British-Nigerian journalist and creative podcaster, Hannah Ajala, has admitted that she never had a clue about the magnitude of internet fraud in Ghana.
The seasoned podcaster and producer indicated that despite her knowledge of the subject, she never imagined the intensity of internet fraud in Ghana, a country she regards the most peaceful until she started working on her podcast project titled, “Love Janessa”.
In an exclusive interview with Brown Berry on Y 107.9 FM’s “Ryse n Shyne” speaking on her yet to be released podcast, she noted that internet fraud as a global phenomenon sparked her interest to produce the podcast. However, the term described in Ghana as “Sakawa” blew her mind.
“Sakawa is a very big word I only learnt of last year when I started working on this podcast. I mean the literal definition in Hausa is, ‘To Take but in Ghana it is a strong meaning,” she said.
“What really caught my attention with this is the emphasis on the word global. I’m a Nigerian so ‘Yahoo boy’, ‘419’s, we’ve heard about it but Ghana, so peaceful a place that I’ve come in and forth over the past 10 years and I recently learnt about this ‘Sakawa’ thing my mind was blown. I didn’t know this existed and didn’t know it’s a thing. Every Ghanaian that I asked about whether in the UK or anywhere, the second I say that word, there’s a bit of tension,” she added.
Reacting to the concept behind the concept, she furthered, “I wanted to look into the emphasis of this being a global whole problem, not just in the continent but has sort of trickled across the world. I’ve spoken to people in Europe, in the US and right here in Ghana where I conducted this really mind-blowing research about it. I think it’s really important that we share this podcast with people to educate, to learn and understand about how much of a really tricky thing catfishing is becoming a global thing.”
Hannah Ajala’s podcast on internet fraud, titled, “Love Janessa” is set to be out on January 23 and available to all podcasting platforms. The concept of “Love Janessa” hovers around stolen images of an adult entertainment star being used to con victims out of thousands of dollars, breaking hearts in the process.
Hence, Hannah Ajala embarks on a quest to find Janessa, in this 8-part true crime series and who is responsible for catfishing scams. The podcast is produced for the BBC World Service and CBC Podcasts by Antica Productions and Telltale Industries.
By: Jude Tackie