WA; THE GOOD THE BAD THE UGLY
In my previous article titled “the good,” I took readers through my stay here in the Wa Municipality. Like any other place that you will visit, inasmuch as it has its perks, it also has its downsides. From my previous article, readers now know that I am a foodie because I started with food. Well, let me just continue from where I left off; food.
The “waakye” here is great, the “kooko” is marvellous, and if you could liken the “koose” and moringa leaves to a human, tell you what; it’s beautiful. I have tried some other things that have made me come to the realisation that not everything is that awesome. When you have lived most of your life in Accra, there is definitely one thing that you will enjoy very well, that is; your hot kenkey with hot ground red or green (kpakposhito) pepper, black pepper, some cut onions with some deep fried fish and when pear is in season, that’s a good topping. This right here is a meal every Ga man or people who have lived in Accra enjoy most. Visit James Town, Osu, Adabraka and you will find some very sumptuous kenkey joints to buy from. Off the top of my head; I can talk about the “Kenkey Boutique” in Adabraka. I came to Wa hoping that I could continue to enjoy my kenkey; but alas that was not to be. Let me briefly describe what good kenkey must feel like. Good kenkey is neither hard nor soft, the consistency is just right there in the middle. It is also supposed to stick together; it’s not supposed to break into pieces in your fingers and I just think that it is only fair that the kenkey must smell nice. Talking the pepper; the pepper must be freshly ground green or red pepper, with onions and tomatoes with some fried fish. After my first week in Wa, I asked how the kenkey was and the hype was massive; so I went ahead to ask for some good kenkey joints and they hits just kept coming. First, I tried the kenkey opposite the VIP bus station on the Dobile road, I tried the kenkey adjacent the MTN office on the Fadama road, I have tried the kenkey on the Hospital road, I have tried some opposite the Wa Jubilee park, the kenkey near the Cathedral which is opposite the OA bus station and finally the Joint around the Echosoundz Studio. Yes, I am a foodie and my quest for good kenkey has led my stomach through trying times. If I am not going to mince words and going to be totally honest, all these kenkey I tried from these joints were just not up to standard (from the perspective of a person who has been eating Ga kenkey in Accra for the past 20 years or so). The kenkey breaks like yam, I for one cannot really tell whether the pepper is steamed or not because it does not look or taste like fresh ground pepper; the black pepper is literally is tasteless and the fish; like Manifest will say “someway bi.” Oh and just a gentle reminder, kenkey shouldn’t contain cassava though; this is to the kenkey sellers. Let me pump my breaks on the kenkey a bit and talk about fried yam. Now we southerners like our fried yam firm and crispy. To be able to achieve this, you need to fry old and dry yams. In Wa, I decided to tried yam; honestly although I saw the woman fry the yam; I couldn’t tell whether the yam was really fried, boiled or baked. It felt very soft and soggy. It’s unbelievable though that “fried” yam is served with stew and or with “khebab” pepper. Just so you know I went to the market last Sunday and there was no cassava. Yes the whole Wa market; no cassava. So the fufu lovers are not assured of a constant supply of their beloved fufu.
Even though I could really talk about food all through the article I’d rather not. Accra is a fun place to be especially Friday nights (weekend di3 3nuaa eni Friday; the start of the weekend is Friday), weekends and holidays. For starters; if you are an outdoor person, there are a lot of beaches and pools you can visit. If you are a movie person; there are cinemas you can visit. There is the Accra Mall, the west Hill Mall, the Achimota Mall and oh! Wait; there is Melcom plus for those who want are into social indoor hangouts and shopping with a bit of class. The number of night clubs for those who like night time outing is uncountable. I like food so there are a lot of fancy restaurants you can eat at. After being bored at home for a while, I decided to ask around for places you can visit when you want to get a load off. There is no beach; the one water body here, I have learnt people like to visit is the Sankana “beach.” Before you get all excited, this is a stagnant pool of water which is only available when it rains. Its gets real muddy just after a few people swim in it because it does not flow and unlike swimming pools; there are no chemicals for cleaning. “The Guys,” “Spicy Foods,” “Mummy’s Kitchen” and Pelican Hotel; ask the natives and these are sure to be the names that will come out if you want a fun hangout. What all this means is that, if you are a person who likes to hang-out with friends, go to cinemas, try fancy foods; Wa is definitely not the place for you.
I always say that my hair is my best feature. During my high school years, I used to keep my hair very bushy. Now, I trim my hair every two weeks give or take. In, Accra I had the same barber for the better part of 7 years. Being in Wa I had to go through 6 ridiculous haircuts from 6 different barbers all in the bid to get my hairline straight. I do not know how people cope with bad haircuts, but I had a lot of trouble. Aside the haircuts I have lost two good phones to the incompetency of about 4 phone repairers. So this begs the question; do these people not take the time to learn their trade or they do not just care about whatever happens?
Well, let me just say that these are my personal encounters in my 9 month stay here in Wa. In the first part of this series, I shared the “The Good,” this is “The Bad” in my next piece I will be going through so of the ugly things I have seen happening during my stay here in this region.
Written by: Mark Kwasi Ahumah Smith
Facebook: Kwasi Ahumah Smith