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Feature: Kwaku Bonsam stop disgracing Ghana with this ludicrous Cristiano Ronaldo injury claim

Published on: 06 June 2014
Kwaku Bonsam says he caused the injury to Cristiano Ronaldo

By Tawia Acheampong

It is most unfortunate that international media have picked up on the narcissistic ramblings of a Ghanaian spiritualist who evidently prefers enriching his own coffers and embellishing his own name to the well-being and reputation of his nation.

I am referring to Nana Kwaku Bonsam, touted to be Ghana’s foremost spiritualist, who haphazardly decided to besmirch Ghana’s name before the eyes of the world by claiming his ‘devilish powers’ are behind the current injury of Portugal star and arguably the world’s best player, Cristiano Ronaldo.

According to reports, Bonsam claims to have conjured a special powder from his gods which were placed around an image and caricature of Ronaldo, rendering his present injury untreatable by conventional medics and leaving his World Cup hopes tattered.

My grouse with this report, apart from its clear ludicrousness, is the impression it will undoubtedly create in the minds of people towards Ghana – as a nation crawling in ‘fetish priests’ with ‘black magic’.

With such reports being bandied about, if Ghana excels in the tournament, some will unscrupulously attribute it to some ‘juju’ at work. If the Black Stars do overcome Portugal come June 26th, people will unfortunately play up the influence of devilish power rather than the skill, determination and prowess of our boys.

My question to Kwaku is this - if indeed you are so ‘powerful’, why can’t you empower the current Ghanaian squad to face their opponents? What is your business with CR7 alone when there are plenty of other stars capable of inflicting defeat on Ghana? What of Mezut Ozil, Thomas Mueller or Franck Ribery from Germany’s formidable squad in Ghana’s group of death?

The regrettable saga brings to mind the tale of a team in India that was banned after the ridiculous score line led officials to investigate the use of ‘charms’ by the team. Perhaps Bonsam is furtively advocating for a similar sanction for Ghana!

I am expecting Appiah and Ghanaian officials to debunk this report and disgrace this self-styled magician – unless Bonsam really is the Black Star’s ‘spiritual advisor’ as he has previously boasted. If this is the case, Ghana deserves nothing more than the ridicule and perhaps reprimand that will accompany such superstitious garbage.

On a related note, isn’t this the same witchdoctor who visited the Vatican City a fortnight ago with the expressed purpose of reporting Nigerian Prophet T.B. Joshua to Pope Francis? If there is anyone Bonsam should destroy or inflict injury upon, it should be Joshua since they are operating with evidently opposite forces.

Kwaku is ‘powerful’ enough to spiritually inflict Ronaldo thousands of miles away in Portugal but can’t travel a few miles across the border to wreak vengeance on his Nigerian adversary T.B. Joshua??? Nonsense.

I cannot but conclude that Bonsam is nothing more than a rambling popularity seeker who is using Cristiano’s predicament to advertise his counterfeit cures, unashamedly tainting the name of his nation in the process.

Ghana is greater than any individual. If we do well in Brazil, it will be due to skill, hard work and unwavering commitment to God, not the sacrificed dogs of a scarred herbalist whose mouth is bigger than his means.


