Things that don't fit into most people's Africa cliché but are perfectly normal in Ghana

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

As easy to get by as water

As a European living in an African country one cannot help but realize that something is wrong with most people’s perception of African countries or Africa in general. And that’s also an issue: some people still tend to see Africa as one country or think that there is something like the one African culture. Of course there are similarities but just because something is like that in Ghana does not mean that it has to be like that in Kenia and Malawi too.

My second home - Agona Swedru in the Central Region of Ghana

So to avoid any misconceptions: I’m an eighteen year old German living in southern Ghana. Everything I see, I see from my perspective as a European. No matter how hard you try, you will always tend to see things through the eyes of the culture you’ve been raised in, so please forgive me if I don’t get something a Ghanaian would. This post is supposed to give people in “western” countries impressions about an African country (Ghana, West Africa in this case) that are different to the usual ones like: “Africa is a beautiful country with an exciting nature but unfortunately they have Ebola but no schools” I don’t have any statistics to boast with, this is just how I experience it.

So there we go:

No. 1: Mobile Phones

one of my colleagues connected in the classroom

Most people in Ghana going up from the age of 16 have mobile phones, it’s not an uncommon thing at all. Also it’s nothing reserved to the rich and upper classes; the taxi drivers, the market women, the hawkers, all of them have a phone. These people are connected: WhatsApp, Facebook…the full range.
Even the grandmother in the family I’m living with has a mobile phone, something my own grandmother in Germany, who is ten years younger, would never even think of.
Need some credit?

Plus everything that has something to do with phones is so easy to get by. You just have to walk a few meters through town and you will see phones, batteries, chargers, protective cases and SIM-cards being sold at every corner. If you ask me, it’s easier to buy credit to recharge your phone in Ghana than it is in Germany.

- Sarah

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