photo of the week – a community service announcement

Can you imagine this sign on the streets of Sydney? New York? London?

Overwhelmingly Ghana is a very polite society. Sure you hear raised voices and of course violence does exist, but in day to day life and dealings with people, politeness overrides all else. I’ve even been told Ghanaians are allergic to blood! Not a bad way to be really. And from the rush, rush, rush of the western world, where time is king, we’ve all had to slow down, take the time to wish people good morning and ask after their families. It’s a good thing.

As well as being polite, Ghanaian society is deeply religious. It’s impossible to avoid, and coming from secular Australia, it takes a bit of getting used to. These sort of signs are always thick with a heavy moral code and I often find the tone somewhat patronising. The independant girl within is a little erked by it, but I guess if it works…who am I to critisise?

The sign is in front of ‘African Hour Information’. I have never heard of such a service  before we moved here. It’s like local radio on a really, really local level. If you have something to announce; a death, a wedding (all the things that really keep society here ticking along), you pay the information stores a fee and they will broadcast it for you.

Through loudspeakers.

At TOP volume.

In Twi.

From 6am.

Lucky everyone here are early risers.

3 responses to “photo of the week – a community service announcement

  1. The public announcements…..I was introduced to that when newly-wed 1986 I moved to northern BC (Canada….I read your featured blog at expat blog & see that you lived in Vancouver for a stint!!) and on the radio I heard announcements such as “For Billy White…..your dental appointment has been changed from 1:30 to 3:20 on Thursday. And Sarah needs to be picked up at the Co-op by 4. Don’t forget to get the ball bearings.” Many people lived way out of town and had no other means of communication, so Message Time on the radio was their community news bulletin. Births, deaths, shopping lists. Anything and everything broadcast.


    • Hi Karen,

      I just wish I could understand the messages as they are all in Twi!, a good friend of hrs lives on Bowen Island off Vancouver and he has told us hilarious stories of the ‘party telephone lines’ when phones were new to the island. We loved Vancouver so much, and would move back in a heartbeat! Off to go and look at your blog now.
      Sent from my iPad


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