treat this issue with all seriousness, considering the teenagers involved. Although some people may not see anything wrong, it is not lawful to publicly parade and expose the identity and pictures of the two teenagers. 

We understand the public is upset, judging how the two teenagers planned and carried out the act. Notwithstanding, we should try and protect their identity, bearing in mind that any public exposure of the teenagers could also put them in danger. 

We are, hereby, appealing to the media and relevant stakeholders to stop displaying the identity and pictures of the suspects. We entreat them to allow the law to take its course to avoid any potential danger to the two suspected teenagers. 

‘Ritual murder’

Citi News reported on Saturday that two teenagers, Felix Nyarko and Nicholas Kini had been arrested by the Kasoa Divisional Police Command for allegedly killing an 11-year-old boy supposedly for money rituals at Lamptey Mills, a suburb of Kasoa. 

Some eyewitnesses said the suspects allegedly lured the deceased, known as Ishmael Mensah by his peers, into an uncompleted building and smashed his head with a club and cement blocks killing him instantly. 

They subsequently buried him in the building.

Police said the suspects planned to recover the body at midnight for the supposed rituals. 

The two suspects were remanded in police custody on their first appearance in court on April 6, 2021. They are to reappear in court on April 20, 2021.

Media reportage on Kasoa ritual murder unethical – Child Rights International
Published by:

Another article focusing on the protection of the rights of children: 

Media reportage on Kasoa ritual murder unethical – Child Rights International
Published by: Modern Ghana, Richard Abayeta Abugre – April 8, 2021

Child Rights International (CRI) has lashed out at the media over what it describes as “unethical” reportage on the teenagers that allegedly killed and buried a 10-year-old at Lamptey Mills in Kasoa of the Central Region.

According to CRI, the media exposure of the details and images of the teenagers is a violation of the Juvenile Justice Act which protects the rights of juvenile offenders. 

The organisation insists that “as a child-centred organisation, the reportage from the media is unethical and does not protect their privacy and dignity, the victim and the two suspects are teenagers and therefore must be protected and handled lawfully.” 

Backing its position on the law, the organisation cites Section 3 (2) and (3) of the Juvenile Justice Act which states that; 

(2) A person shall not in the course of arrest, investigation or trial of an offence connected with a juvenile, or at any other stage of the cause or matter, release any information for publication that may lead to the identification of the juvenile. 

(3) Any person who contravenes subsection (2) commits an offence and is liable on a summary conviction to a fine not exceeding 250 penalty units or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding 12 months or to both. 

Though the organisation acknowledges the public is upset over the matter but displaying their identity on the media is against their privacy and dignity. They are therefore calling on the media to exercise discretion on the matter that has the potential to put the teenagers in danger. 

“In view of the above, the teenagers and victims are being displayed on various media platforms and this is against the Juvenile Justice Act. It is the duty of the media to treat this issue with all seriousness, considering the teenagers involved. Although some people may not see anything wrong, it is not lawful to publicly parade and expose the identity and pictures of the two teenagers. 

“We understand the public is upset, judging how the two teenagers planned and carried out the act. Notwithstanding, we should try and protect their identity, bearing in mind that any public exposure of the teenagers could also put them in danger”, the organisation adds.

More articles:

Kasoa ‘Money Ritual’ Murder: Monitor The Behaviour Of Your Children. – Dr. Benjamin Otchere-Ankrah Advises Parents
Published by: Peace fm Online – April 8, 2021

Kasoa ‘ritual’ murder: Poor parenting, negligence major cause – Adib Saani
Published by: Pulse, Ghana – April 8, 2021

Kasoa Ritual Killing: We must teach our children that hard work pays – Adwoa Safo
Published by: GH Base, Nana Yaw – April 8, 2021

Kasoa ritual murder: Gender Ministry to absorb accused into Juvenile Correctional Centres
Published by: Modern Ghana – April 8, 2021

Kasoa Money Ritual Murder: BoG Has A Responsibility To Stop Money Doublers – Sam Pyne
Published by: Peace fm Online – April 8, 2021

Kasoa ritual Murder: Police Counselling Unit interacts with deceased family
Published by: Modern Ghana – April 8, 2021

Kasoa ritual murder: Female spiritualist arrested
Published by: Modern Ghana – April 8, 2021

