Just as Greater Accra is the capital of Ghana, Accra, precisely Accra Central is the capital for all things shopping. Young and old, rich and poor, male and female; everybody shops in Accra.
Forget the malls, the Shoprite, Melcom, Mr. Price and others. Accra is the centre for shopping. ‘Accra no dey advertise in body, you naa go come’.
Accra is not a place where you just get up and go. You have got to have a plan with regards to what you want to buy and your budget. It is very easy to get distracted, have a plan and fix your mind only on what you came for.
There are specific places to go to in Accra depending on what you want and my job is to break it down for you. So here goes.
Kantamanto. Everybody loves Kant or kanta. I know I do. Kantamanto is the home of everything second hand. Clothes, shoes, bags, sneakers, you name it. There are a few brand new stuff here and there. The slogan in Kantamanto is: the early bed catches the worm. If you want the very best items that can be compared to what you can get in a boutique, you have got to be in Kant as early as 5 a.m. If you thought I was joking, think again. The earlier you get to Kantamanto, the better. Every minute counts. Not only do you get the best when you go early, you also get to move about freely and the risk of getting robbed is minimal. Kantamanto is also the home of thugs. Accra in general but Kant is Aladdin. The picture above was taken on a Saturday around 8a.m. The human traffic was so bad that I took the picture from across the street. The thug life is real. A muscular guy wanted to extort money from me when he noticed I was taking pictures. Little did he know that am I thug who happens to speak good grammar. For quality affordable clothes, Kant got you.
Makola. Now where do I begin! Okay so there are sides to Makola. The side that is close to the Electricity Company is well known for food items. Any food item in Africa you can think of is available. The display of these items is nothing fancy. You find them displayed in aluminum trays on the floor; buy one get germs free.The part close to Rawlings park is known for clothes, books, hair and cosmetics. Then there is the side that is around the fire service. That is the home of Togo clothes and all sorts of materials for sewing. The Moesha Budong wanna bees patronize the Togo clothes and flip a complete 360 in town like they are wearing some high fashion designer. I mean how do you have Brazilian hair, Togolese clothes and Ivory Coast skin tone. It’s often said that these girls ain’t loyal; it all begins here. On the upper end of the Fire Service is Tudu. Tudu is home to those traveling to the Volta region, Togo and Nigeria. You will come across people who change money too. Other than these, Tudu is not so different from Makola. I hate Tudu with passion. That’s where you see a line up of barbers who use just scissors and blades and have the poorest sterilization and right by them are women selling food. I have vowed never to buy anything eatable in Tudu.
Okaishie. Also known as drug lane. That’s the Wall Street of drugs. Herbal, orthodox and foreign. Drop by okaishie with your doctors prescription and no matter how awful your doctors handwriting is, you will get that drug.
Rawlings park. You are very likely to get hungry when you go shopping in Accra. I recommend Akosua Agyepong’s restaurants.Treat yourself to some good food and music. In the park are those who sell clothes, loungeries, shoes and sneakers. On the other side of the park that leads towards the post office is your go to for electrical appliances and electrical accessories.
Tema Station. I bet you all know Tema station. There’s a bit of buy and sell that goes on there but it’s mainly a transportation hub. You can get vehicles to almost every part of Greater Accra and beyond.
Accra central is huge and just so you know I didn’t talk about every single part of Accra. I only highlighted the frequently visited places.
Here are some points to note when shopping in Accra. The traffic is terrible both human and vehicular. The parking situation is just as worse, preferably park your car at home and use public transport. If you intend shopping in large quantities, you may need a head porter, locally called “kayayoo”. Please be generous with them, do not just throw 1 cedi at them and walk off, you are more fortunate than they are. You are likely to get dehydrated, I never go to Accra without getting some coconut water. Coconut sellers are in abundance with their popular brand caption “bor nsuo bor nsuo”. Try to get some coconut water to quench your thirst. This is the most important tip of all. It’s very easy to go to Accra a happy person but return sad. I have had my fair share of sadness. I bought a black jeans from a guy named pompo, which means boils. I wore the jeans and after washing the water turned black. The jeans was dyed. Dress simple and have a bag that is deep enough for your money and phones. Majority of the people in Accra come to shop but there are those who come to shop for your personal belongings. Last but no the least have a plan and a budget. You may see a lot of things you like but you only realize you don’t need them when you get home to unpack, stay focused.
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