Inside Accra: The Craze For Fanciful Coffins

Accra is a land of many things, ranging from incredible festivals, to a complex cosmopolitan lifestyle and wonderful people. New trends ranging from fashion to arts and even food spring up all the time in the city and within no time spread to the other parts of the city like wildfire.

What then is this new craze in town?

Well we can’t exactly call it a new craze as it has been in the system for a while now and had people engaged in it over the two decades. However walking through the streets of Accra one can’t help but notice it has taken centre stage in the city.

We are talking about the ever growing fanciful coffins which line up the streets of Accra these days. Decades ago, carpenters and coffin makers used to make simple and modest coffins for the departed souls to be buried in. This has however changed drastically over the course of the decades, with the art of coffin making becoming some sort of competition among carpenters.

Instead of the normal triangular-shaped coffins, carpenters now make incredible designer coffins, designed in many unique forms; some to looks like microphones, some in the form of vehicles and so forth depending on the occupation of the deceased who is going to be buried in the coffin.

A student may go for this
A student may go for this

For instance it is now a common sight to see a deceased driver being buried in a coffin designed in the form of a vehicle and a preacher being buried in a coffin designed to look like a bible.

Pilots and airline workers are not left out
Pilots and airline workers are not left out
Pilots and airline workers are not left out
Pilots and airline workers are not left out

Make no mistake these customized designer coffins come at a higher cost due to the tedious work and time that go into making them. In the early days when the craze for these coffins began, they were made upon the request of families, meaning carpenters did not make them until a request come in. This has however changed as demand for them continues to sour and families visit coffin shops to purchase while on display.

The trend is not only common to Accra these days with the craze crossing boundaries and seeing other regions getting caught in the craze. Today, you are most likely to see some of these fancy coffins when you attend funerals in other regions in Ghana.

Fisherman's coffin
Fisherman’s coffin
Fisherman's coffin
Fisherman’s coffin

From all indication, the new trend is not one that will go away anytime soon, and that is if it ever would. If you ever find yourself in Accra, take a tour of the city and visit some coffin shops and admire the beauty and artwork that goes into making these beautiful coffins tasked with taking the departed to their final destination.

Inside Accra: The Lapaz Night Market

Make no mistake, this is not the Lapaz of Bolivia we are talking about here. The Lapaz being discussed here is a popular suburb in the Accra Metropolitan District in the Greater Accra region.

The suburb is one of the most popular and busiest commercial areas in Accra with business activities booming in the course of the day throughout the week.

There is nothing one may want to purchase that cannot be find at Lapaz, from secondhand clothing to shoes to cooking utensils and electronic gadgets. Just name it and you will have it as long as you got the purchasing power.

This is however not unique to only Lapaz as most areas in Accra are all quite busy and commercially vibrant during the day. What makes Lapaz stand out is its unique night market. Unlike most commercial areas in Accra where commercial activities come to a halt at the fall of the sun, Lapaz rather sees an increased in the volume of commercial activities during the night.

From 7pm going when the sun goes into hiding and the moon appears to watch over the earth, the streets of Lapaz begin to become crowded with sellers appearing from nowhere to display their products on the pedestrian pavement walkway.

The number of products and even number of sellers increase significantly compared to the number during the day. Number of shoppers also tends to increase greatly during the night market as most of them believe prices of goods are cheaper during that time.

Not just goods and products are on display at the night market, food also abound. Food vendors sell local dishes like fufu, banku, and even rice throughout the night to take care of those doing business at the time.

The items that enjoy the highest sales at the Lapaz night market are secondhand ladies’ shoes.

The Lapaz night market is one of its kind in Ghana and a must visit for anyone living in Accra, even if just for window shopping.

 

 

Endangered Primate Breeding Centre of Accra Zoo Receives Support

A wildlife and nature conservation non-governmental organisation (NGO), West Africa Primate Conservation Action (WAPCA), has  provided resources for the renovation and refurbishment of  the Endangered Primate Breeding Centre, an extension of the Accra Zoo.

The NGO which focuses on ensuring the survival of animals on the brink of extinction and helping renovate centres that house these animals made this known during a ceremony held in Accra.

The project manager of WAPCA, Mrs. Andrea Dempsey, said as part of the project, Ghana and the EU exchanged the rare Mangaebey and Roloway Geunon monkeys in a bid to promote interbreeding and maintain high genetic diversity, which increases the survival rate and growth of the monkeys.