  • EA1us says:
    June 07, 2014 03:38 am
    Selfmade, I don't disagree with you on this one, but let me clearify something right here. In this world it isn't what you do that's a problem, it's HOW YOU DO IT. Yes, a lot of people practice different types of religions and idols; majority of South Americans believe in voodoo and some of them strongly worship Santaria. No one can conclude that they are wrong just because you disagree with them, but they don't take matters to the MEDIA or publicly announcing who they are TRYING TO HURT. What upset me the most is he's claiming to have done something GREAT, really? Tendonitis is easily treated Mr. Bonsam and if CR7 wants to play even tomorrow he could with a little injection. This is not a broken bone or a torn ACL!!
  • selfmade says:
    June 07, 2014 03:21 am
    Main Menu The New York Times Search SUBSCRIBELOG INN.Y. / Region UPDATE The Devil Is Running for a Seat in Parliament Nana Kwaku Bonsam worships traditional African gods and tends to the needs of their followers. At right, a poster outside one of Mr. Kwaku Bonsam’s houses in Kumasi, Ghana, last month. JED LIPINSKI By JED LIPINSKI November 15, 2013 A radio talk show broke the news on Oct. 28: Nana Kwaku Bonsam will run for a seat in the Parliament of Ghana in 2016. Mr. Kwaku Bonsam, a well-known traditional fetish priest in Ghana, was the subject of a Metropolitan cover article in July. He spent a year in the Bronx, in part for operations on his face to repair the scars from third-degree burns suffered in a childhood accident. Members of the city’s large Ghanaian community — particularly those from the Ashanti region, where Mr. Kwaku Bonsam grew up — quickly embraced him. He attended meetings of a local Ashanti cultural group, treated Ghanaians for a variety of spiritual ailments and even handed out several awards at the Miss Ghana USA Pageant in Manhattan in June. Near the end of his stay in New York, rumors that he was dead began to swirl back in Ghana. When radio presenters announced his arrival in Kumasi, the capital of the Ashanti region, on Aug. 12, hundreds appeared at the airport to greet him, bearing a giant banner that read: “Welcome Home Nana Kwaku Bonsam.” (Bonsam, a name he adopted, means “devil” in the Twi language.) The joy of arrival was short-lived. In late August, an article appeared in the tabloid Spy Ghana under the headline “Kwaku Bonsam Turns to Jesus Christ.” Mr. Kwaku Bonsam, who believes in traditional African gods, vigorously denied the allegations, claiming that he had simply attended the ordination of a former classmate at a Catholic church. “They were just trying to sell papers,” he said in a recent interview in the remote city of Sunyani, an airy, picturesque town where he had gone to recuperate further from his surgeries, which still cause him pain. Of greater concern is the condition of his estate in the city of Akomadan Afrancho, where he runs a free primary school, a vegetable farm and a sprawling shrine complex. In his absence, enrollment in the school plummeted along with his annual yields of corn, cassava and plantains. The school’s bus also broke down and was sold for spare parts. “I have no money,” Mr. Kwaku Bonsam said as he drove his spotless black Cadillac CTS through the streets of Sunyani, occasionally waving at stunned passers-by. He pointed at a For Sale sticker on the windshield. “I have to sell this car to support my school.” He added that his relationship with his third wife, a law student in London, had come to an end. He is now embarked on what he called a “worldwide search” for a new wife. Still, Mr. Kwaku Bonsam spoke about politics as the logical next step. “Eventually, I would like to become minister of foreign affairs,” he said. For now, he is eyeing the parliamentary seat for the Offinso North District. He became animated whenever the subject of his 2016 parliamentary run came up. “The members of parliament are corrupt,” he shouted. “The government has given them money for toilets, water and roads, but they use it to buy cars for their girlfriends instead.” And he spoke fondly of his year in New York City. There, managers work as hard as laborers, he said, and sometimes even harder, which he could not say for Ghana. The police were also extremely friendly, Mr. Kwaku Bonsam said. Once, after he got lost in Lower Manhattan, a police officer gave him directions all the way back to East 157th Street in the Bronx. “In some countries,” he said, “you see the police and you run.” SHARE SAVE More In N.Y. / Region Stabbing Case Highlights Flawed System to Screen Inmates Before Release 9:27 PM EDTWhen Daniel St. Hubert was released from prison, there was little that correction officials could do to ensure that he received the therapy he needed. Nine days later, he was accused in a killing. Hundreds Gather to Remember 6-Year-Old Victim of Brooklyn Stabbing Mourners came from across the city to attend funeral services for Prince Joshua Avitto, who was stabbed to death in a housing project elevator on Sunday. Many Bettors at a Loss Since the OTBs Closed 10:00 PM EDTIn a city where almost everything disappears — the diners and dry cleaners of yesterday shape-shifting into frozen yogurt shops and Duane Reades — the demise of New York’s Off-Track Betting parlors was particularly cruel to its patrons. Back to top Home World U.S. Politics The Upshot N.Y. / Region Business Day Technology Sports Opinion Science Health Arts Style Photos Video Most Emailed More Sections Settings Download the NYTimes app Help Feedback Terms of Service Privacy © 2014 The New York Times Company
  • selfmade says:
    June 07, 2014 03:24 am
    The new York times is one of the most INFLUENTIAL WHITE CONTROLLED PAPERS IN THE STATE and kwaku BONSAM has appeared several times in it both in print(papers) and its ONLINE too with his pictures so forumites should stop their IGNORANCES!
  • Edward, Maryland says:
    June 06, 2014 08:35 pm
    @selfmade... C'mon friends this is not something to be proud of. Other African countries have across to juju and voodoo too, and might in fact employ it more than Ghanaians but right now Ghana is notorious for the use and reliance on juju/ voodoo/ fetishism. Countries who are envious of Ghana's achievements and pedigree in soccer point to juju and fetishism.
