Ghana Is One of the Greatest Countries in Africa but People Don’t Know Much about It. It’s Time to Change That.
Like any country, Ghana has its good and bad, but we’re here to tell you how the good far outweighs the bad.
Forget the blackouts aka ‘dumsor’ and poor WiFi because that doesn’t describe Ghana – the exquisite West African country and its people.
Here are 15 Things You Didn’t Know About Ghana
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Without further ado, let’s dive in.
Ghana Are Proud People and Uber Friendly
Akwaaba – it means welcome and that’s the feeling you’ll get wherever you travel in Ghana… you feel welcome.
Locals of Ghana love their country and are always eager to show you around. Be weary though, if you’re offered Akpeteshie. This is a local liquor which Spokesman.com says “tastes like fire to the uninitiated, burning all the way down the throat to a nervous stomach.”
Ghana Brought You Azonto
If you can stomach Akpeteshie, you might find yourself dancing to Azonto. We won’t lie, there is debate about who “owns” Azonto… Ghanaian rapper Sarkodie claims he is its originator, but the bottom line is that the popular Azonto slang and dance is from Ghana.
On a side note, the Financial Times reports that Sarkodie is the “first Ghanaian to win the BET Award for Best International Act: Africa.”
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Art and Death Are Taken Very Seriously
It’s hard to imagine that a coffin could be a sought-after art-piece, but collectors around the world want to own a Ghanaian coffin.
Why? Because they are literally pieces of art. Fantasy coffins are carved by hand. For locals they cost around $400 but international collectors can expect to pay tens of thousands of dollars.
Expect hairdryers, footballs, vegetables, fruit or even ladybirds… as written by Emma Thomson for National Geographic, “It’s much more than a status symbol: the Ga people believe the deceased will continue their job in the afterlife and the coffin acts as a reminder.”
Ghanaians Name Their Children Based on the Day of Their Birth
Like most African countries, there are many ethnic groups within them. In Ghana, groups like the Akan, Ga, Nzema and Ewe, name their children according to what day of the week they were born. They may have slight differences, depending on the group. Just because each person has one – doesn’t necessarily mean it will appear on their official documents.
According to BBC, a Monday birth would be Kojo for male and Adwoa for female and Sunday would be Akwesi for male and Akosua for female.
There Are Nearly 80 Languages Spoken in Ghana
And one of those is Ghanaian Pidgin English – which is also also called Kru English, or if you’re in the Akan region, it’s known as kroo brofo. This Pidgin English is mostly spoken in the southern towns, and in Ghana’s capital, Accra.
Here are some of the headlines taken from the Ghana page on the BBC’s website:
· Ghana First Lady go refund tax payers allowance she collect since 2017
· Ghana extend population census 2021 afta public outcry
· Why Ghana landlords wey collect over 6 month rent advance from tenants risk jail term
Beaches in Ghana
When you think of Ghana, you don’t think beaches. You’re probably only aware now that Ghana even has beaches, and Aluxers, they’ve got beaches that are so beautiful and so surreal, that you’ll never want to leave!
There’s 560 kilometres of coastline in Ghana. Labadi Beach is the most popular beach in Accra but to throw out a few beauts, there’s Kokrobite Beach, Ankobra Beach, Cape Coast & Elmina and Axim.
Elementary and Middle School – Free and Compulsory since 1995
And as of 2018, high school education is also free, but it’s not as clear-cut and simple. President Nana Akufo-Addo promised tuition free high-school education when he became president in 2017.
The only way to make this work was to adopt a double-track system… basically not all students go to school at the same time. This free education was so popular that classrooms were overcrowded, so now students take turns going to high-school.
As reported by the New York Times, “… the government is unwavering in its support of the new system, saying it delivers adequate education to more children.”
The whole education system has been revolutionized because of the pandemic, check out Coronavirus is the trial of mass-online education to find out more about it.
Ghana’s National Food Became a Tik Tok Trend
It’s not a challenge that sat well with everyone, but it certainly brought Fufu to the table.
Fufu is a dough made from boiled or ground cassava or plantain, which is a fruit similar to bananas. It’s generally eaten as a side-dish or with stews and saucy meals.
The challenge was called #FufuChallenge, where TikTokers would record themselves buying the staple and eating it.
Many made highly derogatory comments about how gross the food was, but as highlighted by “miss forson” on Twitter, “So, is the whole point of the #fufuchallenge to be disrespectful to African Culture? Because why are people going out of their way to buy food, taste it, spit it out and call it gross. It’s ok not to like something but to use it to disrespect peoples culture?! Smh”
Locals Believe There Are Too Many Churches in Ghana
A question posed on DW.com, went as follows “Is religious life in Ghana out of control?” Many in Ghana would answer, yes.
In 2014 there were around 10,000 churches in Ghana. The problem residents are experiencing is that many new faith-based groups don’t have an official church, so use various available places, like schools, for worship.
As one Accra resident said, “The churches are too many, everywhere, some of them make a lot of noise, you can’t even talk.”
The Value of Cocoa in Ghana
We can thank Ghana for our constant supply of chocolate, as they are the 2nd biggest exporter of cocoa in the world. There are roughly 800,000 famers cultivating cocoa, of which 70% is exported. In fact, it’s really expensive to buy chocolate locally because there are such high taxes imposed on the domestic sale of chocolate and semi-finished cocoa products.
Ghana and Nigeria to End Trade Dispute
For many years, Nigeria and Ghana have had conflict over the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC). This act enforced foreigners, including Nigerian traders, to make a $1 million commitment before doing business in Ghana.
Selected lawmakers from both countries have recently met to enact the Ghana-Nigeria Friendship Act, according to icirnigeria.org.
If you’d like discover more about Nigeria, we suggest you watch our video:
The Origins of Kente Cloth
One of the biggest exports from Ghana, even making an appearance at a Louis Vuitton fashion show, is Kente cloth. As explained by Ghanaian writer, Elizabeth Ohene for BBC, “There are two main strands of kente in Ghana representing two ethnic groups – the Ashanti and the Ewe (among whom the cloth is in fact known as kete).”
Aluxers, the fabric is rich, bright and powerful and what was once reserved for royalty, is now available to the masses… but this question must be asked… Is it really kente if it’s not hand-woven and printed on cheap cloth?
As Ohene admits, that’s a tricky question for Ghanaians.
The Food Is Delicious
Ask anyone what they loved about Ghana, and they will tell you the food … especially the fufu!
Overall, the Ghanaian diet has far fewer processed food options and much less added sugar, but every meal is crammed with flavour and is super fresh.
If you’d like to learn more about Ghana – head onto Audible and download “Ghana – Culture Smart!” by Ian Utley. It’s a 5-star-rated listen and we’ve got you covered with a free listen at alux.com/freebook.
There Is So Much Potential for This Developing Country
Everywhere you go in Ghana, you can see how the country is developing. Infrastructure is growing, highways are going up, even the WiFi is getting faster and more reliable.
Ghana have come a long way since the 6th of March, 1957 when the former Gold Coast became Ghana.
One of the Biggest African YouTube Channels Is in Ghana
With 858K subscribers, Wode Maya is the owner of one of the biggest YouTube channels in Africa. He loves to promote Ghana and Africa, and as he says “The Image of Africa has been distorted around the globe and we are changing the narratives via Youtube videos, One Country At Time…”
Aluxers, what do you find the most amazing about Ghana? We’d love to hear from you.