The beneficiary institution of the project, the Accra Zoo, has been on the brink of collapse in recent years due to the lack of facilities and government support.

However manager of the Zoo, Mr. Tamanja, at the meeting with the NGO said the Accra Zoo found in the Achimota forest is still very much alive and receives huge patronage contrary to public perception that the Zoo is no longer functional.

Mr. Tamanja nevertheless admitted that animal reservation centres like the Accra Zoo needs help and urged more NGOs to emulate WAPCA in coming to the assistance of the Zoo and helping to refurbish the animal reserve centre.

WAPCA is an organisation formed by the Heidelberg Zoo in Germany and is funded by the membership of eleven European zoos

 

A Brief History: Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum and Memorial Park

The Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum and National Park was built on the old Polo Ground and dedicated to the first president of Ghana, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah in 1992 under the presidency of Jerry John Rawlings. The aim of the mausoleum is to preserve the legacy and historical artifacts of the man who won independence for Ghana and regarded by many as the founder of the nation.

The Mausoleum is located directly opposite the old Parliament House of Ghana, which now serves as the office of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ). With a total land surface of 5.3 acres, the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum is the largest Historical Museum in Ghana. Just in front of the Mausoleum is the Huge statue of Kwame Nkrumah, which can be seen from afar.

While only the statue of Kwame Nkrumah can be seen from afar, the interior of the mausoleum has several sections including the graveside and tomb of the late president as well as museum that contains all his memoirs, from signed documents to photographs he took with some of the world’s most powerful and celebrated men of the 20th Century.

Some of the famous photographs found in the museum include Dr. Nkrumah’s pictures with Queen Elizabeth of England, Pope Pius XII, Fidel Castro, President Nasser of Egypt and John F. Kennedy of U.S.A.

A Brief History of Nkrumah’s Overthrow

Dr. Kwame Nkrumah after being in power for nine years as both prime minister and a president later on, was overthrown by the military  under the leadership of General kotoka, who at the time proclaimed that he was liberating Ghanaians from Nkrumah’s ‘dictatorship’.

Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah
Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah

After the overthrow, Nkrumah took refuge in the Republic of Guinea, where he stayed as a guest of the Guinean President Sekou Toure till he fell ill and was taken to Romania to seek for treatment. His quest to seek for better health was however not successful and he passed away in Bucharest, capital of Romania in 1972.

His body was returned to Guinea where he was given a state burial by the Republic of Guinea on May 1, 1972. During the famous state burial, the then president of Guinea stated “Betrayed in Ghana, he found himself once again on free soil in Guinea, co-president of the Republic, to the great surprised of the imperialist powers enclosed in bourgeois legalist. With Nkrumah, African unity became an irresistible force. That is why this thinker and man is not a Ghanaian, but an African – even more –just a man”. The statement was regarded as an indirect message to how he had been treated by his own people, Ghanaians and the western powers that many believed were behind the coup d’état that saw his overthrow.

The government of Ghana later sent a five-member delegation headed by Colonel Benni to persuade the Government of Guinea to return Nkrumah’s body home for burial. After months of negotiations, Sekou Toure reluctantly agreed and Nkrumah’s body was exhumed and flown to Ghana on July 7, 1972. He was then buried at the State House in Accra, until  1992 when he was finally reburied at the  Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum, which was built on the same grounds he declared independence for Ghana  on 6th March 1957.

Accra International Conference Centre: A Brief History

The Accra International Conference Centre popularly referred to as AICC, is arguably the most popular event hosting centre in Ghana, notable for hosting almost all the major events in Ghana.

With a total capacity of 6,000, which have been divided into six conference halls, the AICC is among the biggest enclosed event hosting centres in the country, hosting musical concerts, comedy shows and diplomatic conferences in Accra.

Located at Osu, directly opposite the new parliament house and some few metres away from the Accra Sports Stadium, the AICC was built in 1991 under the presidency of former President Jerry John Rawlings to host the historic Tenth Ministerial Meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement.

Since then it has gone on to host other major events and conferences such as summits by the United Nations, African Union and ECOWAS, while it has also become the ideal place for hosting entertainment events in the capital.

Even though it was built in the 90s, the AICC is one of the most modern event centres in West Africa, boasting of modern transmission technology, a press gallery and other facilities that make it media and technology-friendly.

