Lifestyle Accra

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So I have been in Accra for a few days and the realization hits me that I am now an outsider. Yes I do feel like an outsider. I walk into offices and homes and people are surprised to find me there. Why because they expect me to be in far away Tamale. For my international readers, Tamale is 12hours drive from Accra and an hour and fifteen minutes by plane.

Out of sight out of mind the saying goes and it is interesting to see it applied to me. I daresay I have been a life force in Accra’s social circuit for so long that my presence will be missed. Thanks to internet and social media however folks don’t realize that I have been gone for that long. Enough of the nostalgia let me talk about revisiting the city of my birth.

I wanted to go out on a Wednesday night to the usual social hangouts only to realize that these hangouts were not functioning. Upon inquiry I got to learn that the ban on drumming and dancing was in effect prior to the celebration of the Ga Homowo festival. This is a period of silence for the gods and spirit forces of the land to rest their heads and wait for the big day. This further created an epiphany that the city of Accra is a very noisy city with people sellingvideos, CDs, everybody trying to use music to draw attention to their wares and even at night churches having public address systems blaring so loud residents living nearby cannot sleep in peace. In a time like this, residents of Accra heave a sigh of relief from all the noise even though they might be part of the noise making.

Life in Accra, being the capital, has always been stressful whether you let it get to you or not. It’s very alarming the rate at which young people are developing high blood pressure, heart problems and its related diseases in the city of Accra. Even though everybody claims nothing much goes on, we all don’t see why people are stressed like that. Especially with the current economic down trend it looks like the only persons making it in Accra or even in the country as a whole are the politicians and persons with political party affiliations. The easiest shortcut (oh! There are several) to ‘making it’ in Ghana now is to ‘do politics’. Ghanaians in our usual jocular way have even designated a path to riches from serial caller (call radio stations every morning to talk partisan politics), to foot soldier (errand boy for politicians), to a desk in a ministry (pseudo consultant), to full blown MP in a new district or if you are not successful a deputy ministerial position.

Otherwise become a pastor. And just maybe people will stampede for your holy water.

I have come to the realization these few days that in reality I don’t miss anything about Accra. Maybe some of the people but i daresay that inasmuch as possible, this is not a city that you can live in your whole life and say you have lived. There are too many varied opinions, too skewed in one direction or the other and too many shades of illiteracy and ignorance to ignore. I also daresay that living in Accra somewhat makes a person narrow minded if life in Accra is all you know. Like they say, travel and see. Till I started to love to travel, I also thought Accra was the bomb and the place to be. Oh yes it is the place where the action is but then what kind of action are we talking about here. Depending on your interests you will find something in the potpourri called Accra but at what expense.

At the risk of being branded an irate blogger let me just say that Accra is one fine city if you really know what to look out for, where to go and the right places. That is if you can find the time to do all that with the ‘rat race’ (money chasing) as a full time job. Chase money the whole time and don’t even have time to spend the money but only to get competitive with each other over who has the latest gadgets, finest houses, cars, clothing (Sarks?? Lol) etc. Is that not the routine story in Accra?

Let me end here by saying that just as Accra is in flames lately and the environment is all smoky and chaffed, people should not let their lives be that empty. Find something worthwhile to do, be philanthropic, take an outdoor interest in photography or travel to see other parts of Ghana. This should take some of the stress off.

Now I hear people are rearing animals on the side. First it was dog breeding but now it’s animal husbandry like pigs, cattle, etc. Nice! Whatever works charley!

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