  • QuophiDeDe says:
    June 06, 2014 08:40 pm
    So many things happen in GH but some of these irresponsible journalists will never bother to put it in the limelight for the rest of the world to know but will rather jump up high at any lazy news. Kwaku surely seeks attention but he couldn't have achieved that if these lazy ones had not rushed to his aid to put it out there for the whole world to see. And kwaku bonsam too, if he wants to help us, am sure he can start that by breaking the hands of some of these politicians who are only looting and killing the very soul of GH.
  • Kobina says:
    June 06, 2014 09:16 pm
    Nonsense. Nana Kwaku Bonsam is Great. I give him more reverence than all those dim withed Pastors with Punks. Honourable Kwaku Bonsam gets castigated in this article for "Disgracing Ghanaians". Filth in Accra, Pastors, Ghanaians abroad doing menial work Disgraces Ghanaians. Not K
  • Kobina says:
    June 06, 2014 09:36 pm
    Touche'' . Our People are so short sited that, they can't even comprehend reasons behind Kwaku Bonsam's prediction being in international papers. They've missed the whole rationale behind it. They are supposed to be the literate ones, and the Honourable Kwaku Bonsam the illiterate. However; they've missed the point these foreign media are trying to convey. They go to school, but read articles literally. No wonder Africa is Bereft of good leaders.Had it been Otabil, Williams and Joshua they would have found it plausible. Ignorant literates
  • Kobina says:
    June 06, 2014 11:12 pm
    You deem this article thoughtful? Pick up a dictionary and find the definition of "HYPE". What do they teach you in Ghana Education system? You probably a call yourself a Christian and believe in Miracles, Angels, Ghosts, Hell and other tales. Think!!
  • Kobina says:
    June 06, 2014 11:28 pm
    Why do Ghanaians think Ghana is a great nation. Ghana is just another Banana Republic. God Fearing my foot. Ghanaians rob, steal, bribe, kill, rape, pillage, steal vagina, without any repercussions. Accra is a damp, all Ghanaians want to go to the real Heaven which is Europe and U.S. Ghana is Hell, that's why 80% go to Church and pray for Visas to Europe and U.S. Ghana is a Disgrace, not Honourable Kwaku Bonsam.
  • selfmade says:
    June 07, 2014 12:22 am
    Edward.... Mate am not supporting kwaku BONSAM and besides I want people yo stop their hypocrisy because is sickening to say the least! My friend, I know u are in the USA and u meet diff people with diff religion and that's why is prohibited to teach religious studies here! Kwaku BONSAM is not given a bad name to Ghana and the question is why are people saying he is given Ghana a bad name? Why? What are your reasons? I have read all the articles and comments and it seems y'all saying one thing and that's the fact he appear in western media! C'mon fellas! Stop this rantings! Kwaku BONSAM has already appear in NY TIMES, DAILYNEWS, BBC and a host of other newspapers in the states last year when he came for his face plastic surgery! Why is it anytime the west reports bad thing about an African, we all crucify that person? Why? If u really want to know the country who believes in voodoo and top the practice of voodoo in the world, is the USA! One thing that all people should know is that the west always never reports bad things about their country! Kwaku BONSAM has done nothing wrong ! Finally who told y'all that the WHITE MAN doesn't believed in voodoo? I throw a challenge to u all to checked out these players and find out what they believed in! Messi, c.Ronaldo, neymar, mikel obi, Beckham are all free masons and illuminators! Do u know the POWER BEHIND MASONS AND ILLUMINATORS?
  • selfmade says:
    June 07, 2014 12:27 am
    A lot of forumites are really ENLIGHTENED HERE and most of them think before they write or support an argument! People supports what I said here!
  • phlin says:
    June 07, 2014 07:30 am
    Let the two juju men play on the football pitch and let see who wins
  • woedem says:
    June 07, 2014 07:07 am
    Ehm.......Frank Ribery is not German oo
  • kofi says:
    June 07, 2014 07:04 am
    i dont personlly blame him but the one when spent minutes of time to draft such a radiculous article. this is just stupid and time wasting.
  • 21guns says:
    June 07, 2014 08:46 am
    @phlin stop using my name to cause trouble
  • Scratch says:
    June 07, 2014 09:11 am
    In Ghana every rich man is a ritualist. damns urself n ur selfish post. Every celebrant personality is a freemason get go to their temple in Accra to check for CR7, Mercy n Bechkam. nonsense thought of u.
  • Viper says:
    June 07, 2014 09:23 am
    Selfmade,of course Kwaku Bonsom has the right to say what he likes but at the end of the day, it comes down to REPRESENTATION.Voodooism or juju has been part of our culture since ages. We were made to believe that our religion was evil and have to believe in christianity.Whats Kwaku Bonsam doing? He is only reenforcing what Europeans told us ages ago,that our religion is used for nothing but evil.If Kwaku Bonsam has such powers, why doesn't he rather help Ghana to win? Why doesn't he pray that Ghana can produce four or five players of Abedi Pele's calibre to help us in?But will rather use such powers injure an opponent player? Which simply borders to being a criminal as well as evil.He represents parts of our culture and you cannot simply misinterpret one's culture anyhow.So should we rejoice that some illiterate is using par of for his own selfish interest? He is a criminal and phoney. Okomfo Anokye used his powers to command the golden stool to unite his people. Kwaku Bonsam is using his powers to cause evil(injuring a player) This is the difference between good and evil as well the true representation of our culture.
  • Angelbright says:
    June 07, 2014 05:00 pm
    Indeed we have the physical and the spiritual world;kwaku bosom hv already made his name in the international level and not this will make him popular n he hv his freedom ,right n power to say what he has as a supporter for his loved nation.big up nana bosom
