Why are so many 20 year olds engaged in Sakawa (money rituals)?

Internet Fraud and Sakawa are not the same!

Yes, the above may not sound like news to a lot of you but apparently to a good number of people, the two are the same.

No they are not the same.

Internet fraud is simply that act of deceiving some bored, rich white people in Europe or the States or some part of the world that you are some pretty girl who wants love, or some hunk with six packs running away from some political nonsense or that you own gold mines and can produce more gold than Obuasi has ever seen – and then they believe you and send you some money. Sometimes you make a lot, other times you make little, and sometimes you make nothing. Your success depends on how dumb the folks on the other side of the world are.


Young boys busily scouting for victims on the internet - Photo from Google

So that’s Internet fraud. That’s what you find young men and women in cafes in 2016 doing. That’s not Sakawa.

Sakawa is a ritual. Sakawa involves spiritual matters. People that indulge in Sakawa sacrifice one thing or another to gain the limitless wealth they crave for. The sacrifices may involve you killing your parents, boyfriend or girlfriend, brother, sister, or simply a dear one.


Other sacrifices may involve the young people foregoing the use of their manhood for the rest of their lives. Let me rephrase that – with Sakawa, the spiritualist may ask that you sacrifice your manhood so that you can either never have sex or you are unable to have children. It could also be that you get the blood of virgin or the spermatozoa of certain kinds of people. Others must have sex with fellow men or fellow women. Some must never bath. Some must sleep in coffins. Some must never eat some specific foods or meat.

Now, what’s Kwame Gyan on about?

I overheard a group of young people having a chat. I got interested in what I overheard and they politely indulged me. Now, I am in my 30s (yea don’t be deceived by the photos, I am an old man), and having a chat with 19 and 20 and 21 and 22 year olds felt refreshing and i was awed at what I learnt.

And that includes all that i have typed above.


There are a few things I struggle to grapple my 30-something year old mind around:

What could drive a 21 year old boy to drive to Togo or Benin, sit before some fetish priest, is told to go murder his mum and dad, and then he actually does so, just so that at the age of 21, he gets so much money that he is able to buy all the things his dad and uncles and mum and aunts spent 40 or 50 years to get? I don’t get that. May be I am too old to wrap my mind around this.


They cited one of their friends whose parents they said were rich. I asked what they meant by rich. “They bought him one of the hyundai 4X4 and what receives as weekly money is what some of us get us monthly or even money for a semester”. Yet this lad had gone in for money rituals because he wanted to be a man – at 20. Now he regrets his stupidity because keeping up with the demands of the ritualist has become too much that he can’t bear any longer.


And to the girls that hang around these boys there are a few things I don’t understand as well:

Are they aware that these boys actually may have killed people to get their riches?  And again, are they aware that these boys are required to ‘replenish’ the sacrifices and this could mean using bodily fluids from them or some sort of thing they benefit from them?

Does it not intrigue you that a 21 or 22 year old is able to spend 3,000 cedis in in a night club when he is yet to get get a degree and does not own able my companies? Or that you ask this 20 year old boy for the latest Samsung or iPhone and he gives you cash there and then to buy it?


Seriously think about it…
I also learned from my thirty three minute interaction that, Sakawa, also known as money ritual, is also very heavily practiced by girls. Yup, girls. Young girls.

Not every young woman driving a top of the range vehicle got it from her dad or a willing sugar daddy. Some of them got them through Sakawa. Some get all sorts of ritual stuff that they apply on their faces to confuse rich men to spend on them, what they wouldn’t spend on their ailing children or octogenarian parents.


Others are okay to serve spiritual fathers by tattooing themselves and drinking shit you and I cannot imagine. Some in just themselves with all sorts of things and must sit on pots and collect the sperms of men to complete their ritual.

All of these so they can travel to Las Vegas and take selfies, visit Dubai and its awesome sights, shop in London and Paris and go holidaying in South Africa and the Bahamas. They want to live the life. The life of the rich and famous. They forget though that rich and famous of Hollywood that they seek to copy make their millions starring in movies, recording music, training to do a sport or doing some serious business.

The Struggle

Nothing comes for free. And for these people, sacrificing their parents and loved ones and destroying their manhood and others is just the initial pain before the superficial gain. Apparently a lot of them later realise the money is not as sweet as they thought. They start having regrets and nightmares. The reality of sleeping with animals against your will now comes home. Being a forced gay and paedophile now begins to stink. The memories of your dead boy and girlfriend and mum and  dad and dear one now hits them.

Yes, they may drive all the big cars and have the fabulously furnished apartment but sleep eludes them; peace of mind does not exist, and after all the friends they ‘spread’ have gone home they become as lonely as the dead bodies they caused to be buried. These boys and girls struggle in life. Imagine, at 22 you struggle to sleep and enjoy your ‘wealth’. Just 22. Until some powerful Man of God breaks the chain, they get lucky to live beyond a few years especially as they are unable to meet the demands of their rituals.

This is just me ranting away after spending some time with some young people. I got frightened listening to the tales. They didn’t call them tales. They know people that were in these situations. These were eye witness accounts. They are worried about their friends. Their friends are worried about themselves. They fear they may have to attend one too many funerals before they turn 30 or may ne 25 or even 23.

So why are young people chasing money at 18 and 19 and 20 and 21 and 22 and 23 years?

Why have they lost absolute interest in schooling so they can work and earn and buy what they want to?

