Former BBC reporter opens up on years of drug addiction

Former BBC reporter opens up on years of drug addiction

- Paa Joe Odonkor is a Ghanaian former journalist who worked with the BBC

- He left journalism for the high flying life of the illegal drug trade

- He was later arrested and become a drug addict after being released from jail

Paa Joe Odonkor, a retired Ghanaian journalist who once worked with the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) but has since battled with drug abuse, has spoken up about how substance abuse has devastated his life.

In a video recorded by SVTV, Paa Joe Odonkor recounts how he started out in life having attended some of the best schools Achimota College and the Ghana Institute of Journalism.

Paa Joe related that back then he also worked with the BBC, stating in those days working with the BBC did notpay as much as it does now, but that nevertheless it was a "satisfactory job."

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Paa Joe Odonkor
Photo Credit: SVTV

He said that due to his "big" lifestyle and the urge to impress others, he went into the drug trade.

He revealed that his first "job" he did was that or a carrier. He transported marijuana and earned $4,000.

He stated that in his second trip he made twice as much money doing the same thing, bagging $8,000 that time around. At which point he decided to go into the business by himself.

After three trips - to Italy, Switzerland, and the USA - carrying marijuana he decided to begin dealing in cocaine.

"I started dealing with cocaine. With cocaine I was a big boy," said Paa Joe Odonkor.

According to the former journalist, as of December 1982, he "controlled" $162,000, and says he made a bedsheet of dollars at the former Ringway Hotel, the same property that now houses a bank.

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Paa Joe expressed that he surrounded himself with all the luxuries, but that he was later busted in March of 1984, in what he said is the largest drug bust ever to have occurred on the African continent.

"I was arrested for carrying 142 tonnes of cocaine. My passport showed that I was younger.

After I left jail and came back home, I lost all my friends. As for the women, when you have deeper pocket and have lots of dollars they call you honey but when you get broke and develop holes in your pocket, they make themselves conveniently unavailable… they vanish," he said

Paa Joe went on to say that out of frustration, he too began using the substance he used to transported for others.

He implored listeners never to venture or even try to use heroin and cocaine, and told of all the horrors of being addicted to it.

He told of all the luxuries he had and all the expensive gifts he bought the women he was with, only for most to now look down on him at the state he is today.

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He also revealed that he has tried to commit suicide twice, driving a car into a tree the first time, and taking a handful of 10mm pills of Valium.

The former journalist said that he has got a good family who support him. Although he said he still gets suicidal thoughts, it appears as though he's working through it.

"The worse thing that can happen to you isn’t broken heart but when you are hook to drugs…Yes when you’re a slave to drug, many people will despise you."

He said that people tend to use the "once an addict, always an addict" logic, and appealed society helps people who quit since quitting cocaine or heroine is not easy.

He said that he was not looking for sympathy, but that when recovering addicts are neglected by society they tend to fall back to their old addictions.

Paa Joe's story was so moving that Ghanaian dancehall artist, Shatta Wale, shared a post on social media expressing his intent to meet the former journalist in order to thank him for sharing his life story.

Checkout Paa Joe's Video below:

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Shatta Wale's post...

"DreamLine Aaron Jay I wanna see this man and just shake him..please..he just made me shed tears...please please and please..arrange that and let me meet him..GOD BLESS YOU PAA JOE DONKOR..I LOVE YOU ."

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