  • Assemblyman says:
    June 07, 2014 06:51 pm
    Ignorance is when you started adding your voice to this nuisance..Let your Kwaku bonsam promise us of winning the World Cup .we will start taking him serious once we win the World Cup..But not this sort of madness ...
  • boy says:
    June 07, 2014 06:58 pm
    kwaku bonsam instead of u using your powers to help develop ghana u are using it to break footballers leg.i promise u c ronaldo will recover and score ghana again .u fooooooooooooooooooolllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll paaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
  • Assemblyman says:
    June 06, 2014 03:59 pm
    Applaus to you have said it all..the world doesn't have a place for such popularity and attention seeking illiterates like this bonsam nigger..kwaseasem kwa!!
  • woodini says:
    June 06, 2014 04:06 pm
    I did not even read this article, just the headline drew my attention. The problem is not the fetish priest but whoever captioned those stories are to be blamed. If I were a journalist I wouldn't bother under no circumstances to write a story a like that in this 21st century. I don't know what the School of Journalism are teaching our journalists. It is like we are still in the 17th century. Mr.writer. don't blame Kwuku Bonsam, but blame this mediocrity journalist who put that senseless story in the public domain.
  • Viper says:
    June 06, 2014 04:12 pm
    Does that idiot know he could be sued for his claims? Ronaldo has every right to sue this nincompoop if his injuries persists but of course Ronaldo being rich and famous probably wouldn't bother but certainly this idiot can be sued for such silly claims. In Africa we take everything for granted,we feel we can say or do anything anyhow without any repercussions.Bloody idiot.
  • Boadu says:
    June 06, 2014 04:18 pm
    That was a very good piece of thoughtful response to this crazy kwaku bonsam However, we must also blame.whoever put that foolish article on public domain. I must say whoever did that must bow his or her head in shame. Irresponsible journalism at it's best. Gns, you are becoming irrelevant therefore, put your house in order.
  • AfrikaBoy says:
    June 06, 2014 04:21 pm
    This guy is an attention seeker. He knows Europeans and journalists love stories like that.
  • Murtala says:
    June 06, 2014 04:28 pm
    If only GSN can stop being stupid to publish such news
  • selfmade says:
    June 06, 2014 05:49 pm
    There is nothing wrong with what kwaku BONSAM said! Infact, when this guy came to the united states, I see a lot of different race from Africans, Chinese, Caucasians, Spanish, carribeans etc trooping to him in the Bronx to seek spiritual help and who said that the western world doesn't believed in voodoo!! YALL STOP YOUR IGNORANCE AND HOLY ATTITUDE and stop been always manipulated by the western media! Again, this is not the first time BONSAM has appear in the international media! He has already appear in NY TIMES, DAILY NEWS and a host of other western medias such as BBC, CNN etc and am surprised forumites here are been ignorant about this! Kwaku BONSAM has a whole EDITORIAL ABOUT HIM IN THE NY DAILYNEWS and j want forumites to search it and read for themselves! Finally, what is the difference between WESTERN HOLOSCROPE AND PSYCHIC readings from what kwaku BONSAM is doing? What about OCTOPUS PAUL AND THE SO CALLED NELLY DIFFERENT FROM KWAKU BONSAM? Stop your empty rantings and think for a minute because kwaku BONSAM has not disgraced Ghana in anywhere sic of he appear in a western media! All those people calling Ghanaians names are hypocrites because they believe in powers than Ghanaians!
  • THOMAS says:
    June 06, 2014 04:58 pm
    Thank u bro.
  • Thomas says:
    June 06, 2014 05:03 pm
    kwaku bonsam should stop disgracing GHANA,ghana don't depen in idols ,Ghana can without idols, if u kwaku bonsam says is powerful den her should walk on the SEA so that i can see that her power....u black fools..may God have mercy on u amen..????
  • Benny says:
    June 06, 2014 05:07 pm
    I felt so ashamed about some nasty stuff some good for nothing trot wrote about Ghana all because of that peace of shit called bonsam. He has to be dealt with before tarnishing the name of Ghana to the gutters for his personal gain.
  • 21guns says:
    June 06, 2014 05:18 pm
  • david says:
    June 06, 2014 05:24 pm
    that man is not serious, if he think he has the power he should predict Ghana and U.S.A match and also German game. he should give as brake. God will do for us.
  • beautiful says:
    June 06, 2014 05:31 pm
    Ribery does not play for Germany.
  • Rastaman says:
    June 06, 2014 05:35 pm
    Unfortunately, Frank Ribery plays for France, and not in our group of death.
  • wee ba says:
    June 06, 2014 05:38 pm
    When kwaku bonsam says he is behind ronaldos injury a lot of you westernise negropeans say its soo babaric.but when the white man brought octopus paul and this saggy ass elephant called nelly you sit there with your rotten teeth n bleached faces sayin kwaku bonsam disgracing Ghana.
  • AKAK says:
    June 06, 2014 05:51 pm
    Now see what you have done by bringing up Frank Ribery's name; he is now out of the WC
  • selfmade says:
    June 06, 2014 05:58 pm
    And if everyone of u thinks that there is no spiritual influences in football, then that person is a FOOTBALL ROOKIE! Check the number of footballers who are FOOTBALL ILLUMINATORS and the first person on the list is C.RONALDO! There are host of top European players who are illuminators and occultists and don't believe in Christianity but rather their religions so why y'all been blind! Roberto baggio was a BUDDHIST and he is an Italian where roman catholic is from but he was a catheist but a Buddhist and did the Italian media CRUCIFY HIM? How about john terry always WEARING THE SAME PANTS for each match and sitting in the same place in the TEAM BUS? what's that call? Or that is not superstition because he is WHITE RIGHT? If a black PLAYER was doing what terry is doing, the same black folks ll crucify him of using voodoo or black magic because he is black! Fellas, is about time we emancipate ourselves from COLONIAL SHACKLES AND WESTERN MEDIA PROPAGANDA! And what about the Portuguese jujuman who has also injured akaminko, is he DISGRACING HIS COUNTRY! MASSA, LET PERSIN HEAR WORD!