In recent years, the centre has been under immense pressure from event organisers as the population growth is gradually rendering the 6000 capacity venue inadequate to meet market demand. This has resulted in the putting up of a dome-like structure at the car park of the Conference Centre, to make up for the demand for larger capacity.

While there have been no talks of expansion, the constant demand for a larger venue like the Trade Fair Dome could persuade the government to make some renovations and add more capacity to the AICC in future.

 

La Pleasure Beach: A Brief Profile of Ghana’s most visited beach

Ghana is a country blessed with abundant beaches. These beaches are among the most visited tourist destinations by tourists, especially on holidays and festive periods. One such beach is the Labadi Beach in La, a suburb of Accra.

The Labadi Beach, popularly known as La Pleasure Beach, is regarded as one of the most visited beaches in Ghana, surrounded by some of the finest hotels in the sub-region, for tourists who would like to stay close to the sea and enjoy the breeze.

While the beach continues to attract tourists, especially those visiting Ghana for the first time, it continues to suffer from opening defecation, prompting the Accra Metropolitan Assembly to launch operations to curve this menace.

Aside from receiving visitors, La Pleasure Beach is also noted for hosting events and major entertainment shows on public holidays, with artists organizing musical concerts for their fans. Keep fit clubs also hold exercise and keep fit activities at the beach on a regular basis, usually in the morning.

Labadi Beach is yet to fully utilize its potentials and could become a world-class beach capable of being compared to famous beaches in Miami and Barcelona if appropriate measures are put in place to put an end to issues like open defecation at some part of the beach as well as bringing an end to the constant littering of the beach.

Top Recommended Places To Eat In Accra

We may not be able to eat in our homes all the time as there are occasions where we find ourselves in the middle of town and want to grab a meal somewhere because we are hungry. When this happens and you are at place where you have no idea where to go and find something good to eat, then you sometimes resort to search the internet for the nearest place to eat, or the best place as some of us are very concerned about what we eat and do not look for just the ones closest to us. If you are in Accra and in this situation then you just landed on the right material to help you out as we list the top places to eat in Accra.

Best Places To Eat In Accra

Burger and Relish Restaurant

Burger and Relish restaurant serves mostly Burger and Pizza and is a well-known restaurant for those living in the Osu area. The restaurant’s burgers and pizza are the best you can find in town based on customers experience and reviews. Aside from the Burger and Pizza other foods such as jollof rice, potato fries and chicken wings are sold at the restaurant.

Sontoku

Sontoku Restaurant is a Japanese restaurant located at the Airport residential area and specializes in the preparation of Japanese local dishes and nothing more. It is usually frequented by Asians living in Ghana. However, a lot of Ghanaians also visit there on a regular basis to try out some of the amazing Japanese delicacies. They can be reached on 0544311511.

Buka Restaurant

Buka Restaurant is a West African Restaurant and serves only indigenous West African foods like Beans and Plantain and fried plantains. Their focus is to serve visitors with foods that are common to the entire West African region, making it the top choice for businessmen and tourists visiting from neighbouring countries as well as Ghanaians. They can be contacted on 0244842464.

Osteria Michelangelo

The Italians are famous throughout the world for their delicious and incredible dishes and for this reason Italian restaurants are found in almost every corner of the world and the capital city of Ghana, Accra is no exception. Osteria Michelangelo is an Italian restaurant that serves its customers popular Italian foods such as Pane, pasta and pizza.

Polo Club Restaurant & Lounge

The Polo Club Restaurant & Lounge is located at the Airport Bypass Road, in Accra and offers both local and intercontinental dishes to cater for its different clients who come from diverse backgrounds and different countries.  It is a nice place to go on a date with someone but it must also be noted that prices of food and other beverages here could be slightly higher than what is sold in other places. You can contact them on 0246767777 to make a reservation and book a table.

Lord of the Wings

For the lovers of chicken you just found for yourself the right restaurant to visit for a sumptuous meal. Lord of the Wings restaurant located at Cantonments, opposite the Akai House Clinic serves grilled chicken with fried plantain or a bottle of soft drink. Bottom line here is the main delicacy of the restaurant is chicken and whatever you decide to take the chicken with is your choice. Reach them on 0546007007 for further enquiries

Azmera Restaurant

For the typical Ghanaian, looking for the typical Ghanaian food in Accra, Azmera Restaurant located in the Ayawaso vicinity is the best choice.  They serve foods such as ‘Ghana Jollof’, plantain with kontomire stew and yam with any stew of choice. Their speciality in preparing local foods has endeared them to locals in the Ayawaso area making them of the biggest names in the vicinity when it comes to food services. Their contact is 0268029966.