Investigations must be swift – Kabila on Kasoa ‘money ritual’ murder
Published by: Ghana Web – April 8, 2021

Kasoa ritual murder: ‘A so-called Christian nation!’ – Apaak blames NMC, NCA
Published by: Ghana Web – April 8, 2021

Kasoa ritual killing: Citi FM/Citi TV boss calls for stiffer regulation of media space
Published by: Modern Ghana – April 8, 2021

Kasoa ritual killing smacks of poor economic condition in Ghana – Ashaiman MP to Akufo-Addo
Published by: GH Gossip, Juno Jonson – April 8, 2021

Kasoa ritual killing smacks of poor economic condition in Ghana – Ashaiman MP to Akufo-Addo
Includes his full statement: Campaign against money ritual adverts on our TV station
Published by: Ghana Web – April 8, 2021

Kasoa Ritual Killing: My Grandson Is A Thief, He Once Stole $10,000 From His Employer And Got Arrested – Grandfather Reveals
Published by: GH Gossip, Juno Jonson – April 8, 2021

Don’t let money make you accept money ritual ads – GPCC to media
The Ghana Pentecostal and Charismatic Council (GPCC), in a statement issued on behalf of the National Executive Council by General Secretary Rev. Emmanuel Teimah Barrigah, has said it learnt with “great shock, the gruesome murder” of a ten-year-old boy by two teenagers for ritual purposes at Kasoa.
Published by: Modern Ghana – April 8, 2021

Kasoa killing: What Kufuor forgot on ‘giving too much exposure to fraudulent people?
Published by: Ghana Web – April 8, 2021

Kasoa ritual murder: ‘Very poor dilapidated mallams’ advertise riches on TV – Ransford Gyampo jabs
Published by: Ghana Web – April 8, 2021

Murdered boy in Kasoa ritual killing to be buried on Thursday
Published by: My Joy Online – April 8, 2021

Kasoa Murder: Ghana police arrest witch doctor wey direct two teenagers to kill virgin for ritual money
Published by: BBC – April 8, 2021

APRIL 7, 2021:

Liberal Party of Ghana petitions IGP against ‘money ritualists’
Published by: Ghana Web – April 7, 2021

Fetish priestess arrested in connection with Kasoa boy killing
Published by: Graphic Online, Shirley Asiedu-Addo – April 7, 2021

Poverty is The Reason’- Lydia Forson On Ritual Killing
Published by: GH Gossip, GABS – April 7, 2021

It’s a lazy investigation to blame Kasoa ritual murder on TV spiritualists – NMC Chairman
Published by: Ghana Web – April 7, 2021

GJA vows to sanction ‘bad’ media houses flouting ethics of journalism
Published by: Modern Ghana – April 7, 2021

Kasoa ritual murder: NMC calls for stricter regulation of media
Published by: Modern Ghana – April 7, 2021

Kasoa ritual killings: Politicians accessories to such crimes – Clement Apaak
Published by: Ghana Web – April 7, 2021

Kasoa ritual murder: The NMC & NCA should take the blame – Clement Apaak
Published by: Ghana Web – April 7, 2021

Ritual Murder: Media must stop giving platforms to fraudulent people – Kufuor
Published by: Pulse, Ghana, Emmanuel Ayamga – April 7, 2021

Kasoa ritual murder: Stop giving exposure to fraudsters – Kufuor tells media houses
Published by: Ghana Web – April 7, 2021

Kasoa ritual murder: NMC calls for stricter regulation of media
Published by: Modern Ghana – April 7, 2021

It’s a lazy investigation to blame Kasoa ritual murder on TV spiritualists – NMC Chairman
Published by: Ghana Web – April 7, 2021

Blaming spiritualists on TV for Kasoa ritual murder is lazy approach – NMC Chairman
Published by: Pulse, Ghana, Emmanuel Ayamga – April 7, 2021

Kasoa ritual murder: ‘We need a cultural revolution’ – Prof Kofi Agyekum asserts
Published by: Ghana Web – April 7, ffrey Mensah2021

Kasoa Ritual Murder: Photo Of 10-Year-Old Killed By Sakawa Boys Pops Up; Massive Tears Flow
Published by: Yen, Jeffrey Mensah – April 7, 2021

We must teach our children that hardwork pays – Adwoa Safo on murder of 10-year-old for money … 
Published by: My Joy Online –  April 7, 2021

