Feature Article of Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Columnist: Cudjoe, Kizito

Night life in Kumasi

By Kizito CUDJOE

Kumasi, the Ashanti Regional capital of Ghana also known as the Garden City of West Africa and affectionately referred to as Oseikrom, particularly by the city dwellers is known to be the second busiest city in the country coming after the capital city.

Research has proved that it is also the hub of small businesses and quiet a number of business activities take place both at day and night.

Life at night in Kumasi is characterized by several activities ranging from business, enjoyment, security enhancement, church activities to night clubbing among others.

Life at night in Kumasi is very brisk and can better be described at suburbs like, Bantama and its High Street, Ashanti New Town popularly called ‘Ash Town’, Krofrom, Dichemso and Kwadaso. The rest are Asafo, Patase High Street, Ahodwo, Atonsu as well as The Ridge-Ahodwo Round About stretch and around the Golden Tulip area where commercial sex workers do brisk ‘business’ till dawn.

This write-up cannot pass a complete test without mentioning the night clubs and drinking spots that see a high patronage particularly during weekends and public holidays. Just about 200 meters drive from the Ahodwo Round About heading towards Ahodwo Township, ECHOES Valley, a highly patronized pub where merry makers have found to be the most contented arena for a combination of almost all that one may require to spend an enjoyable night night.

One thing always becomes reminiscent any time Kumasi comes to mind. For the city’s reveler passing time anywhere else, against the backdrop of memories of the daily hustle in the metropolis, the obvious is dawn on you at some point to come to terms that those moments are truly memorable.

Give the place whatever name you could find in your glossary. Describe your daily encounter with the sharp talking tongues; of often street hawkers who would literally build you Heaven on earth, just to persuade you to purchase their ware on the ever busy alleys of Kejetia and Adum, with whatever adjectives there is. One thing that will always remain unchanged and occupy your lasting memories in your stay or trip to Ashanti’s capital is life in Kumasi after 5pm.

Home to one of Africa’s richest and longest preserved cultural heritage, Oseikrom as many of the indigenous folks prefer to call Kumasi, is also known to several others in and outside the shores of Ghana simply as the Garden City of West Africa.

Often touted as the food basket to the economy of Ghana, one does not need a whole bank in his pocket to survive, especially nightlife in Oseikrom. All that maybe required is some few notes of Ghana cedis to carry you around, and be able to buy a bottle of drink or two, a good sense of bargaining and a geographical knowledge of all the pleasurable joints or pubs.

Trust my word, armed with this powerful piece of information, your quest to make the best out of the night shall always be greeted with a 21 gun salute. But need I remind you, it’s always a worth telling tale in the making, experiencing life after 5pm in the City.

What makes nightlife here exceptionally interesting is the unique ambiance which prevails over almost every community, distinguishing one from the other.

Talk about Krofrom, Ashtown, Amakom and Asafo, and someone will quickly whisper into your ears that these towns never sleep amidst the every night fun galore.

Bantama High Street, also Florida, where weekend relaxation is a ritual, is well noted for its array of open pubs and spots with each few meters away from the other, but still attracts substantial number of patrons who party from dawn to dusk.

Adum, which is time and again cited as the business hub of Kumasi incredibly harbors quite a number of drinking spots and pubs which often exist to operate only in the night. Dayame, Ahodwo, Ridge Residential Areas, just to mention but few can best be described as a haven for the host of luxurious hotels which exists there to accommodate any living soul provided your pocket fits the bill.

For such a world that exists in the night in Kumasi, the maxim that your pocket determines how entertaining cities can be has very little bearing here. The streets are littered with food vendors selling delicacies of all kinds from ‘ampesi’, ‘waakye’, ‘banku’, ‘tee-z’, ‘emo tuo’ , ‘hausa coco’ and what have you to cater for merry-makers, travelers and other night traders who operate all kinds of businesses in the evenings.

Soccer houses and game centers’ have now lost grounds to pubs and drinking spots who have introduced giant screens to lure soccer loving fans to watch live matches of their foreign teams. By just buying a bottle of drink, one’s ticket is automatically booked to enjoy all the football matches to be played for the night.

On such sporting nights, business activities boom for ‘khebab’ sellers who usually have on their menu every animal from four legs to two, i.e. guinea fowl, cow, gizzard, sausage, sheep, goat and chicken. They provide their service in front of pubs and spots all throughout the period of the football matches at whatever prices you can afford.

To get a proper perspective of nightlife in Oseikrom, just a little away from the typical business nature of the Ashanti people, hold your breath and let me give you a quick rundown of where to find rendition of all sort.

Just to cruise with live band every weekend and enjoy quality foreign wine, drive to Dayame, and you will never look back to your heartrending moments.

If you have second thoughts, and want to know where the new breeze of relaxation of Oseikrom is felt, with live band music from Monday through to the weekend, and to be treated to a variety of food and drinks, bring your gear to reverse and carefully after, adjust it to second gear, and just about 200 meters from Ahodwo Roundabout lies a host of spots ready to treat you to a perfect art of easing your boredom.

For a perfect remedy to condition the mind to relax, distress and ease off the pressure, manipulate the gear once more, this time around to third gear and let the speed gauge read between 30 to 50km/h and drive through around town to Amass Gate Staduim, Amakom Roundabout, Patase Estate, Asafo, Oforikrom, name the rest and you will never regret you did.

Loathe them or like them, but the self styled business tycoons would always treat you to a mêlée of affluence. They cruise around either with a friend’s car or rented cars and would not leave your scenes without being a party to the every night jamboree that goes around in the neighborhood.

As for the ‘Hamburg borgers’ who occasionally fly down home from their base abroad to cool off their busy European life, every night is best described as a rollercoaster one.