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I Am Stuck In My Ways – Amina On The Food In Ghana And 3 Tips For Newbies

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I had a short conversation with Amina about all things Nigerian food in Ghana and also took the time to ask her for tips for anyone planning to come to Ghana. It was a fun conversation and with her bubbly personality, she let me in and spilled all the tea for me.

Hadassah: Tips For Anyone Moving To Ghana

Amina:

  1. I’d say Ghanaians are quite cool and calm so you need to be patient. They are not in a hurry to go anywhere and if you’re a Nigerian and you are used to the fast-paced lifestyle, it is usually the opposite. And I did not even live in Lagos which is more fast-paced than Abuja, I lived in Abuja and I still always go “can you not hurry up” in my head but they are not in a hurry to go anywhere so, first of all, you have to be patient. 
  2. Hold your money in your hand

I don’t mean that literally, I’m just saying it’s more expensive to live here. If you want to enjoy life to the fullest, just get ready to spend. I always make it a joke that once I cross my gates, I’m going to have to shell like 50 cedis, once I go like an extra 3 km, that’s another 100 cedis. Get  ready to spend more than you will if you’re in Nigeria

3. Get ready for a lot of spending cash 

Cash and mobile money (MoMo) are the two ways that people would pay first. You can still use the POS machine but there are a lot of places you go to and they will just be like  “can you pay with MoMo instead?”  which is mobile money. So get ready to spend more cash or pay with mobile money as opposed to always paying with your card if you’re the kind of person that likes going cashless.

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Hadassah: Do You Eat Nigerian Or Ghanaian Food More And How Do You Navigate Buying Of Groceries Over There?

Amina: I eat both. I eat more Nigerian food than I do Ghanaian food. This is because I don’t really like Ghanaian food. I’m kind of stuck in my ways and also I feel like there is not a lot of variety (in my opinion) So, I eat both but I eat more Nigerian food and so I think I would peg that at maybe an 80-20.

If I am ordering takeout, there are not a lot of Nigerian restaurants and some that are here I don’t necessarily like their taste, it’s not really authentic. I normally would order from a caterer, Nigerian caterer which is quite a hassle because you have to order in bulk. I would also cook 

I also found a small Nigerian store and that’s where I buy Nigerian groceries. For example, here they eat a lot of Thai jasmine rice and the grains of their rice are a bit different. The way they cook their rice is different from how we cook ours. The rice can get soft and soggy quite quickly if you’re not careful and I’ve tried different kinds, gosh!

I ended up finding a small Nigerian store where I buy rice and also buy other things like poundo yam and ogbono. We have some foods that are similar in terms of raw products but the cooking method differs. Raw products like yam, plantain, palm oil, and egusi. 

I also think it’s more expensive than I would get in Abuja and rightfully so because they have to import them, however, I don’t think the prices are exorbitant. They are similar in price, say I would buy something for 4000 naira in Abuja, and I would buy it for about 5000 naira here which to me is fair enough compared to if you were buying the exact same things in Europe, you will be paying way way more or in America.

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I am stuck in my ways, to be honest, so I still would buy those things regardless and to save cost since yam is yam, I see no reason to buy yam in a Nigerian store when I can buy it in a Ghanaian market. 

Hadassah: Will You Move Back To Nigeria

Amina: I do not think so. I think I would definitely love to visit because I have friends and family there but I am not sure I would like to move back to Nigeria until most of the issues are fixed. For one, there is electricity here, and it is not an issue. You do not have to worry about spending so much extra money on getting a generator, or buying fuel. 

I am also a pretty chilled person so I find it better to be here. I would like to visit Nigeria and I would definitely visit even this year. I even visited last year but to move back to Nigeria? I do not think so. I like to think of myself as a global citizen so if I am leaving Ghana, I am probably going to another country but not Nigeria and just continuing to explore the different parts of the world.

 


 

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