Kasoa murder: My brother was also killed for money rituals – Comedian Waris
Published by: Ghana Web – April 7, 2021

Kasoa murder: My brother was also killed for money rituals – Comedian Waris
Published by: Ghana Web – April 7, 2021

My brother was a victim of ‘sakawa’ killing – Waris cries in video as he speaks about Kasoa case
Published by: Yen, Edwin Lampley – April 7, 2021

Myjoyonline.com
Teenagers who allegedly killed 10-year-old for rituals remanded into police custody · I was haunted by my wife’s ghost to confess killing her – Suspect … April 7 2021

Myjoyonline.com
It is with deep sadness that I learnt of the death of a 10-year-old boy at Kasoa who was allegedly brutally murdered for ritual purposes. My heartfelt … April 7, 2021

APRIL 6, 2021:

Kasoa: I will take the law into my hands if justice is delayed – Father of murdered 10-year-old boy
Published by: Yen, Ghana – April 6, 2021

We Must Question How Under-40 Politicians Got Cantonments, Airport, E. Legon Mansions…
Published by: Peace fm Online – April 6, 2021

Alleged ritual murder of teenager: GPA urges introduction of mental health education in pre-tertiary institutions
Published by: Ghana Web – April 6, 2021

Kasoa Killing: Court To Determine Fate Of Kasoa Teenage Killers Today
Publisged by: GH Gossip, Ghana, Kello – April 6, 2021

Expedite probes into alleged ritual killing – Adwoa Safo to police
Published by: Modern Ghana – April 6, 2021

Stop Blaming ‘Religion’; This Is ‘Bare-Faced Crime’ – Kwesi Pratt On 10-Year Old Pupil’s Murder At Kasoa
Published by: Peace fm Online, Ghana _ April 6, 2021

Age is a determinant factor in the alleged Kasoa ‘ritual murder’ – Bright Appiah
Published by: Ghana Web – April 6, 2021

Court remands Kasoa teenage ‘ritual money’ murder suspects
Published by: Graphic Online, Ghana, Emmanuel Bonney – April 6, 2021 

Kasoa murder: Ghana police charge teenagers wey kill 11 year-old boy after dem see ‘mallam’ advert on TV to court
Published by: BBC – April 6, 2021

Kasoa teen ‘killers’ got idea from TV ritualists; first planned kidnapping boy for GH¢5K ransom – Police
Published by: Ghana Web – April 6, 2021

Bright Appiah proposes better regulation in media to prevent ritual murder
Published by; Modern Ghana – April 6, 2021

Teenage Killers Saga: The NMC & NCA Should Take The Blame – Apaak
Published by: Peace fm Online, Ghana – April 6, 2021

TV content responsible for Kasoa ritual killing – Socrate Safo
Published by: Ghana Web – April 6, 2021

Stop Money Rituals On TV Now – Ghanaians campaign
Published by: GH Base, Ghana, Journalist Albert – April 6, 2021

‘Our society is sick’ – Kwesi Pratt fumes over Kasoa killing
Published by: Ghana Web – April 6, 2021

Kasoa ritual murder: Teenagers were self-motivated by watching spiritualist on TV – Police
Published by: Modern Ghana – April 6, 2021

Kasoa Ritual Killing: Teenagers were lured and deceived by ritualist on TV – Police provide exclusive information in court
Published by: GH Base, Ghana, Journalist Albert – April 5, 2021

The police prosecutor in the Kasoa ritual killing case says the two suspects who allegedly killed 10-year-old Ishmael Mensah were lured and deceived after watching a spiritualist on TV.

According to the facts of the case presented by the prosecutor, Inspector Japhet Agyeman, one of the suspects, Felix Nyarko, was moved by the claims of a spiritualist he watched on television on how he could make people instant millionaires.

He discussed it with his friend, Nicholas Kini, the second suspect, who said he also knows another spiritualist in the Volta Region who could help them.

After contacting the spiritualist, they were instructed to provide a human being and an amount of GH¢ 5,000 for rituals to be performed to make them rich.

