One-man religions forearmed with loudspeakers proliferate in Ghanas fast-growing capital. But as the city gets noisier, inhabitants are fighting back
” If you flout the laws of God, the serpent will burn you. Satan will ingest you ,” screams Apostle Michael Sarfo at a major superhighway intersection in Ghana’s capital, Accra. He preaches for five hours every weekday morning, with a stack of loudspeakers amplifying his evangelism. Passersby stop to receive prayers and boons, some tossing their money gives from moving cars.
In Accra, you are never far from religious speeches. According to one estimate, there are approximately 10 religions per sq km, and open-air preaching, whether on modes of public transport, in bus terminals or at road intersections, is commonplace.
The population of Greater Accra was about 4 million in 2010, but the city’s rapid growth means that number is expected to reach nearly 10 million by 2037. And as the population increases and the city gets noisier, tenants 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 levels after parties complained. He speculates those who complain about the interference are not true Christians.