La Chaumiere

It is always good to try something new once in a while and La Chaumiere restaurant in Accra, around the Airport area is one of the best places to do so and in this case, try out some French foods. The restaurant serves only French cuisines as is usually frequented by French ex-pats and tourists in Accra.  You can call them and book a table in advance on 0302772408

Papa Cuisine

Papa Cuisine is found near the Casely Hayford Road in Accra and serves meals such as fried plantain and pizza. If you are looking for some light meal to keep you going for the day you may want to check them out as their foods also come at very good prices. Contact them on 0501619329.

Coco Lounge

Coco Lounge is a luxurious restaurant that focuses on giving visitors a treat of their life. For Coco Lounge it not just about Food but making sure customers receive the best customer service and are well taken care of. Their meals range from breakfast foods such as coffee to lunch and supper meals. Whatever your taste it, Coco Lounge is most likely to have you sorted. Call them on 0244222202 for further enquiries

Top 10 Restaurants In Ghana

It is almost impossible to eat from your home all the time because of factors like work, going out with friends etc., hence we all tend to eat from restaurants near us at a point in time. Finding the best restaurant to eat is, however, not that easy as there are so many of them in our cities, especially the major cities like Accra and Kumasi. After a short but intense survey and research, Jetsanza.com has come to the conclusion that the list below is the top restaurants in  Accra and just the right places for you to grab a meal or even go on a date with someone.

Top 10 restaurants in Accra

Polo Club Restaurant & Lounge

The Polo Club Restaurant & Lounge is located at the Airport Bypass Road, in Accra and offers both local and intercontinental dishes to cater for its different clients who come from diverse backgrounds and different countries.  It is a nice place to go on a date with someone but it must also be noted that prices of food and other beverages here could be slightly higher than what is sold in other places. You can contact them on 0246767777 to make a reservation and book a table.

Sontoku

Sontoku Restaurant is a Japanese restaurant located at the Airport residential area and specializes in the preparation of Japanese local dishes and nothing more. It is usually frequented by Asians living in Ghana. However, a lot of Ghanaians also visit there on regular basis to try out some of the amazing Japanese delicacies. They can be reached on 0544311511.

Buka Restaurant

Buka Restaurant is a West African Restaurant and serves only indigenous West African foods like Beans and Plantain and fried plantains. Their focus is to serve visitors with foods that are common to the entire West African region, making it the top choice for businessmen and tourists visiting from neighbouring countries as well as Ghanaians. They can be contacted on 0244842464/

Osteria Michelangelo

The Italians are famous throughout the world for their delicious and incredible dishes and for this reason Italian restaurants are found in almost every corner of the world and the capital city of Ghana, Accra is no exception. Osteria Michelangelo is an Italian restaurant that serves its customers popular Italian foods such as Pane, pasta and pizza.

Lord of the Wings

For the lovers of chicken you just found for yourself the right restaurant to visit for a sumptuous meal. Lord of the Wings restaurant located at Cantonments, opposite the Akai House Clinic serves grilled chicken with fried plantain or a bottle of soft drink. Bottom line here is the main delicacy of the restaurant is chicken and whatever you decide to take the chicken with is your choice. Reach them on 0546007007 for further enquiries

 

Azmera Restaurant

For the typical Ghanaian, looking for the typical Ghanaian food in Accra, Azmera Restaurant located in the Ayawaso vicinity is the best choice.  They serve foods such as ‘Ghana Jollof’, plantain with kontomire stew and yam with any stew of choice. Their speciality in preparing local foods has endeared them to locals in the Ayawaso area making them of the biggest names in the vicinity when it comes to food services. Their contact is 0268029966.

La Chaumiere

It is always good to try something new once in a while and La Chaumiere restaurant in Accra, around the Airport area is one of the best places to do so and in this case, try out some French foods. The restaurant serves only French cuisines as is usually frequented by French ex-pats and tourists in Accra.  You can call them and book a table in advance on 0302772408

Papa Cuisine

Papa Cuisine is found near the Casely Hayford Road in Accra and serves meals such as fried plantain and pizza. If you are looking for some light meal to keep you going for the day you may want to check them out as their foods also come at very good prices. Contact them on 0501619329.