Why has the desire to live the high live so consumed young people that whatever it takes to appear rich is what they will do?

I can simply just ask these questions. If you have answers hit me up via email at kwame@kwamegyan.com or Twitter at @KwameGyan or through Facebook.

If we can change minds and attitudes, let’s do it. Together.


About Kwame Gyan

Kwame Gyan is a trained journalist who has taken a break to practice corporate communications but still has an eye on the profession he loves most. He started writing in junior secondary school whiles his broadcasting career started at Radio Univers whiles a student at the University of Ghana in 2001 and has gone on to have stints with Joy FM and CITI FM. He was a columnist in The Globe, an Accra-based freely-distributed newspaper. His articles cutting across entertainment, politics, sports and pure fiction are featured in some other newspapers and blogs. He may be reached via Kwame.Gyan@gmail.com.
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12 Responses to Why are so many 20 year olds engaged in Sakawa (money rituals)?

  1. joseyphina says:

    It is very sad. The crave for riches despite the crazy risks could be because of the prestige we give to the rich people in society. Even older people get to call the young rich ‘boss’ and ‘madam.’ They get to enjoy the luxury our leaders do. Some go into these rituals because they think they don’t have any other choice. Poor home, poor grades, bleak future so they gamble their future away. If only opportunities could be made available for the youth to be occupied with honest work and decent wages, I believe this canker would reduce significantly.

  2. gracelarbi says:

    Reblogged this on gracelarbi and commented:
    My thoughts Kwame:
    1. they should seek Christ Jesus, its never too late
    2. Parents need to make friends of their young adults and pry a bit more into their activities…let’s stop the they need their privacy crap

  3. Its pains me a lot that kids as young as 19 years will opt to get rich at such cost. This in part can be explained by failure of our African society to create a level playing field for all. It will interest you to see how our politicians make life so miserable for me and you while they live in affluence. It is a simple truth that everyone wants to enjoy life; sleep comfortably,drive big cars, eat good food and have good company. If our politicians in Africa can make society a bit habitable as we see it in the West, very few will take such great risk. It is the failure of society to address fundamental social problems that make us to such dangerous path

    • Kwame Money Tree says:

      My brother, I am going to be part of the sakawa come what may, and surprisingly? am jst 18years yh 18 and am going to sacrifice myself for my family, a
      can’t watch dem surfer, no dad so am gonna be the man of the house from today dated 12/8/2016 make it #Bless

  4. Kwaku Money Tree says:

    once the so called sakawa boys don’t use you for their rituals, then my brothers move back before anything happens to you, imagine you sleeping in a room full of bed bugs, you wake up in the morning without food or water and yet still the leaders of your country spend your money spendeciouly brutallitly n u see ur brother in this group some won’t u join, abeg if the leaders ain’t ready to see us, then we are waiting for Satan to repent. and who said we don’t sleep during the night, am sorry to say that you are an idiot, its been 10 years now and am still sleeping, oya too much comments all I have to say is IF U WANT IT GO GET IT FINAL

  5. Kwaku Money Tree says:

    If Kwame can talk to our leaders for us, until then, 17 and above right here @ Pankrono are driving as low as Toyota vensa, am asking, did the leaders buy it for them, I mean if they cared so much they would have been in school learning, but I promise you that at the end of this month, @ de age of 18, am going to be a sakawa boy, yes cus am not going to stay in the bed bugs till sunrise, FUCK POVERTY, and FUCK OUR LEADERS thank you and may God forgive us for what we are going to do AMEN……..

  6. Kwaku Money Tree says:

    If Kwame can talk to our leaders for us, until then, 17 and above right here @ Pankrono are driving as low as Toyota vensa, am asking, did the leaders buy it for them, I mean if they cared so much they would have been in school learning, but I promise you that at the end of this month, @ de age of 18, am going to be a sakawa boy, yes cus am not going to stay in the bed bugs till sunrise, FUCK POVERTY, and FUCK OUR LEADERS thank you and may God forgive us for what we are going to do AMEN……..AMEN

  7. kell says:

    my brother what course someone to do this is challenge that person is face you may think that this challenge is small no it is not

  8. Matthew Michael says:

    D reason why d young ones are after money is because many of them deir parents are very poor, no help even some don’t even have parents so what will they do, they don’t have choice than to go for bad thing to get money,its only God can help our helpless youths.

  9. Lyn says:

    It’s very heart breaking and scary. I think as days and years go by, as parent get busy, too busy to spend time with their wards, to pray with them, share with them their life stories and building the joy that life can give other than money, young ones, unexperienced seeing luxuries, feeling pity for themselves, lacking guidelines, wanting to fit and accepted, finding their own solutions end up as victims. Unfortunately, some parent of today are even practicing bad behaviors,wat then will the child do, some parent are pushing their wards out to make money telling them to look sharp,

    The advertisement around us are full of bad practice instead of good practice, picturing happiness as one that comes with having the money, the houses, the cars, being able to have gone to certain places.

    Churches in their quest to win the youth are afraid to even tell the truth.

    Public speakers won’t say it

    Everyone is afraid to loose the audience, so we are all confirming to the pattern of the world.

    We copy blindly from outside world.

    We need those who will make the sacrifice to speak against such practices, advertise to conscientise the growing youth.

    We need to constantly here the truth, the right things to be done – in our movies, music, product advertisement etc

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