Edited by Nana-Ama Danquah |Ghana
Thirteen stories exploring the underprivileged, unscrupulous, the disadvantaged, and the taboo in Accra, adding the Ghanaian perspective to the Noir series. The themes in this book are boldly explored, from the lives of sex workers, fixers, and some scary underworld dealers, it’s an unflinching look at the underbelly parts of Accra.
It’s a cutthroat world for many struggling to make a life for themselves, in a place where the legacy of colonialism and the promise of independence and development have left some of its citizens on the outskirts. But what’s apparent is that Accra¾like many other cities¾has its own rhythm, its own soul, and its own sinister intent. It was also interesting to learn about the development and, in some cases, underdevelopment of parts of Accra, that ultimately lends to the cultural uniqueness of this place.
Especially prominent are the varied lives of women in Accra, from sex worker to market stall entrepreneur, from madams to crime bosses, from kayayei to jealous girlfriends bent on revenge, it’s an intriguing look at the lives of women who are vulnerable, powerful, and at times desperate.
Behind the ebb and flow of Accra, are the cultural norms that govern the roles men and women play in this society. The ambitious, the unscrupulous, and the vicious all exist here, and each story unravels societal ills that affect the trajectory of each character. These stories also reveal the political history of the capital and the ambitions of leaders who created opportunity and encouraged corruption that became the norm in Accra.
I was taken aback, but later intrigued by the ease that some characters engaged in murder¾sometimes accidental, other times deliberate. I had to concede to let myself be taken along for the ride with each story.
First Published: 2020