APRIL 5, 2021:

Kasoa ritual killing: Poverty is the root cause – Bishop Salifu Amoako
Published by: Ghana Web – April 5, 2021

Manasseh Azure names ‘accomplices’ of Kasoa teenage murderers
Published by: Ghana Web – April 5, 2021

“Protect us, we are living in fear” – Kasoa residents cry to police
Published by: Pulse Ghana, Andreas Kamasah – April 5, 2021 

‘Blame Pastors Too’- Da Hammer On Ritual Killings
Published by: GH Gossip, Gabs – April 5, 2021

Blame social media influence for Kasoa teenagers’ gruesome murder of 10-year-old for money rituals – Da Hammer
Published by: GH Base, Ghana, Nana Yaw – April 5, 2021

Kasoa Sakawa Murder: Father of one of the arrested boys speaks (video)
Published by: GH Page, Ghana, Nazir Hamzah – April 5, 2021

April 4, 2021:

Ritual killing by Kasoa teenagers reflects Ghanaians’ glorification of unexplained wealth – Kwaku Azar
Published by: Ghana Web – April 4, 2021

Source: Police arrest 2 teenagers over an alleged ritual killing at Kasoa
Published by: Pulse Ghana – April 4, 2021

Two Kasoa teenagers arrested for murdering a 10-year-old, severing ear for rituals
Published by: Ghana Web – April 4, 2021

Kasoa: Two teenagers arrested over alleged ritual murder of 10-year-old
Published by: Modern Ghana – April 4, 2021

Kasoa Murder: How Ghana teenagers allegedly kill 11 year old boy wit cement block, bury am for evening rituals
Published by: BBC – April 4, 2021




Boy sacrificed by shaman in Uganda where child sacrifice is big business

In Uganda ritual murder of children is rampant and in many cases witchdoctors are involved in these cruel crimes. It is shocking to read that with an estimated 3 million traditional ‘healers’ or witchdoctors, hundreds of Ugandan children are kidnapped and murdered for ritualistic purposes. Human sacrifice is a thriving business (see below).

The good news is that also in Uganda there are people fighting against these medieval practices, based on superstition, ignorance and facilitated by the lack of rule of law in this country where President Museveni clings desperately to power. He rules increasingly with an iron fist, after initially being welcomed as a liberator, in the 1980s. Respect for human rights in Uganda is a mockery as long as barbaric practices such as human sacrifices continue to exist.

Warning: the following articles contain graphic details of gruesome practices and crimes (webmaster FVDK).

Boy Sacrificed by Muslim Shaman in Uganda Where Child Sacrifice Is Big Business

A Ugandan police officer holds a “No Child Sacrifice sign.” (Image credit: CBN News)

Published: September 30, 2020
By: CBN News – Steve Warren – George Thomas         

A disturbing report out of Uganda is the latest confirmation of an evil practice that CBN News first reported about years ago.

A 13-year-old Christian girl and her 11-year-old brother were reportedly abducted by a radical Muslim woman two years ago and sold to a witchdoctor for ritual sacrifice. 

Morning Star News (MSN) reports Sulaiman Pulisi, a former imam who became a Christian three years ago, said in July 2018 his daughter, then 13, and his then-11-year-old son, Abdulmajidu, disappeared from their home in eastern Uganda’s Kachiribong village, Kasasira Town in Kibuku District. 

Local police rescued Pulisi’s daughter from a house owned by a Muslim witchdoctor or shaman named Isifu Abdullah’s on Sept. 16.

“We are mourning for our son who is alleged to have been sacrificed,” Pulisi told Morning Star. “We are mourning with my daughter, who has been used as a sex object by the Muslim shaman.”

Law enforcement authorities later discovered Sania Muhammad, a Muslim woman living in Kasasira located in eastern Uganda, and two others had sold the two children to the witchdoctor in reprisal for their father’s conversion to Christianity. 

Police believe Abdullah offers human sacrifices as part of his witchcraft activities, according to MSN.  Both the witchdoctor and the woman were arrested in the boy’s disappearance and are awaiting charges. 

There are an estimated 3 million traditional “healers,” or witchdoctors, in Uganda. As CBN News has reported, hundreds of Ugandan children are kidnapped and murdered as part of a thriving human sacrifice business.

CBN News Goes Undercover to Search for Child Killers

In 2017, CBN News Sr. International Correspondent George Thomas joined undercover detectives, armed police, and a pastor hunting for a witch doctor accused of kidnapping and killing children.

