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Documentary: Biggest lies on the streets of Accra

Living in Accra has its ups and downs. The city is filled with a variety of fun stuff, places and oooh, some pretty women (we will leave this topic for another day). The cosmopolitan city prepares you for life anywhere in the world by shaping your worldview.

Now, regardless of having these positives, the city has its downsides. Most of us complain about the terrible traffic jams in the city, but to me, this is quite bearable. The most unbearable aspect of life in Accra is the everyday lies we hear from driver’s mates, traders, colleagues, family and a host of others.

‘Wo Ntiaa’ (Because I know you)

Now, from engaging with most people on the streets of Accra, this is not just a lie to them, but it sparks fear in them whenever someone tells them this. When a trader uses the phrase ‘Wo Ntiaa’, it ordinarily means he/she likes you enough to reduce the price of the product for you or sell it way cheaper than they would anyone else. This was the original meaning back then. But now, it saddens me to say this, but be wary and ready to run when you are told ‘Wo Ntiaa’.

Whenever this statement is used on you, just know that you are going to be cheated big time, especially if the trader is someone you know.

“I went to a shop to buy a bottle of wine. Upon reaching the shop I realized I knew the woman, we went to church together. We spoke for some time and I took the wine and asked her for the price. I was taken aback a bit by the amount she mentioned because it was double the amount I always bought it and I asked her to reduce it. She told me ‘Wo Ntiaa ooo’, the wine costs a lot more but I reduced the price because I know you. I gave her the money and left but on my way home, the Holy Spirit prompted me to enter another shop and ask for the price which I did. Lo and behold, I had been ripped off”. This is an account of a Pastor who was ‘Wo Ntiaa {ed}’ by a member of his congregation.

Aka Baako (One remaining)

Until you buy your own car, hail a taxi or use ride hailing apps, you will forever suffer this ‘scam’. ‘I would have been surprised if no one mentioned the ‘Aka Baako’ lie as all ‘troski’ (commercial bus) users fall victim to it all the time, especially when you are late for work, church etc. The ‘Aka Baako’ tune is used a lot by mates of troskis. You hear all of them shouting last one (one more passenger for the bus to be full) with the modest amongst them shouting last two passengers. You are always happy to hear there are two or one more passenger for the troski to be full and move especially, when you are now joining the vehicle. You may even break into a trot just to make sure you are that last person to join the car.

Then boom, you are met with the surprise of your life. The Osu ‘Aka Baako’ you had heard was a scam. The car is virtually empty with the last passenger turning out to be the first one after all.

You’re my one and only

You may have heard about love triangles but in Accra, there is rarely love to mention triangles. Relationships in Accra can be considered as hexazium with a confused bunch of people having undefined feelings and relationships with the opposite sex. In Accra, when your partner tells you ‘You’re my one and only’, he/she simply means ‘You’re one of the many’.

“I always tell my boyfriend he is the only person in my life. But the truth is, I tell all the other guys the same thing. I have about four guys in my life. From the tall guy, the rich one, the sweet one and the one good at sex. I know it is not cool to do so but I can’t find all four qualities in one man so I decided for myself a way to get all four qualities on my own terms. I was almost caught once and I introduced rich guy and sweet guy to each other saying; darling, meet my sweetheart and as daft as they are, they both said ‘yo bro…


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