Friday, July 8, 2011

Taxi Ride + Radio = Politics

One of the things I'm enjoying in the three months that I've lived in Accra is my taxi ride. There's something special about riding in a cab in the morning on my way to work, listening to a radio talk show (mostly political) hosted in the local language and observing the driver's and audience's reaction. Whoever thought Ghanaians didn't love politics has been lost for a while! And whoever thought Ghanaian women fit the general, stereotypical role, assigned to African women, of being obsequious with little or no ability to form opinions of their own is in for treat, ha!

I've been amazed by how women take to the radio to voice very strong views about political issues in the country and suggest solutions to them. Callers range from women lawyers and professionals to illiterates who may not have the academic knowledge, but still believe have opinions to contribute to a topic. And the same applies to the men.  

I love my taxi rides, really. I love watching and listening to say, an illiterate taxi driver suck his teeth at a comment made by a caller or host and offers a solid opinion/solution. I love the vibrancy of Ghana's political climate - the freedom to speak your mind (although there have been few reports of alleged abuse by those in power towards overly outspoken opponents) and feel that you belong, that even if actions do not take place, someone is listening to your voice. I simply love it.

After 54 years of independence I'm proud to see my people progressing, politically, although there's much more work to be done.

Hopefully in 20 years, a 10-year-old girl can sit in a cab, listen to a political radio talk show and have enough knowledge to engage in a dialogue with the cab driver. That would be sweet.


  1. Ghana and Suriname have a lot in common
    Check it out

  2. I love taxi rides too, but I personally prefer to listen to music while in it. Not that I have anything against talk shows, but I reserve that activity during my breakfast or coffee breaks. In taxi or any car rides, I’d rather listen to music or have a friendly conversation with the cab driver.

    Sabra Divis