One-man religions forearmed with loudspeakers proliferate in Ghanas fast-growing capital. But as the city gets noisier, occupants are campaigning back
” If you flout the statutes of God, the serpent will bite you. Satan will devour you ,” calls Apostle Michael Sarfo at a major superhighway intersection in Ghana’s capital, Accra. He proclaims for five hours every weekday morning, with a stack of loudspeakers amplifying his evangelism. Passersby stop to receive prayers and praises, some convulsing their money offerings from moving cars.
In Accra, you are never far away from religious sermons. According to one calculate, there are approximately 10 faiths per sq km, and open-air preach, whether on public transport, in bus terminals or at street intersections, is commonplace.
The population of Greater Accra was about 4 million in 2010, but the city’s rapid growth has meant that count is expected to reach nearly 10 million by 2037. And as the population increases and the city goes noisier, occupants are becoming more willing to fight back- developing in a rise in noise complaints.
Sarfo has been preaching at this intersection with his speaker system for the past four years. He says he used to be a lot louder but lowered his stages after parties grumbled. He accepts those who complain about the racket are not true Christians.