While living as an expat in Accra Ghana I find a lot of joy in staying constantly curious about life here. When I see something in Ghana culture and local life that I don’t understand or am intrigued by, I have a desire to find out more and to scratch below the surface of what I’ve seen. There is still of course so much that I don’t know about Ghana, but I like to think that in the time that we have called this beautiful West African country our home, that we have explored aspects of Ghana culture and life that without an inquiring spirit, we wouldn’t have discovered!
The blog posts below range from admiring the seamstresses and tailors who sew on the sides of the road with their manual sewing machines making garments in beautiful African wax fabric (before coming here I had never seen a manual sewing machine in use) , to harder-on-the-heart topics like the Kayayei in Ghana who are the carrier girls and women at Makola Market and other local markets. They work in the extreme heat and humidity of Ghana, carrying other people’s shopping on their heads in their large metal bowls. These loads are damaging for their heads and knecks (that are often still growing and developing in young girls) but they have little choice but to keep earning a meagre living, to simply survive. And to think I didn’t know anything about this harsh reality for the first two years we were here.
Then there are the Posuban shrines and Asafo flags of the military companies of the Fante people in the Central region that really had me wondering how on earth they fit into Ghanaian culture upon seeing sculptures of animals that aren’t found here, and unusual scenes on hand sewn flags, and I learnt so much writing a post about them. Ghananian Clonette Dolls in bright rainbow colours were the same, I didn’t think that there was so much to discover behind these plastic dolls.
Explore Ghana’s rich culture and local life through my posts below.
*This post is close to my heart. I’ve taken the photos during our time in Ghana during walking tours of Jamestown and Nima, village stops on trips out of town and sometimes at random moments around the city. Most of the time my offer to pay for a photo is politely refused. I had toyed […]
Kayayei – the carrier girls of Ghana who bear the load of goods that they will likely never be able to afford
We reach the end of the narrow fabric alleyway of Makola market where we have given into ‘just one more piece’ after spotting a unique African wax print of elegant swallows mid flight. The bird prints are quite rare and we don’t see them very often. We are hot and experiencing what I’ve termed ‘fabric […]
It is the delightful mix of bright red, yellow and turquoise colours, shapes and patterns that look like those on playing cards, hearts dangling off balconies that remind me of traditional Scandinavian Christmas ornaments and a blonde man sitting drinking tea at a table with an African man that could be a comic block from a Tin Tin adventure book – these things have me somewhat mesmerized at the photo on my screen. Am I looking at a beautifully illustrated page of a children’s story book or an actual place in Ghana? And how on earth does such an eccentric looking place fit into the culture and history of this country?
Clonette dolls are brightly coloured plastic dolls that originated in Ghana during the 1950s in Colonial times when Ghana was still known as The Gold Coast (Ghana gained its independence in 1957). They were the first industrially produced dolls in Africa and in recent years have gained wide international appeal as a home décor item […]