Depending on whom I have spoken to since the beginning of the end of Menzgold, I’ve either believed strongly that it was a deliberate diabolic scheme to dupe unsuspecting (or in the words of the Finance Minister, "greedy") investors, or it was a genuine effort to set up a novel gold trading business, different from anything regulators and industry experts had ever envisaged, and share the wealth accrued for everyone’s benefit.
I wish I had heeded to Richard’s advice when he spoke to me about a promising and lucrative gold business he was engaged in almost five years ago.
Richard Nana Appiah Mensah or “Negus Negasty” as his nickname was back in school, was my classmate in Adisadel College.
We were in an Arts class of fewer than fifty students so we were a pretty close group.
The aim of this piece is not to chronicle the school life of the “mysterious” millionaire popularly called NAM1. I aim to convince you through this article that despite all what has been and is being said about the NAM1 and his dealings – whether criminal or pious – there really aren’t many worthy alternative investment options available to the masses so in our collective interest, we should all hope NAM 1 cooks another scheme for us in the near future.
Hold on with any insults directed at me and finish reading this short piece first…
Customers of Menzgold have been ridiculed and vilified so much that persons who once happily queued to collect their monies in black poly and ‘Ghana Must Go’ bags are now shy to even admit they invested there.
When you hear everyone refer to an investment you made as a sign of greed and lack of financial savviness, how do you come out and cry loudly that you are a victim?
I never invested in Menzgold for two main reasons. Firstly, I didn’t have any idle lump sum lying around to deposit, and secondly, as I mentioned earlier, NAM1 was my mate; not just age mate, or another school mate but he sat just two seats behind me for three straight uninterrupted years: he was my classmate and I think I knew him quite well.
I knew what he was and what he is capable of doing. I wasn’t going to be easily swayed by the sudden glorious accolades and supposed academic qualifications including economics and mining, all of which he reportedly acquired from the University of Ghana. I was happy for the Nana Appiah I sat in class with and the wealth he commanded but I wasn’t convinced.
The crashing of the NAM Empire was not unexpected, though I support those who blame Government acting through its Agencies, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Bank of Ghana (BoG) for quickening what was an otherwise inevitable slow death.
For decades, many people have had brilliant ideas and plans sitting in nicely labelled folders on their computers, awaiting the elusive miracle of sudden implementation. Such persons and others who have never thought of attempted to or succeeded in implementing anything worthy on their own are the harshest critics of NAM1.
They fail to recognize that no matter how criminally minded he may have been, the glowing success Nana Appiah achieved in this relatively short period must have been borne out of tact, proper planning and execution. The guy is just a Genius – He met all who mattered in this country and beyond, and single-handedly almost collapsed the nation’s financial system which the experts probably believed was robust.
It was easy to avoid investing in Menzgold when I first learnt of it because then, I just didn’t have the cash but now that I do, let me ask… what will be a worthwhile investment if I have Fifty Thousand Ghana Cedis (GhC 50,000.00) in cash today? Save in a bank that will give me less than 5% per annum; invest in a company that offers just about 2% per month or start a business which is likely to be frustrated by the many bottlenecks in the system.
I beat myself each night for not investing heavily with Menzgold while it was Menzbank or even Menzbanc. I surely won’t repeat such a mistake knowing that all the state will do it to issue warnings. At least I could withdraw my principal before the third warning comes in. That would probably be after five years of promptly receiving my cash dividends.
The only real benefit of stopping the activities of Menzgold now is that I don’t have to endlessly explain to parents and close friends who wonder what went wrong with me if indeed I claim NAM1 sat only a few seats away from me in the same class.
They will understand there’s truly no shortcut to heaven and I am not doing as badly as NAM1 makes some of us look.
Anyone close to NAM1(his numbers are not going through) should inform him that just as he brought Menz – Bank, Banc and Gold – after the collapse of that gold scheme in Kasoa years back, I will wait for his next Ponzi when the Menzgold ‘noise’ dies down and I will invest heavily. After all, as he said while celebrating the “stupidity of ace broadcaster, Israel Laryea”, “Business is not for the Pope”.
Wo suro aaa, wonndi…