A Bank of Ghana notice to the general public on cryptocurrency investment scheme ‘SIDICOIN’ did not only save the earnings of the masses; it put the heated social media war between Bridget Otoo and Stonebwoy to rest and also birthed a claptrap disclaimer from the musician.
Social media platforms, particularly, Twitter, were inundated with remarks about SIDICOIN following Stonebwoy’s cunning endorsement of the investment scheme, with Bridget Otoo promising him a showdown.
Bridget Otoo, a journalist with many years of experience, could not fathom why the musician, once an ambassador of Menzgold (a confirmed Ponzi scheme) would introduce people to another money-making venture – an unlicensed financial scheme for that matter – when customers of the now-defunct gold dealership firm still have their funds locked up with no favorable signals of retrieval.
In all his narratives, Stonebwoy, a very influential musician, did not see anything wrong with his endorsement of SIDICOIN.
His unbowed stance triggered a call for his immediate arrest and subsequent prosecution as the Coalition of Aggrieved Customers of Menzgold (CACM) said SIDICOIN’s “legal terms, purity of gold of the coin being offered, fixed percentages of dividend one is assured, and language of their terms and conditions cleverly tells you that this business is a Nam1 made scam.”
The BOG statement
The Bank of Ghana, in a statement issued on April 27, 2022, cautioned the general public to be wary of “trading in cryptocurrencies and other unregulated investment schemes.” Stressing that it had taken notice of the impending launch of SIDICOIN in the country, the central bank said “neither this investment scheme nor the Promoters of the company have obtained the approval of Bank of Ghana, to operate in the banking and payment services sector.”
Having sold the SIDICOIN idea to his followers, Stonebwoy shared the BoG statement on his Twitter account and that is worth commending. It is only fair that he informs the people he misled. Where he tripped, however, was his disclaimer that accompanied the BoG statement.
He first made a clarification that he was not an ambassador of SIDICOIN and is “not associated with the product” nor has he “been rewarded to promote it”. That clarification was necessary because there had been suggestions of a sort.
Stonebwoy explained that: “The developing world of NFTs, Web3.0. the metaverse and digital/crypto assets and their ability to change people’s financial fortunes has caught my attention in recent times and I simply thought I was sharing a Ghanaian version I had discovered for people who are as interested as I am to join me on my learning path. My advocacy was for people to join a club for us to learn further information on how to not be left out of the new global order, not to encourage people to invest in a financial scheme of any sort.”
“In hindsight, I should have hastened slowly but I blame over enthusiasm from all the interesting things I am discovering about the adoption of these disruptive technologies. May we all do as the Bank of Ghana says and exercise caution even as we strive to do better for ourselves and our communities.”
Hello.. ????♥️ pic.twitter.com/jkuSwQLNrG
— 1GAD (@stonebwoy) April 27, 2022
By just taking a cursory look at Stonebwoy’s statement which is pregnant with excuses, one would notice that it is infantile, bogus and repugnant. And a careful analysis would prove worse. He made no sense; it was not a well-thought-out statement. At best, he should have eaten a humble pie and apologized for being reckless, selfish and insensitive considering that the Menzgold scar is still fresh in the minds of people even if he would want to absorb himself and other ambassadors of Menzgold from blame.
Stonebwoy’s statement that his advocacy was not to encourage people to invest in the scheme but to encourage them to join the club for information is utterly ridiculous, to say the least. His first tweet about SIDICOIN, although did not categorically say ‘go and invest in SIDICOIN’ was an endorsement. Admittedly, the post encouraged people to join the SIDICOIN club as stated by Stonebwoy in his disclaimer but it is also instructive to point out that his tweet urged the public to “anticipate the SIDICOIN” – for “every hardworking person deserves to make money”. What was he communicating?
Again, to say that ‘digital/crypto assets and their ability to change people’s financial fortunes caught your attention’ so you decided to share the Ghanaian version you had discovered, yet argue that it was not intended to encourage people to invest is an insult to the intelligence of Ghanaians. Very disingenuous! That is a lot of eyewash!
During the heated exchange with Bridget Otoo, Stonebwoy was more concerned about why ambassadors of Menzgold should be cut some slack. He never mentioned that his post about SIDICOIN was not an endorsement but a call on the public to join him on a ‘learning path’ although the journalist maintained that it was erroneous for him to be introducing people to yet another scheme. The big question is: ‘why did he not issue such an important disclaimer at the time if that was not the intent?’ He was rather defensive.
Every Hardworking Person Deserves To Make Money,The Future is NOW!
— 1GAD (@stonebwoy) April 18, 2022
It is safe to say that Stonebwoy was promoting a product without due diligence. Whether he was paid or not is not the crux of the issue; besides, he has set the records straight that he was not contracted although it is a no-brainer that influencers tweet at brands that have contracted them in their promotional tweets. While one may not have any piece of evidence to substantiate a claim that Stonebwoy is indeed an ambassador of SIDICOIN, it is only the gullible that would believe such a dissociation story.
It is crucial that celebrities are mindful of products they endorse – be it directly or indirectly – because it would arguably be difficult for them to extricate themselves from blame when the said product turns out to be a nuisance on the customer. Although Stonebwoy has insisted that ambassadors of Menzgold cannot be blamed for the mishap, he ends up soiling his reputation if the people lose confidence in him for leading them into a pit. A musician of his caliber should know better.
If Stonebwoy had a business manager to peruse such deals, the narrative would have been different because the assumption is that, the business manager, knowing his onions, would have consulted the Bank of Ghana and experts before that infamous tweet which was supposedly to encourage people to join a club.
In one of his earlier exchanges with Bridget Otoo, Stonebwoy was very much concerned about his reputation hence, the need to protect it jealously.
He said: “I appreciate you a lot… I understand there have been scam schemes and there will always be. But please kindly read about NFTs so that we don’t aid to drown my hard-earned reputation. Don’t you think I should know better than misleading people…”?
I appreciate you a lot..
I understand there have been scam schemes and there will always be. But please kindly read about NFTs
So that we don’t aid to drown my hard earned reputation. Don’t you think I should know better than misleading people..
— 1GAD (@stonebwoy) April 18, 2022
Shouldn’t Stonebwoy know better? Should he not be concerned about his brand instead of misleading his followers? His colleague musician, M.anifest summarizes it best in a tweet!
Said no to some brand engagements in the past cause they were just not a good fit. Hard to say no to ???? in this here Ghana but sometimes e need in the long run.
— M.anifest – Madina to the Universe (@manifestive) April 17, 2022