neighbourhood

What’s in a name? Everything. Names give character, they tell stories and depending on what kind of name, can give such good hearty laughs that send delightful shockwaves coursing through your body. Or, evoke a sense of trepidation for their bold profanity. Case in point,  Ghana’s parliament first cackling, then being a little prudish about the sexually suggestive names of certain towns in the country.

In choosing a neighbourhood to acquire real estate in, the name of the neighbourhood may influence you. Accra, the nation’s capital, has its fair share of plain fun, funny and unique names assigned to streets and neighbourhoods. Below are some of our favourites with their intriguing backstories.

Sowutuom (Hold Your Gun)

Sowutuom (hold your gun) gif

Anyaa Sowutuom, widely known as Sowutuom and sometimes spelt as Sotuom,  is a suburb in Accra and the capital of the Ga Municipal Assembly. The name literally means “hold your gun” and is translated directly from Twi, a popular Akan dialect in the country.

Paraphrasing information gathered from Ghana Place Names, the name was a call to arms of sorts for local farmers. It was a declaration for them to “hold their guns in defence of their plantations against military incursions from the neighbouring Akyem, Akuapem, Krobo, Obutu and Fante. These incursions were a result of Accra’s flourishing trade partnership with the Asante. This resulted in a state of general insecurity during the 18th century as trade with Europeans flourished.

Militias such as Oshofoi were organized to protect the Accra plains from violent attacks and kidnappings by gangs of siccadingers, organized paramilitary bands of men commissioned by the Akwamy to engage in state-sponsored panyarring the seizure of trade goods.

Sowutuom is popular for the Pentecost University College, St. Pauls Catholic Seminary and surprisingly, not for a gun range or anything necessarily gun related.

Check out these properties for rent in Sowutuom.

Yomo Specs (Old Lady Spectacles)

Granny Spectacles GIF. Visual representation of the Yomo Spectacles neighbourhoodGetting directions in Ghana used to be a horrific joke before the stern ultimatum by the government to municipal and district assemblies to properly name all streets and erect road signs in Ghana.  The lack of proper, well-known street names led to the area in Teshie known as Yomo Specs.

Imagine being asked to look out for an elderly woman in glasses when receiving directions to a place you’ve never been. That’s the story of Yomo Specs, King Kotey Road. The name literally translates as old lady spectacles. According to Kwasi Gyamfi Asiedu, legend has it that, “an old lady who wore glasses used to sit outside always and so when new people moved in, they used her as the reference when directing people to their new houses”.

Check out these properties for rent in Teshie.

Katawodiesu (Cover Yours)

Waakye Katawodieso

Ghana is widely recognized for two things in pop culture: an unwavering passion for football and a colourful buffet of food choices. Chief among them, the never-ending jollof wars with sister country and rival, Nigeria. An oft-overlooked and arguably tastier food option,  however, is Waakye, a dish of cooked rice and beans.

This dish is the inspiration for the name of this area. Katawodieso (also spelt Katawudiesu), literally translates from Twi as “cover your own” is a popular Waakye joint within Nyaniba Estates. Rumour has it, the food is so good, you wouldn’t want to share with anyone. Hence the sage counsel, katawodieso.

If you need short let accommodation, or a co-working space within or close to Osu and Labone and can’t wait to try this popular waakye, Axis Suites and Apartments is roughly 5 minutes away by foot and so is Impact Hub Accra and Kukun. Katawudiesu’s food will make for a great Saturday morning ritual. Or Wednesday if you follow the #WaakyeWednesday trend on social media. Just remember to cover yours.  

Check out these properties for sale in Nyaniba Estates.

Akukofoto (Chicken Photo)

Akukofoto, sometimes spelt as Akoko Foto or Akuko Foto is a suburb of Dansoman. The name quite literally translates as Chicken Photo. The story goes that the name originated from a large billboard advertising a poultry farm. The billboard apparently featured a photo of a chicken. And just like that, residents started referring to the area as Akukofoto and the name has stuck ever since.  

Dansoman (or DC for short) is popular for being one of the largest estates in West Africa. It is also a musical capital of sorts for Ghana’s hit musicians. It’s also well known for its educational facilities such as St. Martins de Porres School, Ave Maria, Alpha Beta Education Centre, Wesley Grammar Senior High, Seven Great Princess Academy, Datus School Complex and the Methodist University.

Check out properties for rent in Dansoman.

Pillar Two

Concrete Pillar

3D model of concrete pillars by Levin Rupert

Dome Pillar Two is a popular bus stop and area in Accra. According to Kwaku Gyamfi, there was mostly only bush in the neighbourhood, save for two concrete pillars that stood out – concrete pillars are typically indicative of ongoing construction. Using the pillars as markers, residents referred to one side of the area as Pillar One and the other Pillar Two. The Pillar Two name stuck and took on its own identity within Dome. Don’t expect to find the concrete pillars there anymore.

However, you can find lots of beautiful and affordable properties for rent in Dome Pillar Two.

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These are but a few of our favourite weirdly fun, hilarious and outright unique street and neighbourhood names in Accra. Hopefully, these fun and unique names help you decide on the best neighbourhoods to find houses for rent in Accra or perhaps,  lands for sale in Accra.  

There’s always a reason for a name, no matter how strange, ridiculous or inappropriate it might seem. What unbelievable names have you heard and what’s their backstory?

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Image Credits: Dilemma X, Giphy, Culture Trip, Ernest Goh & Levin Rupert.