Pastor Peter Sewakiryanga leads the search. He runs Kyampisi Childcare Ministries, a Christian effort to stamp out child sacrifice in Uganda.  He describes the witch doctors’ brutal ritual.

“When they get the child, most times they cut the neck, they take the blood out, they take the tissue, they cut the genitals or any other body organs that they wish that the spirits want.”

Pastor Peter says these gruesome crimes happen almost every month.

“The problem is increasing and many children are killed, and there are very few actually that survive, most of them die.”

Child sacrifice in Uganda is such a serious and widespread problem that the government has even set up an anti-child sacrifice and human trafficking task force. (italics added by the webmaster).

Superstition and Money

Mike Chibita is Uganda’s top law enforcement official, the equivalent of America’s Attorney General. He says superstition and the desire to get rich quick contribute to high child sacrifice rates in his country.

“The connection is that these witch doctors come and tell people who want to get rich that in order to get rich you need to sacrifice human blood,” said Chibita, who serves as Uganda’s director of public prosecutions.

Kyampisi Childcare Ministries is the only organization in the country providing long-term financial and medical care for survivors of child sacrifice attempts.

“We want to see that the life of a child who has survived is supported, that they are socially able to stand and heal from the injuries, and that they can have a life after that,” said Pastor Sewakiryanga.

He also works with Ugandan lawmakers like Komuhangi Margaret to help draft specific laws targeting perpetrators of child sacrifice.

“Every Ugandan must wake and say, ‘No to sacrificing our children’,” said Margaret. “Our children are the future of this country.”

Source: Boy Sacrificed by Muslim Shaman in Uganda Where Child Sacrifice Is Big Business

Zambia: the story of the ritual killings in Walale in the 1980s

The story below is a weird story, about a series of ritualistic murders which took place in and around a shebeen in Luanshya’s Twashuka, popularly known as Walale, in the 1980s (a shebeen is an illegal drinking place, a place where alcohol is being sold and served without a license). 

The article is brief. More can be read after registering as a subscriber. It is unknown whether additional information can easily be found on the internet. If that’s the case, I will keep you informed. It’s an intriguing story (webmaster FVDK).

Changing times reform Walale

Published: May 29, 2020
By: Zambia Daily Mail Limited –  Nkole Mulambia

WALALE, Luanshya’s little-known township, once gained recognition during the UNIP era for its notorious murders by a family that was allegedly killing people and burying them at their house.

In the early1980s, the story of the ritual killings in Walale spread far and wide and attracted the attention of the then President, Kenneth Kaunda, who visited the township.
In an interview, Twashuka councillor Mulenga Chakulya says the family in question was running a shebeen, and under the cover of darkness and loud music, they would waylay intoxicated patrons and strangle them.

As alcohol was being served at the shebeen under the ambience of traditional music by live drummers, some patrons would disappear and not be seen again by their relatives.
Mr Chakulya says it was believed that the family in question was killing their clients for juju purposes.

“They were arrested, tried in court and jailed. I am not sure just how long they were jailed,” Mr Chakulya narrates.

Walale, christened as Twashuka, is now a peaceful and generally crime-free township, located 15km from the Luanshya central business district.

To read more, you can access the original article after clicking on the link below (webmaster FVDK).

Source: Changing times reform Walale

Mali: Salif Keita retires, his Golden Voice falls silent

This tribute to Salif Keita is long overdue. I first met this great Malian musician in Ségou, a regional capital city in south-central Mali in the early 1980s. With a big band of more than 20 musicians, Salif Keita performed in the open air court of a second-rate hotel in the outskirts of this modest city. It was a hot, humid Saturday night in August, 1984. We were in the middle of the rainy season. I was struck by the versatility of his music: African, Caribbean, Latin American, jazzy. He captivated the audience, all music lovers from Mali. I was the only white person in the crowd. From that day on, I was a passionate fan of this allround musician and singer.

I was also very much impressed by Salif Keita’s modesty. Greeting ceremonies in Mali are complicated and lengthy. One day, in the late 1980s, I was standing next to the reception desk in the lobby of (then) one of Mali’s most luxurious hotels – Hotel de l’Amitié in Bamako, the country’s capital – waiting for an appointment who was late.  It was around 7:30 a.m. I saw Salif Keita stepping out of the elevator, walking towards the reception desk and greeting everyone behind the desk . When he was done he continued greeting the by-standers, including me. He took his time, he greeted everybody as if they were his brothers and sisters. Maybe they were, because in Mali many people are related – somehow, somewhere.  