  • texas says:
    June 06, 2014 06:40 pm
    Kwaku bonsam is not disgracing Ghana in any way. Just as you armchair coaches openly criticize and insult AA and the players without any contributions aimed at better results, kwaku bonsam has every right to do anything he thinks will help Ghana's course. Hasn't a Portuguese man done the same with Akaminko? All these bring fun to the tournament. Kwaku bonsam is making name for himself....go make name yours and stop the hating. Have you guys condemning kwaku bonsam heard Portuguese condemning their own witch doctor?
  • selfmade says:
    June 06, 2014 06:05 pm
    C Ronaldo, Lionel messi and David Beckham are FREE MASONS and illuminators! Who told u black power is primitive!
  • Khin says:
    June 06, 2014 06:28 pm
    This much rubbish you have written. If you have problem with Kwaku Bonsam then you should have problem with people who call the name of God/Allah on the pitch.
  • Evano says:
    June 06, 2014 07:03 pm
    Very disappointed that some forumites I respect like Self made is supporting this bunsam crap. The octopus and elephant other nationals use only predict matches. Not INJURY TO PLAYERS. God is watching, some day its going to fall on your Family member then you ll see its seriousness.
  • odame says:
    June 06, 2014 07:24 pm
    Who told you the Freemasons is from Asante Bekwai? It's from Europe so it's not black magic. It's white magic. Lol!
  • Edward, Maryland says:
    June 06, 2014 08:04 pm
    I don't blame Kwaku Bonsam. He is out for publicity. I blame the greedy so- called journalists and media houses who give him the platform and all the publicity he needs. Now Ghana is compared to Haiti as far as juju and voodoo are concerned. In my office, I can hardly talk about the Black Stars or even soccer. It's in all the foreign media. I want to hide my head in shame. How can one person drag the name of a whole country - a very God fearing country - so much into the mud. It started with Hearts of Oak's public declaration that they have contracted a Senegalese voodoo priest to help them win games. That too was in all the foreign press. And now this. Where are these unscrupulous journalists taking this country to? And now our gov't is going to sponsor them for Brazil. Can't Kwaku Bonsam whom they promote sponsor them? This is the first time I have been ashamed as a Ghanaian.
  • wisdom says:
    June 06, 2014 07:05 pm
    rastaman u said it all bcz if kwaku ís white man no one gon na tel him bulshit Ghanains wakeup and stop dreamin
  • odame says:
    June 06, 2014 07:15 pm
    It's cheap media houses that are giving this charlatan the opportunity to spew nonsence. Asempa fm with its semi-illiterate presenters are the culprits.
  • odame says:
    June 06, 2014 07:18 pm
    No, Ronaldo cannot sue this charlatan in any court. The courts do not entertain claims they do not have any means of proving.
  • odame says:
    June 06, 2014 07:20 pm
    If he could cause injury to Ronaldo why couldn't he stop the injury to Akaminko. He is an attention-seeker who should be ignorred.
  • selfmade says:
    June 07, 2014 03:15 am
    This is a guy who already has a whole EDITORIAL about him in the NEW YORK TIMES last year so am surprised forumites are pissed off because he has appear in the western media! Stop your useless rantings because KWAKU BONSAM IS INTERNATIONAL KNOWN! He was in NYC for a long time and there were people of different races going to him everyday to seek help! Whites, black Americans, Spanish, africans, carribeans, Indians etc and my question is this, the USA is the so called center of civilization, why its citizen going to see an African priest for help? They know that there are spirits in this world and they believe in their powers too just like AFRICANS! People should stop building castles in the air like the western countries doesn't believe in black powers or magic! WHAT IS MORE RIDICULOUS AND SUPERSTITIOUS THAN EUROPEAN ANIMAL PREDICTING FOOTBALL MATCHES WHICH IS ABOUT ONE MONTH AWAY? Amazing! My Ghanaian brothers ll believe and ll have no problem with that or ll not write a long useless ARTICLE ABOUT that but ll jump up like A BLIND UNREASONABLE MAN to attack his own fellow becasue he is an African!! Is about time we start using OUR COMMON SENSE rather than some forcing his own on us!
  • Portugal says:
    June 07, 2014 02:42 am
    Shame to Ghanaians everybody is talking about this shameless act in portugal fools
  • selfmade says:
    June 07, 2014 03:02 am
    Main Menu The New York Times Search SUBSCRIBELOG INN.Y. / Region A Visit From the Devil Nana Kwaku Bonsam in his Bronx apartment. TODD HEISLER / THE NEW YORK TIMES By JED LIPINSKI July 19, 2013 When the radio D.J. Prince Adomako received a call in April from a man identifying himself as Nana Kwaku Bonsam, he hung up immediately, terrified. The man kept calling back, first from the same line, then from a series of new numbers. “I got really scared,” Mr. Adomako, 21, recalled recently. “Nana is a famous fetish priest in Ghana. I thought he might want to put a curse on me.” His fear was understandable. Mr. Kwaku Bonsam is a major figure in his home country, a traditional priest loved and despised for his spiritual powers. And he revels in his notoriety. “Bonsam,” a name he gave himself, means “devil” in the Twi language. SHARE SAVE Show Full Article Most Popular on OP-ED COLUMNIST President Obama Was Right EDITORIAL The Rush to Demonize Sgt. Bergdahl OP-ED COLUMNIST The Climate Domino Bergdahl Is Said to Have History of Leaving Post OP-ED CONTRIBUTORS Memories From Normandy MOVIE REVIEW Young Love, Complicated by Cancer CONTRIBUTING OP-ED WRITER Tea Party Dead-Enders Obama and Putin Meet Briefly Over Ukraine Back to top Home World U.S. Politics The Upshot N.Y. / Region Business Day Technology Sports Opinion Science Health Arts Style Photos Video Most Emailed More Sections Settings Download the NYTimes app Help Feedback Terms of Service Privacy © 2014 The New York Times Company
