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‘I don’t even deserve to live,’ fraudulent Ghanaian chef arrested for forging GWR says

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Fraudulent Ghanaian chef, Ebenezer Smith, who was arrested after he claimed to have broken the Guinness World Records (GWR) for the longest cooking marathon by an individual, says he is so ashamed of himself and does not deserve to live.

The cook, who is fondly called “Millennium Chef Smith”, was arrested and detained on Tuesday at the La police station in Accra for faking the GWR award after he publicly announced himself as the new world record holder, claiming he cooked non-stop for 802 hours and 25 minutes.

Smith had claimed he started the cook-a-thon on February 1 and ended on March 6, allegedly clocking about 33 days to beat the existing world record of 119 hours, 57 minutes, and 16 seconds, achieved by Irish chef, Alan Fisher in Matsue, Shimane, Japan, from 28 September to 3 October 2023.

To back up his claim, Smith had presented a certificate he said was given to him by authorities of the GWR.

But on Wednesday, a spokeswoman of the GWR, Alina Polianskaya, told BBC Pidgin that Smith’s claims were “not true” while the certificate he presented was also fake and did not emanate from them.

“The current and true record holder for the longest cooking marathon (individual) is 119 hours, 57 minutes, and 16 seconds, achieved by Alan Fisher (Ireland) in Matsue, Shimane, Japan, from 28 September to 3 October 2023,” Polianskaya said.

Following the revelation by Polianskaya, the Ghanaian police arrested Smith following a disagreement with his sponsor, the Amadia Shopping Centre, Spintex, where he held his cooking marathon.

He was accused of breaching a contractual agreement by failing to inform the shopping centre about the alleged award, a deception that turned Smith into a persona non grata with a barrage
of condemnation on social media, with many Ghanaian users who supported his attempt, expressing shock and disappointment.

Smith who opened up on his fake GWR record spoke out on Monday saying he is so ashamed of what he did.

“I have been following GRW for long. They (GWR) have a lot of certificates on their online pages. So I just picked one and edited it with my details,” Smith confessed in an interview with GHOne TV.

“After Hilda Bassey did it, I have been thinking about it. And then all of a sudden I decided, after Afua did her sing-a-thon, I decided to make a step,” Smith said.

“Tracking the history has always been sequential, like numbers with the application reference. So I landed on the application reference of Adu Safoa. And then I built something for myself.”

Smith who also revealed that his assistant was not aware of his criminal act, said his sponsors spent more than GH¢300,000 on him, adding that he is ready to face any action from them.

“I can’t tell the exact amount my sponsors invested but it may be more than GH¢300,000.

“Words won’t be enough, at this point, I give my life out to my sponsors to do to me as they wish. I don’t even deserve to live because it’s too much for me to bear,” he added.

Culture

Ghanaian music producer wins $250k in copyright damages against CAF

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A Ghanaian music producer, Kwabena Ofei-Kwadey Nkrumah, also known as Spiky, has won $250,000 and legal costs of GH¢40,000 against the Confederation of African Football (CAF) after he sued the football governing body for intellectual property rights violations.

Nkrumah had dragged CAF to the Commercial Court 7 in Accra for not seeking permission from him before using the beat of his music titled, ‘Okomfo Anokye,’ as part of promotional materials for the 2018 CAF awards.

While delivering judgement in the case on Wednesday, Justice Emmanuel Loddoh who presided over the case found CAF guilty of failing to obtain legal permission before using Nkrumah’s music.

Nkrumah who spoke after the verdict went in his favour, said CAF’s act of using his song without permission was a total disrespect for his intellectual property rights, causing him to lose money from any licensing of his music for commercial use.

Before instituting the lawsuit, Spiky had called out CAF in 2029 for copyright infringement in a series of tweets.

He had noted that even though CAF had sent an email admitting to using his work without his consent and had apologised, they did not reply to him when he made a demand for compensation.

“This is a win for the creative industry: CAF vs Spiky’s,” he wrote on social media.

While admitting to the offence, CAF said the musical work was “available online for free download without any restrictions or conditions, to use for the artwork posted on CAF’s social media platforms.”

They however, denied using the soundtrack for commercial purposes, citing that the CAF Awards was not a profit-making venture.

They further explained that they had deleted the work from their social media accounts and apologised to Spiky.

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Culture

Two African lions make record-breaking swim in crocodile-infested river in Uganda

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Two African lions, Jacob and Tibu, have made history by swimming at night to break the record for the longest swim in predator-infested waters, attempting to cross the Kazinga Channel in Uganda.

According Alexander Braczkowski, from the Griffith University’s Centre for Planetary Health and Food Security who led a team that used high-definition heat-detection cameras on drones to film the two male lions crossing the river at night, the feat was even more remarkable as Jacob made the 1 kilometre-long swim with only three legs, having lost his fourth in a poaching incident when he was caught in a steel trap.

“This swim across a channel filled with high densities of hippos and crocodiles is a record breaker and is a truly amazing show of resilience in the face of such risk,” Dr Braczkowski said.

“Jacob is Africa’s most resilient lion and he is a cat with nine lives given the adversities he had overcome.

Jacob has become famous for surviving a multitude of life-threatening incidents, including being gored by a buffalo, having his family poisoned for the lion body part trade, and escaping after being caught in a poacher’s snare.

“The fact that he and his brother Tibu have managed to survive as long as they have in a national park that has experienced significant human pressures and high poaching rates is a feat in itself,” Dr Braczkowski said.

In an article published in the recent edition of Ecology and Evolution, Braczkowski said the two lions showed strong their determination to find females by ploughing on through waters teeming with crocodiles and hippos and arrived at the opposite bank, some 1.5 kilometers later.

“So, from a behavioral standpoint, it’s fascinating to see them cross such a large water body and over such a long distance.

“I think it’s also a testament to a much larger problem, and it’s a symptom of a much larger problem. And that’s why animals are having to take much bigger risks in a human-dominated world,” he adds.

Braczkowski believes Jacob and Tibu were forced to make the swim due to a lack of females in the national park.

“Female lions are more susceptible to being killed by farmers in retaliation for the killing of cattle and this has led to males outnumbering lionesses.

“A healthy lion population should have a ratio of two females to one male, but in Queen Elizabeth National Park, those numbers have been reversed, and there are twice as many males as females,” says Braczkowski.

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