The third time I came face to face with Salif Keita was at the Africa festival in Hertme, the Netherlands, in 2013. Salif had become a middle-aged gentleman in his sixties, slightly corpulent, but his music was as brilliant as ever!

Salif Keita’s star will continue to shine, also after this retirement.  As a person with albinism he has realized one of the most envied goals one can imagine. Millions have enjoyed his music – and still do. He is world famous. In the future he will continue to raise his voice against the discrimination of people living with albinism, against the murder and mutilation of innocent people, men, women, children, even babies who are being victimized because of their albinism.  His last public performance was at a free concert on November 17 in Fana, in Mali, dedicated to the memory of Ramata Diarra, a five-year-old girl with albinism who was brutally murdered then mutilated in a ritual killing in May of this year. It will certainly not be the last time we’ve heard of Salif Keita. His struggle is our struggle. A luta continua!
(webmaster FVDK)

Salif Keita retires, his Golden Voice falls silent

Published: November 24, 2018
By: Charles Onyango-Obbo

Malian afro-pop singer-songwriter Salif Keita. He is unique not only because of his reputation as the “Golden Voice of Africa” but because he has albinism and is a direct descendant of the founder of the Mali Empire, Sundiata Keita. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The great Malian musician Salif Keita, dubbed the “Golden Voice of Africa,” has announced his retirement from performing.

The 69-year-old Keita made the announcement after the release of, supposedly, the last album of his storied career. Titled Another White, it is a cry for the protection of people with albinism, a cause he has championed all his life.

Born into a local royal house, Keita was rejected by his family because of his albinism, considered either a sign of bad luck in many African cultures – or mysterious power, which drives the ritual killing of people with albinism.

In East Africa, Tanzania and Burundi are notoriously dangerous places to be a person with albinism.

Appropriately, Keita gave what could be his last major public performance at a free concert on November 17 in the town of Fana, in Mali, dedicated to the memory of Ramata Diarra, a five-year-old boy living with albinism who brutally murdered then mutilated in a ritual killing early in the year.

I am one of those Africans for whom Keita offered one of the defining sounds of our youthful years. There is something unique about Keita’s generation of musicians, along with other luminaries like Cameroonian saxophonist Manu Dibango, and Guinea’s Mory Kante, and on the more youthful end, Senegal’s Youssou N’dour, to name a few.

First, their music isn’t always overtly political, though it is. They sing in their native tongues, and draw heavily from folk imagery, local culture, history, and communal stories.

Probably as a result of that, they function like mediums, so bring a great ease to their art. It is almost annoying.

Some years ago, at an Africa arts festival in Copenhagen, over the course of a week I watched performances by Keita, N’dour, and Malian kora player Toumani Diabate one after another.

They mesmerised the crowds but Keita and Diabate especially barely broke a sweat. It was as if they could have still have pulled it off even if they were half asleep.

That was in stark contrast to watching the performances of Hugh Masekela or Fela Kuti, some of the most political musicians to have come out of Africa.

They laid into their music and its politics with incredible energy and fury that left you giddy with revolutionary spirit. Going to the street to protest oppression or the bush to join the rebellion, seemed to be the next logical step.

But it’s in that contrast that the music of Keita and others in his musical tribe reveals their relationship to the broader African liberation experience.

In the Cold War era, when music often ran into ideological walls, and the troubled 1970s and 1980s in Africa, Masekela and Kuti played to an internationalist solidarity crowd that had bought into the anti-apartheid and anti-imperialist movements, were angry at the World Order, and wanted to overthrow it.

People like Keita won over the fence-sitters, the ignorant, the soccer moms, and people of goodwill. They didn’t fit the stereotype of flame-throwing radicals, and thus lowered the cost of embracing progressive African causes in a polarised world.

Closer home, The Man, Congolese great Franco Luambo Makiadi, had a similar effortless genius.

One of the most accomplished musicians Africa will ever produce, on stage his massive figure seemed a strangely reluctant presence – until he opened his mouth and moved his guitar fingers.

Charles Onyango-Obbo is publisher of data visualiser Africapaedia and Rogue Chiefs. Twitter@cobbo3

Source: Salif Keita retires, his Golden Voice falls silent