  • selfmade says:
    June 07, 2014 03:04 am
    Main Menu The New York Times Search SUBSCRIBELOG INN.Y. / Region A Visit From the Devil Nana Kwaku Bonsam in his Bronx apartment. TODD HEISLER / THE NEW YORK TIMES By JED LIPINSKI July 19, 2013 When the radio D.J. Prince Adomako received a call in April from a man identifying himself as Nana Kwaku Bonsam, he hung up immediately, terrified. The man kept calling back, first from the same line, then from a series of new numbers. “I got really scared,” Mr. Adomako, 21, recalled recently. “Nana is a famous fetish priest in Ghana. I thought he might want to put a curse on me.” His fear was understandable. Mr. Kwaku Bonsam is a major figure in his home country, a traditional priest loved and despised for his spiritual powers. And he revels in his notoriety. “Bonsam,” a name he gave himself, means “devil” in the Twi language. Mr. Kwaku Bonsam arriving in Kumasi, Ghana, in 2008 to challenge a Pentecostal pastor. FREDERIK LAMOTE But in New York this spring, the devil just wanted to buy an advertisement. And so after listening to his voice mail, Mr. Adomako, who immigrated from Ghana six years ago, invited him by the offices of ZenoRadio, the online start-up where he works. In place of the Ghanaian smock and kufi hat worn by most traditional priests, Mr. Kwaku Bonsam, 39, arrived in a shiny black Dolce & Gabbana tracksuit and a knit cap with “New York” woven in graffiti-style letters. His face was a mask of scar tissue from a near-fatal accident in his youth. He had come to the city last year to visit a friend from Guinea, he said. But he extended his stay after his facial injuries became infected, requiring a number of operations at Harlem Hospital Center. “I love New York,” Mr. Kwaku Bonsam said in his newly improved English. “But it is too cold here.” He was planning to leave in August, a year after he arrived. Back in Ghana, he has 14 children (9 of them adopted) and a religious empire: a network of shrines, a free elementary school, houses, cars and a cattle farm. He regularly appeared on television talk shows and could rally crowds of thousands. Nana Kwaku Bonsam at the Miss Ghana USA Pageant in Manhattan last month. TODD HEISLER / THE NEW YORK TIMES Renowned as a healer, Mr. Kwaku Bonsam claims to treat everything from curses to impotence. But he is best known for his ambitious efforts to modernize the indigenous West African religion dominant before Christian missionaries began arriving in great numbers in the mid-19th century. So why was Ghana’s most feared fetish priest living inconspicuously in a one-bedroom apartment in the Bronx? In West Africa, traditional priests — often called fetish priests — have historically preferred secrecy and seclusion, carrying out their ancient rituals inside mud huts in remote areas. And since 1992, when a democratic constitution was approved in Ghana, traditional religion has come under increasing attack from a new generation of Pentecostal pastors, who use television, radio and the Internet to deride its rituals as devil worship. In a clever reversal, Mr. Kwaku Bonsam has adopted these same platforms to promote traditional religion. His outsize public persona and his cosmopolitan credentials make the case that the old spiritual practices are compatible with being a modern African. A meeting with Ashanti leaders, including Nana Acheampong-Tieku, center, the chief of the Ashanti in metropolitan New York. TODD HEISLER / THE NEW YORK TIMES “In Africa, traditional religion has always been considered extremely local, while Christianity was seen as a way of joining the larger world,” said Birgit Meyer, a professor of religious studies at Utrecht University in the Netherlands who conducted research in Ghana for 25 years and has written about Mr. Kwaku Bonsam. “But by using Facebook and YouTube and finally residing in New York City, Mr. Kwaku Bonsam shows that traditional religion can also go global. He’s making it fashionable, in other words.” New York was a natural destination for Mr. Kwaku Bonsam. Ghanaians make up the largest African immigrant group in the city, with a population of around 24,000, according to the Census Bureau. The majority of these hail from the Ashanti region in southern Ghana, where Mr. Kwaku Bonsam was born and is still based. “He’s everywhere in the Bronx right now,” said Daniella Asantewaa, 25, a Ghanaian who lives in the borough and works in advertising. “You go to a funeral, you see him; a birthday party, he’s there.” And yet many Ghanaians in New York view Mr. Kwaku Bonsam with distrust, if not outright contempt. Mr. Kwaku Bonsam has been undergoing a series of operations in New York to repair facial injuries stemming from a gas line explosion more than 20 years ago. TODD HEISLER / THE NEW YORK TIMES “According to my understanding, he’s an advocate of the devil,” said Ms. Asantewaa, who belongs to a Pentecostal church. “He’s someone I try to avoid.” Hundreds of her countrymen, along with immigrants from West African countries like Ivory Coast and Senegal, have nevertheless sought out Mr. Kwaku Bonsam. On a recent Sunday morning, a dozen visitors were packed in his living room. In one corner, a glass coffee table was obscured beneath the elements of a makeshift shrine: a chalice filled with Johnson’s Baby Powder, a bottle of J. H. Henkes’ Aromatic Schiedam Schnapps, a horsetail whip, a Master Lock wrapped in red twine. In another, an Ikea desk supported two Dell computer monitors and a broadcast microphone. In the middle sat Mr. Kwaku Bonsam, dressed in a rainbow-colored smock and stirring a brown liquid in a plastic kitchen bowl. “This is Africa medicine,” he said, describing the concoction — prescribed to male clients experiencing “sexual weakness” — as a mixture of honey, vodka, tree bark and herbs he had requested from his assistants in Ghana. “Western medicine has a lot of side effects. But with this, there are no side effects.” Daniel Nyarko and Kito Aikins, cabdrivers in their early 50s who had moved to the Bronx around 30 years ago, were sitting nearby. “We came to America for Martin Luther King’s dream,” Mr. Nyarko said, eliciting knowing laughter from the others in the