“Money machine” His glory days as an addict and his sad end!

The character in this article is nicknamed Money machine, he is a native of La Côte D’Ivoire. La Côte d’Ivoire, like other West African...

The character in this article is nicknamed Money machine, he is a native of La Côte D’Ivoire.

La Côte d’Ivoire, like other West African countries, is faced with the problem of drug trafficking and drug abuse. During the period from 1991 to 1999, about 7,500 drug cases were handled by the Ivorian judiciary, with an average of 830 cases per year. This figure increases the magnitude of the problem in La Côte d’Ivoire, considering the negative effect of drug addiction on the economy, and social aspects of the country, for example: unemployment, crimes, physical and moral violence, robbery, compromised health and well-being, etc. This phenomenon is very alarming as it concerns both the adolescents and adults of the population. In order to have a clear picture of the evolution of drug abuse in Côte d’Ivoire, a survey was conducted, with the assistance of the national police in the department of drug and narcotics law enforcement, that provide us with the data from the period of 1999 to 2007.

During this period, 7737 people were charged to court for drug offenses under Ivorian law on drugs, of which 58.5% were Ivoirians, while 41.5% were foreigners. Women constituted 6.51% and minors were 2.1%, in the people included, all belonging to different varieties of social and professional circle. Moreover, drug seizures continued to increase steadily in an alarming rate with Indian hemp or Cannabis sativa(15.076.7 kg) leading, followed by cocaine (26.9 kg) and finally heroin (85.8 g). To examine the impact this problem has on education, a survey was conducted in high schools in different communities of Abidjan. The survey revealed that in schools, 8 to 29% of students were involved in drug abuse. Smoking of Indian hemp is the most common and occurs between 17 and 20 years. The majority of these young consumers live in the sub hub area of Abidjan and belonged to the middle class.

Money machine as he was popularly known decided to find solace in Ghana after all he went through in his native La Côte D’Iviore for his humanitarian work. In one of the conversations I had with him he told me it was his dream to establish a Children’s home to help orphans and abandoned children.

I first saw him in my hood when he was sharing money and cocaine to his fellow addicts. Because it was rare for an addict to share money to his fellow addicts his actions caught my attention and I wanted to know who he really was.

One sunny afternoon he was passing by our sitting place and we called him. Because he knew he was an addict and rich all those who call him were either after his money or what he had to offer so he seldom accept.

He had wanted to ignore us but as gentle and organized as we were seated he couldn’t resist us. He greeted us and we started a conversation on how he got here and where he came from etc. He went down to the nitty gritty of his adventure right from his days in La Côte D’Ivoire.

I came to Ghana on a different mission but got caught in this lifestyle although I am planning to stop he added.

NB: 99 out of 100 addicts will always tell you they want to stop and start a new life. Whether it’s genuine or not we will leave that for another day.

We had a lengthy chat with him and it was time to change environment because the drug was communicating to his cells. He gave us some money and also placed some in the mosque building project box just in front of us.

He told us he wanted to be closer to God and he was planning to revert to Islam which he once was. We encouraged him to do so and he left. I followed up on this several times but I wasn’t successful.

Cocaine addicts are always on the receiving end but Money machine was an exception hence the name. He will enter a perfume shop and buy perfume, spray it on himself and leave the rest on the street. At some point he lived a luxurious lifestyle by his own standard.

Most people have benefitted from the Generosity of Money Machine And his Great sense of Humor. Simply put he was an Addict with a beautiful soul!

Loved by all in a very short time Money Machine took over as the most talked about addict in the whole of Accra Newtown.

I once asked him which cocaine was the best, Ghana or La Côte D’Ivoire and he said the latter. He gave me an instance when he went and brought untouched cocaine from Ivory Coast 🇨🇮 to one of the bunkers. He shared it amongst his fellow addicts and warned them about the strength of the cocaine. They ignored his warning and went ahead to snort the cocaine. According to him the enjoyment was so high they came out of the bunker with their boxers because they weren’t in their right senses.

He said because Ghanaian dealers want more profit they add some foreign materials hence making it not enjoyable.

Now the Question?

Where does Money Machine gets his money from?

I asked the same question and he told me his father left him a huge inheritance back home in La Côte D’Ivoire and whenever he needs money he will just make a phone call and the next day he has money in his account. He said he sometimes request for 10,000 cedis or more and the money will be sent immediately.

He got carried away by this flamboyant lifestyle and had a motor accident after being so high on drugs and he broke his legs. He sent pictures of his broken legs to his family and they sent more money for his treatment but because he was so much into the drugs he left the hospital with his crutches and the broken legs. The wounds began to swollen because there wasn’t a proper care and he’d sometimes leave the crutches somewhere and force himself to walk with the wounds. He struggled with the wounds but kept pushing.

As the days passes by and he became more addicted to the drugs and the lifestyle in Accra he started losing touch with his family back home. Money machine started to struggle because he hardly gets money to buy the drugs and everyone started to notice he isn’t the usual money machine we all knew.

Just like Deborah in our last article Money Machine lost complete touch with his family back home and the only way to survive in this turbulent environment was to “hustle to survive”.

Necessity they say is the mother of invention so he took advantage of his relationship with others with the excuse I am expecting some money from my family next week so kindly give me X amount and I’ll pay next week. When it became apparent he wasn’t the usual money machine we knew people started to reject him. So he decided to resort to the usual way of begging, He will go round asking people for money to eat and some provided and others rejected him. As things became harder by the day Money Machine started stealing.

On one of his missions he got caught,beaten and was dumped in Accra Newtown. Money machine died from the wounds he sustained the same day 3 years ago.

Key words: Hard drugs, addiction of drugs and psychoactive substances affect a large number of African countries, including Ghana. It appears that the use of hard drugs remains a concern as evidenced by the numerous seizures of narcotics and psychotropic substances, despite the increased repression against trafficking. The situation is even more alarming that the sale of various types of drugs to students, even within schools, continues to thrive. This plague is characterized by a strong preponderance of marijuana,Indian herb, Benylin with codeine etc. Thus, it appears truly as an absolute necessity on one hand, to strengthen the control and repression, on the other hand, developing awareness campaigns and prevention to both adults and youths in order to enhance their knowledge to “say no” and inform them of the risk involved in taking hard drugs. As for parents, they should be more vigilant to be able to detect any changes in behavior among young ones and encourage dialogue with their children.

In all of these drug related issues there is some hope,we have a lot of addicts who have quitted out of their own conscience and others who have gone through rehabilitation and are no more into the drugs. I’d love to start a campaign against drug abuse and educate our young ones about it’s dangers. Watch this space for more drug related stories.

The Writer,

Sabit Ali

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“Money machine” His glory days as an addict and his sad end!
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