A mysterious masked businessman is seeking Ghana’s presidency by campaigning as a supervillain-like figure inspired by Marvel’s Doctor Doom.
His #thenewforce movement aims to capture youth voters with promises of opportunity and progress.
The unnamed contender has appeared on billboards nationwide depicting a caped figure in a glittering gold mask along with slogans like “leadership for the next generation,” “the new force” and “embrace the change.” The audacious stunt has generated curiosity in the West African nation facing economic crisis ahead of 2024’s presidential election.
While the masked mogul’s identity remains unconfirmed, Semafor reports it is maverick entrepreneur Nana Kwame Bediako, also known as “Cheddar.”
“It is obvious it is Cheddar, the stature of the individual looks exactly like him,” graphic designer Felix Frimpong, an Accra resident, told Semafor Africa.
Bediako apparently draws inspiration from Doctor Doom’s ruthless drive and technocratic vision, hoping to position himself as a political outsider unencumbered by corruption.
“I personally don’t understand why someone wants to run for President in this country and has decided to hide behind a mask,” a Twitter user said.
“So the mask is for suspense or what?” said another Twitter user.
Strategically situated in Ghana’s most populous urban centers – including Accra, Kumasi, Cape Coast, Takoradi, Ho and Tamale – the cryptic billboards have garnered maximum eyeballs.
The flamboyant campaign courts Ghanaian youth angered by nepotism and mismanagement under the two mainstream parties. If the mystery figure qualifies for the ballot, his novelty could attract young voters seeking dramatic change.
But establishment of a successful third party in just one year remains doubtful. The really bizarre Doctor Doom scheme may fall short, but already shows savvy manipulation of spectacle in pursuit of power.
The masterminds behind the masked Doctor Doom contender have demonstrated remarkable marketing savy, stirring public intrigue despite lacking an identified candidate, party name, or defined policies. If this advertising ingenuity persists over the next 12 months, it may compel Ghana’s electorate to welcome novel political philosophies and reforms down the line.
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