By Rhoda Woets “Sarenco is mafia,” said painter Almighty God (b. 1950) while he grabbed my arm and pulled me towards a black and white painting in the back of his workshop, “he also cheated other African artists.” We are in Almighty God’s extended open-air workshop at Suame junction, one of Kumasi’s jammed thoroughfares where an unremitting stream of cars and buses head further up North. A strategically positioned painting of a human figure, covered in blood, warns drivers on their way to the junction with the words “drive with care, over speeding kills.” During an enchanting tour among vivid paintings nailed to the white walls, palisades and wooden structures in his workshop, Almighty God told me that Sarenco owed him 4,200 dollars (US). But the contemporary African art “specialist” Sarenco never answered his phone calls; how should Almighty get his precious money back – all the way from Italy to Ghana? To underscore what he had just said, Almighty God pulled out his phone to dial Sarenco’s number in Italy once more. And indeed, no answer.
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