Thursday, 26 February 2009

Names and places

How are the naming of streets, bus stops and places done in Ghana. Who decide on these names and first begin using the names, and how is it that these names stick?.

Names /captions of places/towns have always intrigued me. So I present my list of names of places/bus stops/chop bars/captions- (not necessarily in any order!)

I mentioned this was not in any order but this beats them all! Yoomo Specs- This is Ga for old womans spectacles. Yoomo specs is an area as well as a bus stop in Teshie (a suburb of Accra).We’ve had old women in spectacles with us for years. Before the ‘’darks/shades’’ became fashionable items , they were essential for the yoomo. We all do have memories of that old woman at church or school in heavy thick bearing down on nose spectacles reading. (did those things obscure or aid their sight?) .We might not have erected or painted anything in their honour, but for now Yoomo Specs in Teshie bears the honorary torch.

Alonte bar --- (Also in Ga meaning cats bar). Cat bar does not actually mean that it is a place where cats are allowed to groom themselves and be treated to a first class service. Rather humans groom the cats with the aid of their oral cavity. Okay, in case you did not get my poor joke, @ Alonte Bar, cats are the main menu. In fact there is no menu, you sit down and order. No surprises sort , the attendants know why you are there and you know what is coming. The name of the bar has been given to the area as well as the bus stop there. Alonte Bar is in La (a suburb of Accra) and located slightly opposite the La Palm Beach Hotel. So next time you are at the hotel just cross the street and ask for Alonte bar. (don’t be surprised if you recognise your brown and white cat about to be..).

Sowutuom -- (Twi for hold your gun) Located somewhere around Santa Maria also a suburb of Accra. Maybe in sometime gone by, to stay here, you had to be prepared to hold your gun blazing.

Las scala -Now if you are a foreigner in a trotro and hear of Las scala from the trotro mate you might be tempted to get down and see some Italian opera. Wrong.! Las scala gets its name from a ‘video center’ situated nearby. And rather than some nice tenors you will hear shouts from market women nearby. A KVIP is nearby, so your nose (instead of your ears) might get the treat instead. (Location Teshie on the Accra- Tema highway)

Kojo Sardine- Also name of an area in La,- this name came from quite a famous family in La. So won’t say much here except that I liked the name a lot when I was in secondary school and always thought what it would be like to have an endless supply of Titus.

Don’t mind your wife. Somewhere in every town in Ghana, there is a don’t mind your wife chop bar. If collated in all, they could stand as one of the biggest food franchise, rivaling McDonalds and co. The name is a boost for every tired/heavily nagged Ghanaian man that no matter the situation at home, somewhere nearby they can always enjoy a hot bowl of fufu with groundnut soup engaged with dropped in long okro and the hardest thick skinned goat meat for their chewing enjoyment.

37 ! This is the name of a military hospital. There is no 36 and neither a 38 just 37. End of story.(Location-Independence avenue Accra)

Circle- yes also circle, not a rhombus or tetrahedron. Just circle. When you see a trotro approaching just do a circular sign and it will stop for you. Magic heh? Try doing this when going to 37 and see what happens (pls. let me know what happens).

Russia-not the other Russia with Putin, but the one with Alhaji Mutari as Zongo chief.Location -->suburb of Mataheko which in turn is a suburb of Accra the capital of Greater Accra.

Before screen savers and the ‘’what are you doing at the moment on Facebook and Twitter, trotro owners and drivers had theirs (…… or well sort of). My favourite caption on a trotro is –Enemies are not God! This is a huge statement and whenever I encounter small enemies along the way, I remind myself that enemies really are not God.

And what is it with the Ghanaian repetition of names- Kokomlemle, Coco Beach, Agbogbloshie and dabi dabi. Okay not a noun, but you get my drift. Wouldn’t a one ko and single mle do? But no 2X2 kokomlemle.

Petroleum, kau kudi, Palm wine junction, Agboogba, Laterbiokorshie, Auntie otsoo, Israel, Bethlehem, and the list goes on…great places.

1 comment:

  1. haha yes repetition.. like this food "mpotompoto".. just one mpoto won't suffice.. heheh oh Ghana, hahahaa i miss it..


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