Friday, 11 July 2014


I first heard of the sad incident from a friend who learnt of it via

facebook and whatsapp. Premised on the fact that he had information about the incident via social media, I was skeptical about the information. He showed me pictures he had received on both social media platforms which indicated that Castro together with his female friend Janet Bandu had drowned and body was washed ashore and in some versions retrieved from the sea. He showed me a couple of online media websites on his phone that had also reported the issue. That was on a Sunday. The following day, Monday, at work I did some skimming and scanning of some news websites. They reported different versions of the incident. The commonality was that most of them had pronounced Castro dead. I consciously monitored the traditional media and most of them seem to have picked up the issue from social media. 

I was however impressed with the way some television stations notably TV3, GTV & Joy News carried the matter. I was also impressed with the way the traditional media veered off the path of sensationalism which social media and some online newspapers were impetuously paving, though the traditional media seemingly picked the story from social media.

On the flip side, subjecting this matter to critical thinking, it is evident that most social media users do not take cognisance of the fact that such issues are delicate and need to be treated with tact and prudence. This is so because comments or statements made directly affect the family and relatives of the victim. Irrespective of the fact that there are no laws guiding the sanctity of the content of messages people post on social media platforms, it is high time users of social media users made conscious efforts to respect the sensitivity of people whose relatives find themselves in such situations instead of engaging in the senseless marathon of trying to break the ‘news’ first. The consciousness of sanctity of the messages we post on social media needs to be awakened in social media users lest we ‘kill’ and ‘bury’ people even before they die. It is also imperative that social media users imbibe the spirit of consciousness as to what to conclude and what not to. It is important that social media users are circumspect about the information they share on the social media platform. A few days after the incident, I am tempted to believe that Ghana is made up too many sanguine people. This is premised on the fact that the issue had already been trivialised using cartoon images and satiric jokes. Ghanaians need to decipher what issue to trivialise and what not to. Quite apart, as Ghanaians where is our cultural value of respect for the dead or anyone purported to have visited the ancestors? From the comments I see on social media, we seem to have lost it. Has technology made us lose our cultural consciousness?

Equally, online newspapers should revisit their journalistic ethics. Invariably they have become an indispensible source of information. Their relevance has been consolidated with the advent of smart phones and devices; hence news is readily available to anyone who has in his/ her possession a smart device or access to internet. Thus one doesn’t necessarily need to have a newspaper or sit before a television before having access to news. Coupled with the fact that most of them have attained considerable credibility, some consumers of media might swallow the information they receive hook, line and sinker. Therefore premised on the fact that these on-line newspapers have somehow become a trustworthy source of news, it is prudent that they eschew sensationalism and display impeccable professionalism. They also need to verify the information they obtain before publishing. If at the time of publishing the veracity of information obtained cannot vouched for it needs to be stated explicitly or better still not published at all. 

In conclusion, all and sundry should constantly and consciously grasp the fact that the social and online media have not only become  sources of socializing, entertaining ourselves and doing business, but have also become sources of obtaining information which most likely some would regard as credible. Hence we need to watch carefully and critically what we post and share on these platforms. Enough pain has been caused the families of Castro and Janet Bandu by our polemical comments and satiric jokes. It is time we put these comments and jokes on hold and pray and hope that Castro and his friend would be found miraculously alive somewhere.


  1. das very true my bro. n thank u for being able to pull the bull by the horns . Off late , even the way we we make satiric jokes about His Excellency is appalling . N also abt critical issues issues like the economic bunkruptcy , the power shortage n the rest. It seems natin now seem serious to th Ghanaian . The very ideas that people use to make those jokes , if they were to use it to beta their lives , they wouldnt have being where thry are . N now the thousand multi dollar question which bounse back n forth in my mind is : where lies the future of Ghana if this continues ? This is a dramatic samersault on typical logic n a complete departure from social norms hence the need for authorities concerned to take proactive n pragmatic measures to nid this social canker that is eating deep into the fibre of our beloved country in the mud .

  2. very thoughtful comments, my bro