Susi Wyss

Ghana

When my family lived in Côte d’Ivoire in the 1970s, we briefly crossed the border into Ghana to drive to Kumasi. What I remember most from that trip—besides the weavers of Kente cloth and the bright colors of the strips they wove—were the signs that read “Ghana Goes Right!” The country had just shed one of the vestiges of British colonial rule, the laws mandating driving on the left side of the road.

Thirty years later, I traveled to Ghana numerous times for work over a period of five years. During that time, I was offered copious amounts of tea and biscuits, ate wonderful food, and marveled at the rich tradition of proverbs, Adinkra symbols, and countless cultural beliefs and practices of different ethnic groups in Ghana. One day, I went to a beauty salon for a pedicure with a Ghanaian friend. Though it looked different from the Precious Brother Salon I subsequently wrote about in my book, it had the same feeling, the easy banter of women that reminded me of salons all over the world. Every time I returned to Ghana, I was greeted with the same warm Akwaaba welcome with which Adjoa welcomes her clients to her salon. I hope that by reading the three stories set in Ghana, people will get a sense of that warmth and hospitality.

 

 

Photos by Bill Brieger

Map of Africa showing countries where Susi's stories are set. Central African Republic Ethiopia Ghana Malawi Ivory Coast
Man in front of God is Love chop bar. Photo by Bill Brieger
Children in front of chop bar. Photo by Bill Brieger