An afternoon walk through Jamestown, Accra, Ghana

Jamestown is a popular destination with tourists visiting Accra, and so overtime locals have become more averse to passers-by and in some cases more hardened. The prevailing feeling from talking to locals has been that pictures taken will be sold to magazines and the images will be used as a source of amusement for audiences in Europe and North America. So, it wasn’t surprising that when we arrived here, cameras at the ready that we were immediately approached by the ‘tourism officer’ who demanded a tax for entering Jamestown and payment for a ‘compulsory’ guide. After a rather optimistic demand of 150 Ghanian Cedis (GH₵), we decided to walk away in the direction of Accra city centre only to be halted by the same ‘officer’ who now offered to reduce the price to 30 GH₵ and provide us with his best female tour guide. Within a few minutes, we were on our way down towards the beach with a very expressive hostess. People in Ghana are very open and friendly, however taking photos without permission is certainly a no-no. In Jamestown, extra caution has to take place, and we shot only when we had gestured for a photo and permission being granted. Our hostess, who had a very important business meeting to attend to, decided to make time for us and guide us through the settlement. Rosie was to tell us when we could and couldn’t take any photos, although she was more interested in attention on herself. The heat and intense smell of the waste along the beach front rose as we walked through patches of sand and rubbish strewn across the beachfront. The population across this stretch of coastline has dramatically increased over the past two decades, and many fishermen use this site every day.

 

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