Accra, Ghana, “Africa for beginners”

“Africa for beginners”, that is just one way they describe Ghana, and Accra. It is a far safer, calmer, structured example of life in Africa. Oh, and for the record, the “they” here, refers to “Obroni”, the white folk in this part of the world. But they are in so many ways very correct, but I find you only really notice that when you first arrive, and if you have been elsewhere before hand. Accra is calm and very unlike any other capital in the region. So if you are boarding a plane and heading to Accra  for the first time, relax, chill out, and get set for an amazing life experience.

So many people have asked me of my best experience, or what I like best, or most, or, what makes Accra better than other places. I never answer. Mainly for the reason that the variety of the choice makes the final call too complex. Too much like comparing apples to pears, or to be more Ghanaian, pineapples to coconuts, for it to make sense. Plus, I have noticed that each time I am asked, silently in my head I have a different answer.

And of course, people ask of the negative, the downsides of life in Accra. But that is perhaps easier, although still not totally clear. For me it is food. Disappointing supermarkets, offering such little choice, and in such an inconsistent manner. The restaurants of Accra are better than most other cities in the region, with the possible exception of Lagos, and on this blog we feature a number of them, but even so, food is something of a challenge. Less so if you are just visiting, but an issue for those who call Ghana home, or who live here more long term. Now all that said, Ghanaians themselves, are the most food patriotic in Africa. They really love, defend and champion their food. They totally believe they make the best soups in all of Africa, and that the world would be a far better place with more Banku, RedRed, Waakye, and of course, Jollof Rice. I once saw a great tee-shirt that read “Make Fufu, Not War”, and no one can really argue with that.

One thing you may need to prepare for, before coming to Ghana, or Accra, is Music. It is everywhere, it is loud, it has a very high bass line, and it will reach inside you and move you. Ghana loves it’s music, it music history and it’s bass. This is the birthplace of Highlife and Hiplife, and a country that seriously influenced Afrobeat. It has great jazz, and of course the cultural use of the drum, big drums, is all through the music. Coupled with that is of course, dance. So maybe, when you plan your trip to Ghana, you may thing to pack your dancing shoes. Come to Ghana and let us teach you Azonto.

Welcome to Ghana, your Africa for beginners

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