Growing up in the village somewhere in the Eastern Region, it was the ultimate dream of every kid to live in Accra someday. Parents in my village took excessive pride in the fact that their children reside in Accra- it did not matter what work their sons and daughters did or even where they stayed – to them “Accra is Accra”
I was among the fortunate few in my village who finally got to settle in Accra and I have been amazed at the stark reality that not all Accra is Accra and that there are indeed different shades of Accra. Each shade depicting a particular social economic class and lifestyles.
The different shades observed are discussed as follows:
# Shade 1: The Old Glories
The old glory describes the areas which used to be the “ish”- where everyone dreamt of staying in the past decades but now has lost its cool.
Areas like Sakumono , Dansoman(DC) ,Achimota and Tema fall into this category.
Back in my school days every guy claimed they lived in DC but today it is becoming a haven for retirees and anxious children who cant wait to get out of the claws of their parents.
#Shade 2: The Die Hard Slums
The next category of Accra dwellers are those who live in the slums. Nima, Korle Gonno, Mammobi & Ashaiman.
These are your day to day artisans: the masons, drivers, scrap dealers, carpenters ,painters, not forgetting the fishermen and fish mongers.
They represent the hassle and sweat of Accra. Such areas lack proper basic amenities like water, good schools and hospitals. Electricity manages to find its way there both legally or illegally. There are very high fertility rates among the women living in such areas. There are petty crimes all over such zones mainly because of unemployment/underemployment.
It is interesting to know that they produce some of GH’s the best Dancehall artistes like Stonebwuoy and Shatta Wale!
#Shade 3: The No Shades
This refers to settlers in living conditions unacceptable for the dignity of a human being!. Ultra slums like “Sodom and Gomorrah” and the streets of Accra fall into this category. Patrons of the no shades are normally “kaya yo” or “paah or paah” and street hawkers with little or no education who have left the comfort of their villages to seek greener pastures in Accra.
Their very existence depicts a gross failure in our social system.
#Shade 4: The fringes
This category of Accra dwellers are those desperately laying claim to the “I live in Accra Bragging Rights”. They are mostly torn between the Greater Accra and a different region like the Eastern & Central Regions. Areas like Ablekuma,Sowutom Ashongman, Pokuase, Amasaman, Oyibi & Oyarifa fall within this category. These areas are bedeviled with fast paced developments which is miles ahead of the town planners. Settlers are mostly middle class guys who cant either find space for a decent living in the ever congesting central Accra or are tired of exorbitant rent fees being charged by greedy landlords and landladies.
There are also a sizeable number of ” occupy till I come” settlers who take care of other people’s building property until the house is fully furnished and the rightful owners willing to move in.
Basic amenities like water and reliable electricity can be a challenge due to the faster rate of development versus planning.
#Shade 5: The Accra Dream
The ultimate Accra dream of financial independence luxury, influence and power is lived by the enviable few residing in the likes of Airport Residential Areas, Cantonments, East Legon, Trasacco & Villagio.
The few high and mighty settlers include business tycoons, top CEOs, lawyers, politicians and the who is who’s in Ghana.
One day I will own properties in these Dream areas, but until then all I can afford now is to drive around these areas with my wife and appreciate the serene environs its tasteful architecture.
Have a great week.
From the desk of ROL