By Selina Böttcher
As a German student who is in Ghana for six months to absolve an internship in journalism, I have already discovered a lot in the city of Accra in the past month. Even though time passes by so quickly, it feels like I have been here forever, and I already know my way around the city. However, I have not paid a visit to Accra’s most famous tourist destinations – until this weekend. One of our group’s supervisors gave me and another German girl who just arrived in Ghana a tour through the city to show us its most popular sites and places.
We started off at the Independence Square. The huge place contains three famous monuments: The Independence Arch, the Liberation Day Monument, and the Black Star Gate. They represent the autonomy of the country from its occupier England.
After taking lots and lots of pictures of the Independence Arch, we moved on to the Black Star Gate, which we could even get on top of. From up there, one could overlook the entire Square, an impressive sight.
The man that guarded the Gate already knew our supervisor from his earlier visits and greeted him happily. That is not a rare thing in Ghana – most people are really good at recognizing faces, and never fail to be almost overwhelmingly welcoming.
After having descended the stairs, we continued our city tour at Accra’s Art Market. The variety of artistic objects, paintings and hand-made pieces of wood or stone was breathtaking. All of the work is incredibly fine and precise, and many objects will surprise you with their history. The other German girl that participated in the tour bought a crib made from banana peels. All of the components consisted of nothing but the peels, and still, the small figures were made in the finest detail.
The people on the market literally pounced on us and overwhelmed us with their kindness and curiosity. From every side, someone was trying to sell you a drum or a wood carving, or asking you about Germany, about your stay in Ghana, about your work. When there was a chair available, it was instantly offered to us, and very soon, we were engaged in a conversation on German soccer and the Bundesliga.
I was unable to even buy anything at the market because the selection was so large – I will have to come back there another time, because it truly is the place for decoration, souvenirs and presents.