In 2010 Kwadwo Addeah Prempeh joined the World Bank International Essay Writing Competition. He claims: “I emerged as the third of 200 best authors of the world and was called to receive my award in Sweden.” But is this true?

Addeah Prempeh has a strong sense of entitlement. So strong that he even makes up prizes he never won. Especially when it comes to writing, as he wants to be seen as a great author.

Already in 2005 and 2006 he joined the World Bank’s International Essay Competition in an attempt to receive recognition. These attempts failed, so he tried again in 2010, altough based on the competition’s participation criteria – only young people from developing countries in the age group of 18-25 were allowed to join – he was no longer qualified as he was already 29 at that time.

We asked the World Bank whether they check a participant’s age, and a spokesperson of the bank explained that the contestants can fill in their own date of birth when they apply. It’s only when the 10 or 20 best essays have been selected that these finalists have to provide their ID and a check will be done whether they qualify age-wise. This spokesperson assured us that *if* Addeah Prempeh would have reached the finals, he would have been caught and disqualified.

The website of the Quest For Wisdom Foundation, a Netherlands based ‘wisdom and storytelling platform’, published Addeah’s self-written mini-biography in which he claims he emerged third in the 2010 International Essay Writing Competition, organized by the World Bank. This biography was removed by the board of this NGO when they found out that Addeah is actually a swindler, so for reference we link to the web archive of May 29, 2019, not the current site.

This is not the only place where Addeah Prempeh claims this prize. Already on his Facebook timeline back in 2010 he mentions this multiple times:

One month after the event he posted the following message on his timeline:

Interestingly, not with any proof of having won the prize, nor a picture of the event itself, but with a certificate that states he is one of the best 200 authors of the competition.

We asked the World Bank three questions to fact-check Addeah Prempeh’s claims:

1) Who were the three winners of the World Bank International Essay Writing Competition in 2010?

2) Did Kwadwo Addeah Prempeh from Ghana participate in this specific competition and at which place did he emerge?

3) Was Kwadwo Addeah Prempeh from Ghana invited to speak at the Award Ceremony of the 2010 International Essay Competition of the World Bank in Stockholm?

On 11 September 2019 we received a phone call from the World Bank’s Paris office. This spokesperson of the bank was in charge of the 2010 essay writing competition, a jury member, and also present at the award ceremony in Stockholm.

On the first two questions she replied that the World Bank received around 2,000 submissions in the 2010 essay writing competition. The authors who were selected for the top-200 received a certificate. Kwadwo Addeah Prempeh was in this group of 200. But he was not among the 10 finalists, nor one of the tree winners. This is also confirmed in this article where the tree contest winners of 2010 (from Kenya, the Philippines and Indonesia) are mentioned by name.

The spokesperson of the World Bank (whose name and contact details we have on file) also stated that Prempeh was not invited for, nor attended the award ceremony in Stockholm.

This establishes without doubt that Kwadwo Addeah Prempeh lied when he said he emerged third in this competition and was invited to speak at the World Bank’s award ceremony. In fact, he was not even qualified to join this competition in the first place. This case also proofs that Addeah’s lies are not a recent phenomenon, but have been going on for almost 10 years, and probably much longer.

If you want to learn more about pathological lying, or pseudologia fantastica, check out this wiki entry.