room. “But New York is very, very expensive. There is so much stress here.” Mr. Aikins added: “Nana helps people spiritually in ways that pastors cannot.” Now and then, a Skype call came through on Mr. Kwaku Bonsam’s MacBook Pro. One caller — Lewis Lidfeldt, a 20-year-old Ghanaian living in Sweden — was seeking advice on how to become a successful recording artist. “I heard Nana has a lot of experience with the spirit,” Mr. Lidfeldt said. Mr. Kwaku Bonsam asked him to call back later. Among the visitors that morning was Nana Acheampong-Tieku, the regional chief of the Ashanti people in New York. An accountant by day, he explained that Mr. Kwaku Bonsam’s local popularity had frustrated Christian pastors here. “They think he’s stealing their members and their revenue,” Mr. Acheampong-Tieku said. He named a controversial Pentecostal pastor in Virginia who had openly criticized Mr. Kwaku Bonsam during his popular conference-call prayer service. Mr. Kwaku Bonsam, who had been listening quietly, suddenly pounded his fist on the coffee table, raising a small cloud of baby powder. “He should preach according to the Gospel and stop insulting me!” he shouted in Twi. “Tell him to read Jeremiah 23:16.” The biblical passage admonishes: “Do not listen to what prophets are prophesying to you; they will fill you with false hopes.” The Ghanaian news media treat Mr. Kwaku Bonsam as a celebrity and have chronicled his sometimes rocky relationship with his third wife, Gertrude, a law school student in London. “Kweku Bonsam Suffering From Broken Heart,” the Web site Peace FM Online reported in 2012, after learning of a disagreement between the couple. A year later, after she visited her husband in the Bronx, the Web site Ghana Nation ran the headline: “Ghanaian Fetish Priest Kweku Bonsam Chills With Lover in New York.” Before he was Nana Kwaku Bonsam, though, he was Stephen Osei Mensah, a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the small village of Afrancho. The transformation began one night in 1992, when he was 19. While carrying a lantern near his home, he accidentally walked into the path of an open gas line. The flame triggered an explosion. Mr. Kwaku Bonsam barely survived. He was released from the hospital with extensive burn scars on his face and torso. Ostracized for his appearance, he dropped out of school and found work as a mechanic in the Suame Magazine, a bustling industrial district outside Kumasi, the regional capital. In his mythic origin story, Mr. Kwaku Bonsam claims to have received his supernatural powers after he saved a sick man’s life on his way home from work one day. In return, the man gave him a “mysterious gift,” a kind of braided horsetail, that enabled him to help other people. Soon after, Mr. Kwaku Bonsam opened a small shrine room in his mother’s house in Afrancho. Before long he had generated enough revenue through consultation fees to build a large shrine complex nearby. It was around this time that he took the last name Bonsam as a taunting response to the Pentecostal movement’s continuing demonization of traditional religion. In Ghana, 71.2 percent of the country’s 25 million people identify as Christian, while only 5.2 percent say they believe in traditional religion, according to a 2010 census report. But Kwabena Asamoah-Gyadu, a professor of African Christianity at Trinity Theological Seminary in Accra, Ghana’s capital, said that those numbers should be read loosely. “In African culture, when people experience a crisis, they often put their Christian beliefs aside and consult traditional priests,” he said. “They won’t usually admit it, of course, because that destroys their Christian credibility.” It was a similar situation that made Mr. Kwaku Bonsam famous, said Frederik Lamote, a professor at University College Brussels who wrote part of his doctoral thesis on him. On April 2, 2008, Mr. Kwaku Bonsam stormed into the church of Collins Agyei Yeboah, a popular Pentecostal pastor in Kato, another southern town. Accompanied by a crew of policemen and reporters, he accused Pastor Yeboah of secretly soliciting the help of his traditional gods and then failing to properly compensate him and the gods for their services. Mr. Kwaku Bonsam claimed the gods had given him two choices: to retrieve the idol he had given the pastor, or to die at 6 p.m. that day. “Do you want the gods to kill me?” he asked Pastor Yeboah. In YouTube videos of the episode, viewed hundreds of thousands of times, Mr. Kwaku Bonsam went on to say that 1,600 pastors from around the country had visited him requesting juju spirits to help build their churches. The idol is eventually retrieved from behind Pastor Yeboah’s church and after a lengthy interrogation, the pastor is led away by the police. In the video, he angrily defended himself by saying that he had indeed consulted Mr. Kwaku Bonsam, but that the powers he had given him didn’t work. The success of Pentecostalism in West Africa, with its exorcisms and speaking in tongues, depends heavily on its resonance with traditional religion. But by showing that a well-known pastor had explicitly relied on juju spirits, said Professor Meyer, Mr. Kwaku Bonsam “affirmed widespread rumors that pastors had secret spiritual resources.” His popularity soared in response. Today, his sprawling shrine complex in Afrancho, with 18 guest rooms, attracts people from all over the world, who pay a fairly hefty price — 10 Ghanaian cedis, or around $5 — to see him. But the bulk of his earnings, Professor Asamoah-Gyadu said, come from wealthy businessmen and politicians in the form of donations and “gratitude money.” It is this, he added, that allows Mr. Kwaku Bonsam to provide free tuition for over 1,000 schoolchildren in Afrancho, for instance, as well as to afford skin graft operations at Harlem Hospital. Pentecostal pastors in Ghana, perhaps envious of his success, regularly challenge him to spiritual battles to prove who possesses greater powers. In one memorable showdown, Mr. Kwaku Bonsam, exhibiting his trademark flair, rode into Jubilee Park in Kumasi on a horse, adorned in traditional battle dress. The event was broadcast on the radio. Thousands came out to watch. The pastor