Back in the 1970s, I would travel with my parents to Accra from Prestea or Tarkwa, where I grew up, to visit my maternal grandmother at Teshie-Nungua Estates.
I was awed by grand, imposing buildings such as the Osu Castle, the Ghana Commercial Bank building on the Accra High Street, or the Kingsway stores on the Kwame Nkrumah Avenue.
I was wide-eyed over the vast avenues, the many cars, the fountain at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle, lunch at Continental Hotel (now Golden Tulip Hotel), the rolling waves at the beach and a night life that only a capital city or a large city can offer.
But after a short while I would yearn for the quiet, rolling hills of Tarkwa and Prestea, where life proceeded at a much more sedate pace, where everyone knew everyone and where I had many friends I could go with to the staff club house to watch tennis, drink some Muscatella or simply splash in the swimming pool without a care in the world. Accra at night
In 1982, I had to relocate to live with my grandmother, and over the next five years, all my Opoku Ware School holidays were spent in Accra.
I did not go out much beyond the estates during the holidays and so did not get much of an opportunity to explore Accra beyond vacation classes at the Labone Secondary School or the odd visit to friends.
Since I hardly left campus during term time, I did not get to know Kumasi much either. I did not even know Rex or Roxy cinemas, The Pink Panther or The Shrine nightclubs, all favourite haunts of many teenagers.
Thus I was left suspended, unable to discover either city’s nooks and crannies or its heartbeat and character, go with its flow and allow it to grow on me.
I was no longer a Tarkwa boy, but I was neither an Accra Boy nor a ‘Kumasiano’, as some like to refer to inhabitants of Ghana’s second largest city.
I completed secondary school in 1987 and immediately relocated to Tarkwa. I was back home to familiar territory, but the following year I was out again. This time it was to the University of Ghana, Legon.Again, I hardly ventured out of campus. I only knew a few landmarks from my earlier forays into the capital, so while I was in Accra, Accra was not in me. Flying out For […]