Moving Back to Jamaica

A blog about my Move Back to Jamaica after 20+ years of living in the US. Most of the articles focus on the period from 2005-2009 when the transition was new, and at it's most challenging.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

A Kenyan Visiting Ghana

There is something very familiar-feeling about the following post.

The original Jamaicans are said to have been brought here from what is today's Nigeria and Ghana.

(Courtesy of my sister Ruth.)

-------------> CTX 06/20 (ANS) A Visitor Amongst Us: a Kenyan Akosua in Ghana
> Jun 19, 2006 (Accra Mail/All Africa Global Media via
> COMTEX) -- Even before the
> BA flight touched down in Accra at 8:00pm on June 5th, a
> few subtle things let
> me know that I was in Ghana. Fellow passengers made
> conversation and exchanged
> contacts with each other. You rarely see this in flights in
> America or Europe.

> Passengers mostly stay cautiously quiet and stick to their
> own business as if
> the person sitting next to them had a deadly, infectious
> disease. A man behind
> me ordered four bottles of wine to the surprise of the
> airhostess.
> We all smiled to ourselves knowing that some of the bottles
> would probably go
> down with the fufu and light soup that he would have later
> that night. When the
> plane successfully landed, everyone clapped. "We also clap
> when the plane
> touches down in Nairobi!" I excitedly told Gifty, the lady
> sitting next to me.
> You must have guessed by now where I am from. I am a Kenyan
> visiting Ghana for
> the next two and a half months. For purposes of anonymity I
> have named myself
> Akosua since this seems to be what everyone, especially the
> men in the streets
> call me. Unlike the beautiful Ghanaian lady called Akos
> whom I saw on a TV
> advertisement the other day in an advert for panther or
> some other condom brand,
> I am always prepared.
> To deal with the cold season at this time, I was advised by
> a friend to bring
> warm clothing and this I did faithfully. I regretted it as
> soon as I stepped
> outside the plane and was hit by a blast of hot air.
> Akwaaba! Welcome to Ghana,
> the air seemed to say. Because it is so hot in this cold
> season, there are
> always people selling cold, satcheted water in pans on
> their heads.
> I don't think they realize how much balance and grace in
> takes to run after a
> tro-tro with these loads on their heads. They call out,
> "pure water pure water!"
> Sometimes I want to tell them to spare their voices because
> everyone knows the
> water is pure. In fact, so far I have bought water called
> "so pure, so fresh,
> sooo clean, and so nice."
> I am determined to blend in with my Ghanaian brothers and
> sisters; we are all
> Africans after all. I am doing everything to learn about
> Ghana and Ghanaians. I
> started by watching television. After three hours of
> patient viewing, I gave up
> after finding myself having memorized the official black
> stars song, and singing
> along to something called mentors In an episode yesterday
> someone was evicted I
> think. There was cheering in the audience, which I thought
> was bizarre since an
> eviction is a serious deal. In Ghana people are very
> polite.
> On my way to work every morning, the little children in the
> estate always say,
> Please Madam, Good morning. And I always pause, looking at
> them with pity,
> wondering how I can help them because if they say please,
> it means they need me
> to do something for them. They always look at me strangely
> and then continue
> playing. Sometimes this politeness confounds me. I will
> give you yesterday as an
> example, when a taxi driver along Ring Road yelled at the
> driver of the taxi I
> was in, when he accidentally cut a wrong turn and blocked
> his way.
> -----------------------------====================-------------------------
> Copyright (c) 2006
> Page 2 of 2
> The angry taxi driver said, "Please, I think you are an
> idiot. Excuse me but
> please, I think you are the most stupid man I have ever
> met!" And this seemed to
> make our driver angry, although the angry driver had said
> please! I am convinced
> that God lives in Ghana. He is everywhere, in "God is Great
> Preparatory School",
> "God is my Provider Chop Bar", "Onyame Adom Cyber Cafe",
> "Blessed is the Lamb
> Associates", and "Precious Gift of Christ Bar and Lodging".
> Sometimes these men
> and women sing on TV.
> I have learnt that Awuradee and Onyame mean God and if I
> hear them in a song,
> then it means that they are gospel songs. I always wish
> there were subtitles
> because I want to understand these songs that make people
> very happy. Instead, a
> bold caption will occasionally appear announcing that their
> clothes and hair are
> courtesy of Blessed Grace's Fashion Consultants. Mepa wo
> kyew (Please), Read
> this column next week for more impressions on Ghana and
> Ghanaians .
> by Gladys Onyango


At 7/16/2006 8:34 PM, Blogger Frederick Palaver said...

Gladys, your blog entry made me smile- for a number of reasons. As a Ghanaian living in the diaspora (as a result of educational pursuits) I have become increasingly sensitive to my African identity. It is interesting to hear people speak of Africa as if it were one huge mass of land with no borders- a single nation. May be, it is our cue (as Aficans) to realize that no matter what strides a particular African nation makes in socio-economic and political issues, an instability in another African country seems to negate such positive achievements. It is the responsibility of all Africans (governed and governors, but particularly the latter) to take it upon themselves to ensure peace in all areas of the continents that lack peace. Peace is a necessary element in launching any plans for the betterment of the continent. We always need to remember that we're one people and that our destinies are more intertwined than we sometimes realise. Long live Africa.

At 7/27/2006 7:04 AM, Blogger fwade said...


I will have the privilege of spending Christms in South Africa this year wit hmy sister and her family,and she tells me that the country is incredibly optimistic and energetic.

Can't wait.


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