#Squeak: Fake UN Awards


I don’t blame the guy who created the fake Global Blueprint Excellence Awards that people scrambled for and used to boost their overbloated egos.

I remember the very year BusyGhana started 4G network in parts of Accra, they had not been on the market for even six months and they won 4G Provider of the Year at the then Ghana Telecoms Awards.

I was bambuzzled and flabagasted by it. I called the one man scheme owner, judge, jury and executioner and his reason was that he owes no one an explanation because the scheme is purely based on his opinion and not a panel decision or any scientific process.

Indeed, he said that there are many award schemes in the world like that, and it is up to the targetted recipients to accept or reject the awards. So you see, the guy found that people who have not achieved anything significant, other than doing their normal everyday jobs, even crave for awards for their mediocre performance – and he set up a one-man scheme to satisfy their insatiable crave.

The guy knew from day one that no matter how bogus the process of selecting awardees was, they will attend the event and receive the awards, make noise about in the media, and that is how the scheme will gain credibility. Simplicita.

The guy set out to feed on the shameless crave for an ego booster in undeserving people to gain his credibility, and he succeeded. Otherwise, how could a company that had just entered the 4G space less than half a year, win 4G company of the year? And guess what – almost immediately after BusyGhana got their award, they started going downhill.

Today, we don’t even hear of BusyGhana again. But the GTA has metamorphosed into Ghana Technology Awards and it still stands tall, why – because industry players still crave for the awards, and they need it for bragging rights. Privately, they always complain about the scheme and how sometimes awards are skewed in a particular direction in a particular year, but none of them has had the sense of decency, fortitude and magnanimity to say “I don’t want to be part of this…” (fill in the blanks).

Do I blame the scheme owner and organizer – initially, yes, but now, not at all. He found a niche in the crave for bragging rights and he has established what has now become an annual ritual that industry players will never miss for the world.

So what is different between that and the recent Global Blueprint Excellence Awards? The guy saw the insatiable crave, came up with carefully crafted categories – put a prestigious name on it – found money from only God knows where, to acquire the necessary elements – nominated the award-hungry people – invited them to a plush location and gave them the awards.

What happened next; they all did exactly what he had predicted – they went viral on social and traditional media to claim their bragging rights and put up their peacock postures, basking in the cheap and fraudulent glory. Then he went to a drinking bar and boasted hard about how he had bought everyone, and is now targeting the president.

I think we should applaud the man for his ingenuity rather than bashing him for creating a fake scheme. I think he has rather exposed the latent dumbness and unhealthy crave for recognition for any mediocre feat in our celebrities and intelligentsia. His strategy should become a subject for academic discourse, rather than just vilifying him as a scammer.

The people who deserve the bashing are the highly educated personalities and supposed celebrities who dressed up, went in there, collected the awards, then went viral on every channel flapping their wings and making noise about their no-achievement. Not to pick on anyone in particular, but if you just started a show for just two or three months (or even six months) and someone tells you, your show has been adjudged “BEST DEVELOPMENT SHOW IN AFRICA”. In fact, being named best development show in Ghana is even questionable. Every objective person would ask questions. But everyone, including academicians/researchers and journalists/broadcasters, who almost reserve a divine right and a DUTY to probe any and everything, got so cheaply swayed. Obviously, when it came to a scheme that promised to give them an ego booster, they completely and probably deliberately forgot their basic duty.

Need I remind us all of the not-too-long-ago “dis-honorary” doctorate degrees conferred on some Ghanaians across all sectors? They all went for them and started bragging before my friend Emmanuel K. Dogbevi exposed the fakeness of the awards before everyone started dissociating themselves from it. I am told a certain big musician did not even show up for his genuine awards at the recent VGMAs but he was fully available for this junk.

This recent incident is one too many. Let’s learn our lessons and focus on what is necessary. Probe any and every award scheme before we endorse them. The guy is an ingenius confident trickster, if there is any adjectival phrase like that. We should be humble and study him as a phenomenon and promise ourselves that never again.

As if my advice will be needed and this will be the last time learned people will be misled like this. As the crave for dishonorable awards is dead in us all of a sudden. Don’t be surprised if this happens again in less than a year, so long as people keep craving for recognition they do not deserve. There are more Dr. Kwame Owusu Fordjuors out the to feed our unhealthy crave.

No hard feelings. It could have been me.


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