8 things to expect as a Nigerian travelling to Ghana for first time

For a budget out-of-the-country adventure and vacation, Ghana is a good place to start. I have already done a breakdown of how to go about the trip, the cost and other logistics.

Ghana and Nigeria have a lot in common starting from colonial masters to the official language. These notwithstanding, there are a lot of things that won’t naturally appeal to you or come off as weird.


The socio-economic situation of Nigeria will also make you marvel at some realities in Ghana while a few of the beliefs you thought were true about Ghanaians would be unfounded.

And when you finally make the trip to the Gold Coast, these are 8 things you should expect:

Perhaps the first thing that’ll jump at you is how Nigerian music has taken over Ghana’s airwaves. If you take a cab that tunes in to a radio station playing music, you’d hear many Nigerian songs before hearing a track from Black Sherif or Sarkodie.

Hitting it in Nigeria more often than not translates to blowing up in Ghana as well. Kizz Daniel, Adekunle Gold and Ayra Starr’s songs were the first I heard on entering Accra. I almost looked around to see if I wasn’t back in Lagos.

Electricity supply in Ghana is as constant as K in Physics. When there is a power outage, you simply hear the people say light out. Excuse me? Some parts of Nigeria, it’s total blackout. Throughout the two weeks I stayed, there was ‘light out’ twice, the first was for about 2 hours, the second 5 minutes.

This surely makes the ease-of-doing-business index of Ghana way higher than Nigeria’s. Small and medium-scale businesses need not spend a fortune to generate power.

Hey mate, where’s my change?” Hilarious.

People hardly take bikes in Accra. It’s usually a last resort. The popular trend of bikes and tricycles turning street junctions into terminals is rare in Accra. They trek a lot intra-street and heavily depend on 18-seater buses.

The easiest explanation for this has to be their population. The population of the entire country is around 32 million while Accra’s is around 2.6 million – paltry when compared to Nigeria’s.

Although Ghana’s population relies heavily on buses for road transport, the buses do not have a uniform paint, unlike the yellow danfo buses in Lagos with black stripes. It is the liquor-battered voices of the mates that will make you know that a commercial bus is approaching.

There is a vast difference between how Nigerians and Ghanaians speak English, especially in the accent and pronunciation. It would be weird at first to hear them pronounce bus as bas, structure as stractcha, among other pronunciations. In terms of grammaticality, they are not better. And being in Ghana means you’ll be exposed to more Ghanaians than you encounter on social media.

Just as there are ethnic accents to English speaking in Nigeria, they have theirs. There is no saint nor winner in English speaking, just peculiarities.

Pannnnnnnn, sannnnnnnnnnnn are some ways in which Ghanaians show emphasis. You could hear a sentence like “God bless you pannnnnnnnnnn” and find it difficult to control your laughter. It is difficult to find a Nigerian/Yoruba equivalent of such interjection, maybe something like “O pooooooo” but that still doesn’t fully capture the Ghana effect.

A lot of rumours have flown on social media about Ghanaian girls and their heavy backside. Well, I hate to break it to you that they may not be commonplace as circulated by netizens.

The jollof war between Ghana and Nigeria has been on for decades and it will only continue to drag on. However, after crossing the border to go have a taste of the vaunted Ghana jollof, it is difficult to make a call.

With no sense of bias, Ghanaian restaurants put a lot of effort into preparing their jollof.

It feels like they are conscious of the war, that any Nigerian could walk through their doors and taste their jollof just to prove a point.

So, in terms of intentionality, they do better than Nigerian food vendors but do they have the better jollof? Naahhh.

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