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The Ghanaian Experience

Rosemary Mroba Gaisie/ Radio Ghana/ Twenty Ten

Location: Johannesburg, South Africa

How Ghanaians live in South Africa.

CUE: There is a perception among Africans that people who travel a lot or live outside their home countries are well to do. But what is the real situation? Radio Ghana’s Rosemary Gaisie visited Yeoville and Berea, two communities in the North of South Africa’s biggest metropolis, Johannesburg, to find out how Ghanaians are living their lives there.

FX: YEOVILLE STREET NOISE- 00:13”

[PLAY FOR 04’ AND FADE UNDER VOICE]

NARRATOR: Yeoville, is a surburb of Johannesburg, South Africa’s commercial city. Formerly occupied mostly by the Jews, the suburb still displays an architectural feature in the local skyline, a synagogue.

Yeoville is now dominated by foreign African nationals such as Congolese, Nigerians and Ghanaians

FX: PLAY MUSIC (OUR MONEY BY SIDNEY)00:28”

PLAY FOR 00: 09” AND FADE UNDER VOICE

NARRATOR: The Ghanaians can generally be found at one of two neighbo urhood eateries run by Uncle Ben. Meals like banku with okro soup or stew, rice and stew, waakye, jollof and the popular fufu, mostly made of cassava and plantain and taken with any hot soup, cannot be missed at Cocoa House Catering Services on Raleigh Street in Yeoville.

FX: UNCLE BEN’S ENVIRONMENT…..00:015”

[PLAY FOR 04’ AND FADE UNDER VOICE]

NARRATOR: Ghanaians in particular patronize this restaurant to fraternize and enjoy Ghanaian style meals, and even other African favourites like the South African pap. The dark middle-aged Uncle Ben, who is a native of Kumasi, Ghana’s second largest city, tells me he came to South Africa as a tourist, but ended up living here.

CLIP 1: INTERVIEW WITH UNCLE BEN 00:32”

NARRATOR: Uncle Ben, heavy but smart looking, says he is not a cook. So what led him into catering services? He explains and tells of his other job.

CLIP 2: UNCLE BEN PROFESSION 00:16

NARRATOR: Uncle Ben, the easy going entrepreneur sounds comfortable in South Africa with his Ghanaian family. But is that the same with the professional Ghanaian teacher, Anthony Opoku Nyamekye, who has made family in South Africa for over 15 years and teaching in a high school? Though he looks good and commands a lot of respect as he drives in his car, Nyamekye says there is no place like home. But first, he tells me his mission in South Africa.

CLIP 3: TEACHER NYAMEKYE 00:39”

FX: MUSIC-THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME 01:20”

PLAY FOR 00:13” AND FADE UNDER VOICE

NARRATOR: The story of Nyamekye the teacher, may be better than that of Ex- convict Samuel Kwakye, the fruit seller, who looks older than his age, 55, and can best be described as a pauper by his appearance. He is in his 16th year in South Africa and has lost all family contacts including his children. He narrates how he got imprisoned in South Africa and how is life after prison.

CLIP 4: EX-CONVICT 1. 00:27”

FX: MUSIC- THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME 00:12”

PLAY FOR 00:06” AND FADE UNDER VOICE.

NARRATOR: Ghanaians in Johannesburg try to create a home far away from home. And that place is Ghana House at Berea where I met slim and youthful Yaw Martin in his blue top and jeans, seriously watching a World Ccup match on a giant screen. Yaw claims he comes from Bawku in the Northern part of Ghana and always comes to Ghana House to meet Ghanaian friends.

CLIP 5: YAW MARTIN @ GHANA HOUSE 00:34”

NARRATOR: Not every Ghanaian in Johannesburg patronizes Ghana House. Stephen Kofi Yeboah, is a street guy from Eastern Ghana. His serious looks and bushy face with Yankee dressing makes him hard to approach. He, however, sounded friendly and frank, when I gathered courage to engage him in a chat. Yeboah believes doing business and being smart is the best for the Ghanaian hustler in South Africa.

CLIP 6: STEPHEN HUSTLER 00:29”

NARRATOR: Some other Ghanaians tell of their stories in South Africa.

CLIP 7: GHANAIAN STORY 1, 2, 3, AND 4…00:53”

NARRATOR: Despite the life challenges in South Africa as described by the members of the Ghanaian community, ex-convict Samuel Kwakye thinks there is always a way out.

CLIP 8: EX-CONVICT WAY OUT…00:25”

NARRATOR: He, however, refutes the notion that living outside home is always enjoyable and entreats Ghanaians back home to stay for the best opportunities there.

CLIP 9: EX-CONVICT ADVICE 00:18”

NARRATOR: These scenarios point to the fact that life outside home is not always pleasant and cannot be associated with good living or the well to do, contrary to the widespread perception. Life is what you make it. Rosemary Gaisie reporting for the Twenty Ten from Yeoville, Johannesburg, in South Africa.







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