Have you taken note of the kind of features and symbols that some women are using to design their nails lately?

It will amaze you to know that the Ghana Cedi note, that the country spends millions of cedis to print, is what some beauticians cut into tiny rectangular shapes for designing acrylic nails.

The fashion trend, which originated from Nigeria, has been fast-adopted by beauticians in small, medium and top class saloons in the country.

Interested persons are charged according to the denomination of the cedis used in designing the nails, which range between GH¢1.00 to GH¢50.00.

Nail designs within the ranges of GH¢1.00 to GH¢10.00 attract a fee of between GH¢20.00 to GH¢40.00, while those designed with either the GH¢20.00 or GH¢50.00 attract a charge of between GH¢50.00 and GH¢70.00.

It must be noted that the amount charged also depends on the kind of saloon one patronises. A beautician, who pleaded anonymity, told The Chronicle that this has been an age-long practice, and it is no news to those in the modern fashion industry.

She expressed surprise that I was now hearing of the practice, saying, “I don’t know why this is a big deal in Ghana. In Nigeria, it is nothing, it is done and no one complains.’

Although the act is criminal, this reporter decided to have it done to her nails to experience the whole process. The beautician first applied a powdered substance on my nails, filed them, and then brushed the nails to smoothen the surface.

After this, she selected artificial nails, glued them onto the nails, and then cut them into the desired length.

She requested for the money denomination to be used, and when this reporter handed the GH¢1.00 to her, she then began the process of careful cutting the currency to get the desired designs.

Without any knowledge of committing a crime, she cut out the symbolic features of the GH¢1-like figure – ‘1’, GH¢, Bank of Ghana, the word ‘One’ on the gold bar, the spectacles and nose of Edward Akufo Addo, and the word ‘cedi’.

She glued each piece, and then pasted them onto my fingernails one after the other, designed it with acrylic powder, and polished it.

When this reporter insisted that she give the damaged money back to her, the beautician became annoyed and retorted: “The destroyed notes are not given back to the owners.’

When she was done, another person expressed interest in having money-designed nails. When a concerned trader nearby cautioned her against the criminal act, she responded, ‘It is my money, and I can use it whichever way I want.’

The saddest aspect of this illegal practice is that if 500 ladies in a day decide to design their finger nails with GH¢.1.00 notes, imagine how much money would be lost to the country in a month or year.

In the current situation, the country’s legal tender meant for business transactions is now assuming alternative uses, and if the trend is not checked, one can only wonder what other uses people will find for the currency.

The police and relevant authorities must act to stop the practice and educate the public on the uses of the country’s currency, before it gets out of hand.

Fashion is good, but patriotic citizens must not go to such lengths to beautify themselves. A stitch in time saves nine!!!





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