First time visitors to Ghana, who may tune in to our local radio and TV stations may be pardoned for thinking that impotency and sexual weakness is an affliction of Ghanaian men. There’s no radio station (mostly Twi speaking ones) and TV stations in Ghana who can boast of not advertising herbal bitters with the power of improving sexual weakness in men.
The marketing departments of such companies are smart enough to associate their products with some of the most popular; most listened to/or watched radio or TV programmes. Some of the companies have succeeded in becoming either lead sponsors of some of these popular shows or part sponsors. This means their adverts are played or LPMs (Live Presenter Mentions) carried out at every opportune time.
Some of the adverts are damn hilarious, suggestive and exaggerative. The adjectives and the ‘raps’ these presenters employ in advertising these herbal bitters (mostly aphrodisiacs in disguise) is legendary. Sometimes you are forced to applaud their performance.
Interestingly, most adverts about herbal bitters on TV feature young men and women oozing with excitement after taking a ‘shot’ of the drink, a proof of the drinks efficacy, a departure from the old days when old folks endorsed drinks.
Among the benefits one derives from consuming these herbal bitters, we are told, include good appetite (to eat well), boost ones strength/endurance. The chief benefit is obviously to improve the sexual performance of men.
The last claim has been disputed by many health experts who, contend that, these herbal bitters are nothing but ‘poison’ which could affect the health of the consumer over a period of time, since most of the claims made about these bitters are unfounded scientifically. That is, a large percentage of these products on the market have not undergone the requisite scientific analysis to determine its efficacy- improving ones ‘bed-matic skills’.
One of the critics of these bitters was the former head of the Food and Drugs Board (now Food and Drug Authority). In an interview on the proliferation of bitters on the Ghanaian market and the FDB’s position on its medicinal (sexual improvement) claims, Mr. Emmanuel Agyarko opined:
‘if these beverages (herbal bitters) are proven to have medicinal properties, we (FDB) won’t register it as herbal bitters. We will register it as medicine. They go out there to deceive public that if they drink these bitters their sexual impotence will go away. It won’t go away. You’ll sleep when you have to wake up and do what you have to do’.
Studies have shown that the sexual prowess of men naturally drops after a certain age and those who wish to improve it should resort to medications prescribed by a qualified health expert or adopt healthy lifestyles. People should ignore the claims of sexual enhancements being propagated.
The health experts do have their say. But the herbal bitters market keeps growing. It seems new products keep emerging on a monthly basis. I’m not armed with stats on the rate of consumption but by the mere ‘appearance’ of new products one can safely guess the market is booming.
I was at a supermarket last month when six people came into the shop to buy one of the new brands on the market- Joy Daddy (J.D). Judging by the quantity they bought, I concluded they operated drinking spots. One of them bought six cartons. The least number of boxes I saw taken away was three.
Out of curiousness, for I have heard glowing remarks about the bitters, I asked one of the buyers what the drink does. He laughed and remarked ‘Are you new in Ghana?’ to which I said no. He went on to remark that Joy Daddy ‘makes you stand on your feet (perform well) in bed. It’s the most sought after nowadays’. Before walking out, he advised me to try it and be the judge for myself.
WHO TO BLAME
The economic principle of demand and supply is playing out here. A section of Ghanaian men think they need to ‘correct’ their sexual performance. They want to last long, satisfy their partners well and enjoy the whole sexual experience. A man whose sexual game is top notch is treated with respect. This is a well known secret. So men, who are even ‘fit’ will go ahead and ‘dope’ for maximum plaudits from their female partners.
These companies have realized this and are churning out numerous brands of bitters to ‘solve’ this problem of sexual weakness. You can’t blame them, even if the claim is false. Once the product have the seal of the Food and Drugs Authority and the Ghana Standard Boards, be rest assured that the radio and TV stations will advertise them and the public will patronize it as well.
The superlative manner in which some radio presenters promote these bitters can induce you to taste it. I was listening to a sports show when the presenter began acknowledging his sponsors. Out of the six sponsors, four were bitters producing companies. The manner in which he ‘sold’ each one of these products without injuring the other was amazing. He succeeded in projecting the good they do to consumers-boost sexual competence.
I don’t know the number of libido boosting herbal bitters available on the Ghanaian market as of today (they are too many). I also don’t know if the benefits they offer are true. But again, with many of these bitters making appearances when men gather to socialize, you can’t but nod to its proven wonders.
If you have any testimony, please share at the comment section of this blog.