“My family and I have occasionally had to relocate so I could make ensure their safety.” These were only a few of the numerous concessions and safety precautions that the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) Journalist of the Year had to make in order to write gripping narratives.
According to Erastus Asare Donkor, working as an investigative journalist required him to exercise caution in order to avoid dying while exposing the wrongdoings of society, particularly with regard to the illicit mining industry.
The journalist said in an interview with PM Express: Personality Profile that he was once harassed by military personnel, and that during that encounter, his team’s life and his own vanished from their view.
“The whole place was crawling with over 35 fully armed military men. As if they are going to war. They kept coming. They were plenty and angry. Their issue was, why were the members of the task force looking into their things,” he told host, Aisha Ibrahim.
He related another incident that he saw on tape, in which some military personnel freed several Chinese nationals who had been detained for engaging in illicit mining. The servicemen gave his troops the order to stand down after realizing they had been videotaped.
He said that the event resulted in an hour-long dispute between his crew and the security personnel that turned physical.
Mr. Donkor claimed that during another incident, he and his crew were ordered to strip naked while they were being held hostage for a number of hours.
Still, he plucked up the bravery to tell the warriors it was time to go.
“We got into the vehicle to leave, but along the line, as the driver tried to move the vehicle, they (soldiers) got into the vehicle and started punching our faces, cracked our windscreen, and broke the mirrors. It was something else and I think that incident will forever ring in my ears.”
The celebrated journalist claims that he has no regrets about carrying out his profession, even in light of the several threats. Instead, he treasures each second because he has raised awareness.