 

Coco Lounge

Coco Lounge is a luxurious restaurant that focuses on giving visitors a treat of their life. For Coco Lounge, it’s not just about Food but making sure customers receive the best customer service and are well taken care of. Their meals range from breakfast foods such as coffee to lunch and supper meals. Whatever your taste it, Coco Lounge is most likely to have you sorted. Call them on 0244222202 for further enquiries

 

Burger and Relish Restaurant

Burger and Relish restaurant serves mostly Burger and Pizza and is a well-known restaurant for those living in the Osu area. The restaurant’s burgers and pizza are the best you can find in town based on customers experience and reviews. Aside from the Burger and Pizza other foods such as jollof rice, potato fries and chicken wings are sold at the restaurant.

 

Top tourist attractions in Accra, Ghana

Accra, the capital city of Ghana, has a lot of beautiful sceneries that are worth visiting. Within Accra, you will get access to sunny beaches, Ghana’s rich culture, lovely locals, top eateries, etc.

Whether you are a solo tourist, or with family, on a holiday or here for business, Accra has something great to offer you and make you feel comfortable and at home.

Knowledge of the top destinations in Accra will help you make a sound decision prior to your travel to the city.

Now let’s see the top 5 tourist attractions in Accra

Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park & Mausoleum.

Located in Downtown Accra, the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park is a place dedicated to Ghana’s first President, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah who led the fight for independence for Ghana. The Museum hosts stuff relating to Ghana’s independence and the mortal remains of Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah.

It is one of the most sought-after places for tourists visiting Accra. Consider this museum when planning your next tour.

The Independence Arch

Located in Accra, Ghana, the Independence Square has monuments which signify Ghana’s struggle for independence in the colonial days.

Many locals from other parts of the country do visit this place on any day throughout the year.

The Osu Castle

It was built by the Denmark and Norway during the colonial days. The Osu Castle is located in Osu, Accra. Many tourists from all over Ghana visit the Osu Castle to get insights into what transpired during the Colonial days. The late Prof. John Evans Atta was buried in a bird sanctuary at the Osu Castle.

The Osu Castle was the former seat of Government until it was moved to the Jubilee House. Dignitaries such as Queen Elizabeth II and United States President Barack Obama have paid a historic visit to the Osu Castle.

Get to have a memorable sight of the slave dungeons, walkway to the Door of No Return, a water reserve and a chapel all in the Osu Castel.

Labadi Beach

This is one of the top destinations for tourists and some locals in Accra. It is the most popular and visited beach in Ghana.

Many Ghanaians and foreigners spend time with family and friends at the Labadi Beach during weekends, holidays and festive seasons. It is located in La, near Teshi in the Greater Accra Region of Ghana.

If you want to have the beach experience, visit Labadi Beach. There are often performances of local songs, cultural drumming and dancing. Major points of interest at the beach are swimming, fishing, relaxation, touring the turtle hatching site, canoe ride and social meet-up and networking.

The W.E.B. Du Bois Memorial Centre for Pan-African Culture

The W.E.B. Du Bois Memorial Centre for Pan-African Culture is located in the centre of Accra and houses the tomb and graveside of the former African-American Pan Africanist, W.E.B Du Bois and the ashes of his wife.

The centre also serves as a major research centre on African development, a library and a museum. The section of the centre which serves as the museum contains the possessions of the former scholar which are deemed important in telling the life story of the once strong ally of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah.

The library section of the centre also contains books, manuscripts, letters and articles written by Dr. Du Bois during his lifetime. Here all the important scholarly works of his are kept and made use of by researchers who consult them for academic purposes.

At the entrance of the centre is an inscription from one of his most famous poems “Children from the Moon” mounted on a plaque.

Du Bois' Tomb
Du Bois’ Tomb

Du Bois’ Relationship with Ghana and Dr. Kwame Nkrumah

W.E.B. Du Bois was an African-American scholar and civil rights activist who fought and spoke against racism and maltreatment of Blacks in America and Africans in general. In 1961 he was invited to Ghana by then president Dr. Kwame Nkrumah to help write the Encyclopedia Africana, a special encyclopedia on African history.

Du Bois who had heard about the greatness of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah and admired him from afar accepted the invitation and traveled to Ghana to honour the request.  Whilst in Ghana he became the personal secretary of Nkrumah after renouncing his US citizenship and adopting Ghana as his home country. He later fell sick and died in 1963, two years after arriving in Ghana.

The section of the centre that currently serves as the museum was the home of Du Bois and his second wife, Shirley.