This is a point noted by almost anyone who has visited Ghana, and dating a Ghanaian will bring you into the orbit of even more friendly and sociable people. Parties, weddings and even funerals are an occasion to mingle, meet new people and make new friends while sharing a lot of belly laughs. Ghanaians are serious jokers, too.
Large portions and rich foods; you’ll never go hungry when dating a Ghanaian. Our food demands a certain appetite with all those heavy starch balls, rich soups, mounds of jollof rice and slabs of yam. Food is a serious business, so don’t expect to talk much during the actual eating of a meal (that could actually be shared by two, sometimes even three people), as the expression ‘chop time, no friends’, rather pithily explains. A full belly is important to Ghanaians, so when it comes to tucking into your food, don’t be shy.
Although the Ghanaian landscape is littered with hundreds of tribal languages, there are certain languages that are spoken by a a large chunk of the population. The average Ghanaian speaks at least two languages, the majority even more, and you’re bound to pick up interesting words, phrases and idioms, which will, in turn, make you more beloved by Ghanaians who adore a foreigner attempting to speak one of their languages.
It won’t be long before you’re being referred to as ‘husband’ or ‘wife’, such is the speed unto which you will be embraced by a Ghanaian’s family. Don’t be alarmed, there is no pressure to get married, it’s just an indication of the affection and steadiness of your relationship. Family occasions are big events and you’ll be embraced wholeheartedly and referred to as a spouse repeatedly, so much so that the time will come when you forget that you aren’t, in fact, married yet.
English is the first language of the country, but when people of different tribes meet who don’t speak a common language, they’ll communicate via an evolved version that draws in cultural idioms with a unique cadence mixed with English spoken in uniquely inflected way. We call this ‘pidgin’. In fact, it can be harder to learn the ins and outs of it than it would be Twi, or Ga, as it is not a written language, but more of a unifying patois. You’re bound to learn a few unique phrases though, so you can thrill people when you begin using it yourself, especially when bartering with a taxi driver.
Much of the best of Ghana is off the beaten track, undiscovered and arduous to get to. This is where dating a local gives you an advantage, as they will take you to the most unique places, be unafraid go off-road and you will see the country with a new perspective well away from the places that all tourists gravitate towards. In such a small country this is a wonderful thing, opening it up and making it seem unspoiled and that you have had a unique experience, which is rare in an overly touristic world.
Deeply frustrating for tourists is the constant need to pay an elevated price for tourist attractions, with Ghanaians sometimes not having to pay anything at all. With your Ghanaian date, that won’t be a problem anymore, even if you aren’t actually Ghanaian or even married to one. You’ll be referred to as ‘husband’ or ‘wife’ and even if it can be proved otherwise, your Ghanaians date is bound to put his or her foot down and sweet-talk their way to a reduced fee, or even get you in for free. Because if you hadn’t already guessed, Ghanaians are charmers, too!
Ghanaians care about their appearance – even under the stifling African sun, a man or woman will always be well turned out with suits, ties and socks all being worn with ease in sweat-inducing temperatures. Head to any party, club, restaurant or social gathering to see how seriously Ghanaians take dressing. So, you’ll need to up your A-game when you date a Ghanaian, get your grooming on point and put thought into your colour-combinations because your date certainly would have done nothing less.