“I gotta find an excuse to get out this house. Every day I keep lying to myself that I’d use most of the hours each day to catch up with school work, but end up wasting it without replacing it with anything relatively productive. Man, this ain’t it.”
It was after I finally decided that yes, I was gonna go explore a city I’d grown only slightly accustomed to, that I started to wonder what exactly there was to even see. I googled, and found a video of a man, probably living outside of Ghana, who recommended (and mispronounced the names of) places that tourists could visit in Ghana. Then I also did a little research on a couple of places some people told me they’d been to before. I drew a “map” that outlined where I’d start from and where I’d end. After a couple of days of forced procrastination due to inadequate funds, I finally set out of my house.
NB. The pictures might not be so quality. My camera battery was pretty low cause I abandoned my charger in school. I had to ration the power that was left and take most of them on my phone. Instagram filters helped make them look better, anyway.
-I practically walked the whole time I was out. Besides the trips to the first and from the last destinations, I didn’t know which cars (I mean troskis) went where. And if you’re well aware of how cheap I choose to be most of the time, you wouldn’t be surprised to find out I didn’t want to spend money on any taxis.
- Gallery 1957 (The Galleria), Kempinski Hotel, Gold Coast City
Funny enough this exhibition was the only excuse for my visiting Kempinski Hotel for the first time ever. I was a bit surprised when I entered the room and found it empty, contrary to what a man in charge told me about it being one of the most visited places in Accra. It had this whole swimming pool theme, with most of the swimmers being elderly people. Besides the paintings there were screens with videos of the swimmers, and pictures of the people who most likely were the inspiration for the art.
Reminds me that I haven’t gone swimming in a really long time. I’ve got more plans to make.
After I left I just had to take a picture of the National Theatre, because…well, it was right there.
- Acrilex, Osu
After walking for about 30 minutes, dodging the main road for a while and walking through a neighbourhood whose name I do not know of, I got to Osu and found the mural I was looking for — one someone had told me about. It was painted on the side of an arts and crafts store named Acrilex. The words ‘arts’ and ‘crafts’ were enough to tempt me to go into the store and eventually buy a can of silver spray paint I obviously hadn’t budgeted for. If you’re an art lover you’d find they have a lot of cool supplies — why if I had a little more money I wouldn’t have left with just the spray paint.
- Independence Square (Black Star Square), Osu Klottey
Then there was a lot more walking. Don’t know how long this one took ; I had to make a couple of stops. Passed through a couple of slums with the Independence Arch in the distance as a guide. At the Black Star Square, I noticed quite a number of people sitting, and even sleeping, in the bleachers — some I assumed were homeless. The Independence Arch was pretty close to, if not right next to, the sea. Opposite it was a statue of a soldier mounted on a pillar, with a black pot painted with gold symbols beneath it.
I couldn’t get close enough to the Black Star Gate because from afar it looked like it had been barricaded, and crossing the road would’ve been too much work.
Conveniently enough there was a photographer lingering around, and in accordance to a prayer I prayed before leaving home, I got someone to take me a couple of pictures.
- Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park & Mausoleum, High Street
I was relieved to find out I didn’t have to pay to enter, or else yours forever chisel would’ve just stood outside the wall to take pictures. This place had a lot of statues, of people playing different kinds of traditional instruments mounted on pillars on top of water. They all led to the biggest statue — that of Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, the first president of Ghana. The building behind the statue , I guessed was the mausoleum. Under it was his tombstone.
The ever-faithful wife’s was present as well.
I couldn’t help spotting this on my way out. I wonder if our former president ever kept a part of his mind preoccupied with different possible ways he could flex.
- Jamestown Cafe, Jamestown
Now this place, I was pretty familiar with. Just not in the day.
My plan was to stop here last so I’d be able to grab something to eat before heading home. After buying the spray paint and paying the photographer for my pictures, my pocket was a tad drained, so I had no choice but to settle with a light snack. No sweat. After all, there’s always ‘rice at home’.
The service at Jamestown Cafe is actually pretty good. Feels warm whenever you go to a place in Ghana where they still apply good customer service. Only thing that caught me off guard that day was the food I settled for, considering the fact that I saw about three pieces of chicken on the menu, felt myself salivate when I saw the huge plate headed my way, and opened it just to see a solitary piece of chicken with some pepper at the side. I wasn’t amused, but a hungry girl just had to settle. Eventually when I get to Kumasi I’ll console myself by buying three pieces of chicken at the same price I bought that one.
All in all, I’m more into the ambiance of this place. Seems like a pretty calm place to get away to, read, meet up with people, inhale creative air, etc. Plus they’ve got dogs you can pet. Who can say no to dogs?
Now, until my next break, my bucket-list has been put on hold. Pray for your girl, that she gets more wisdom on how to spend money so she doesn’t have to compensate by being chisel.