never showed up. In celebration, the newspaper Daily Guide reported, Mr. Kwaku Bonsam conjured live birds and money in different denominations, prompting a small riot. The police fired tear gas into the crowd to disperse it. Life in New York has, by comparison, been fairly uneventful. With little space and no work permit, Mr. Kwaku Bonsam has been unable to perform the highly elaborate rituals he is known for in Ghana, in which he claims to become possessed by spirits, conducts animal sacrifices and throws gunpowder onto open flames. To Mr. Acheampong-Tieku’s knowledge, Mr. Kwaku Bonsam has become possessed only once in the Bronx. “He started speaking in a spirit language,” recalled the Ashanti chief, who was in Mr. Kwaku Bonsam’s apartment with several others. “He showed what things are going to happen, and told a few people what they could do for themselves, like what not to eat.” “It was pretty calm,” he added. Still, Mr. Kwaku Bonsam has made his way into all aspects of Ghanaian life here. He has improved his English and become fluent in the rhythms of life in a global capital. Appearing in traditional robes, he takes part in monthly meetings of the Asanteman Association of the U.S.A., the Ashanti cultural group over which Mr. Acheampong-Tieku presides. He has also participated in ceremonies held by the local Akan community, an ethnic group native to Ghana and Ivory Coast. He is equally at ease at secular functions. Dressed rakishly in a dark suit, he turned up in the front row of the Miss Ghana USA Pageant at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in Manhattan on June 28. David Quansah, a suave TV and radio presenter in Ghana known as Papa Sly, was a host of the event, which drew around 250 people, most of them Ghanaians. Seeing Mr. Kwaku Bonsam in the crowd, he asked everyone to acknowledge “the presence of a very special guest,” leading him to stand and wave. Several people gasped before applause drowned them out. A few days earlier, the pageant contestants were relaxing in a Harlem town house. Primarily Christians, they questioned the motives of Mr. Kwaku Bonsam’s presence in New York. “Fetish priests prey on the directionless and the vulnerable, those seeking any kind of answer,” said Adwoa Adofo, 28, a communications director in Washington. “I read that he sat on an egg and it didn’t break,” said Nadia Asiedu-Baah, 19, a student at Concordia University Wisconsin. “But is there a video of this? Where’s the proof?” During the pageant, however, Mr. Kwaku Bonsam quickly became part of the proceedings. Mr. Quansah asked him to present the awards for Miss Congeniality, People’s Choice and Most Photogenic, the last of which went to Lisa Aidoo, 19, a student at the Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan who was representing the Ashanti region. “She is good,” Mr. Kwaku Bonsam whispered after sitting back down. “She will win, I think.” When she placed second, Mr. Kwaku Bonsam clapped his hands to his forehead. “No, no, no!” he said. The traditional priest has enjoyed his year in New York, but with his surgeries completed, he is also ready to leave. “People ask me on Facebook, ‘Nana, when do you come back to Ghana?’ ” he said in an earlier interview. “There are rumors back home that I am dead.” He said his departure was imminent: he had bought a ticket to Accra leaving on Aug. 15. After the event, an exhausted Mr. Quansah, who had interviewed Mr. Kwaku Bonsam on several occasions in Ghana, confirmed the death rumors. “When he returns, we need to have another TV interview,” he said. “The public has to know he is very much alive.” SHARE SAVE Show Full Article Most Popular on OP-ED COLUMNIST President Obama Was Right EDITORIAL The Rush to Demonize Sgt. 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  • selfmade says:
    June 07, 2014 12:56 am
    The most powerful footballers on the planet are FREEMASONS AND ILLUMINATORS and someone asked me to give them the link but am not going to give them but rather I want them to research it by themselves! From c.ronaldo, Mikel obi, messi to Beckham are all masons and celebrates their goals with MASONIC SIGNS AND SYMBOLS esp c.Ronaldo! WHAT IS FREEMASON? A mason is a large organization of men who do SECRET RITUALS AND HELP ONE ANOTHER either positively or negatively! What secret rituals do they performed? Does it involve fetishistic rituals? Yes it involves all what kwaku BONSAM is doing and even beyond that! I know someone will say that Freemasonry or illuminator is not wrong but ALL RELIGIOUS BODIES including the catholic church condemns it! People are not talking about it because is a WHITEMENS RELIGION AND HENCE ACCEPTED but when kwaku BONSAM too talks about Africa traditional religion, the same black people called it paganism!! STOP THE DOUBLE STARDARD BUT THE BIBLE SAYS THAT TASTE ALL spirits and go with the one that suits u! All pschyic readings, holoscropy, astrology etc are forms of RELIGION and people should stop deceiving their souls!! If AN EUROPEAN ANIMAL CAN TALK AND PREDICT OUTCOME OF MATCHES WHICH ARE YET TO BE PLAY, HOW IS STRANGE when a human being too talks about the same WC?The strange one is an animal talking and ppredicting match results not a human being! LACK OF KNOWLEDGE MY PEOPLE PEEISH!
  • jay says:
    June 07, 2014 01:49 am
    Blame the media for publishing stupid shit like this. It has no room in our society. Bonsam...get akaminko well then.
  • QuophiDeDe says:
    June 06, 2014 08:44 pm
    can you please give me the link to that news?
  • Edward, Maryland says:
    June 06, 2014 09:47 pm
    All you supporters of Kwaku Bonsam out there, tell your idol that if he claims to have any powers, he should predict the outcome of matches or events before they happen, or tell Ghanaians what he is going to do before they happen. Not to wait for something to happen and claim it's by his powers. Like don't wait for Ronaldo to be hurt before claiming responsibility for it. What about him coming out and predicting the results of Ghana's encounter with the USA, Portugal and Germany in WC 2014 -ahead if time -before they happen. I bet you, the guy us going to wait for us to win a game and claim responsibility for it.