Back in 2013, when I lived at Accra Newtown, there were two women who sold fruits in my neighborhood. One a Ghanaian and the other a Nigerian married to a Ghanaian man. The Nigerian woman had a larger store and her fruits always appeared to be fresher. I always bought from the Nigerian woman because aside from having fresher fruits, she was very welcoming, (if you know me you’ll understand that when I go to the market I only approach stores with smiling faces) so automatically I was drawn to her store.
She’ll let me select the bunches of bananas I wanted and other fruits and when I finished she added some extras that made me so satisfied with what I was paying for. She always had a way of engaging me whenever I passed by and sometimes I ended up buying Her fruits even if I initially did not plan to.
One day I was craving bananas and groundnuts (you know how hard that combo slaps). Took a stroll to madam’s stand and she was not there (Awurade mini disappointment sane?) I decided to walk further and that was my first time Visiting this Ghanaian fruit seller’s store. She had this frown that should have sent me away but cravings y3 kwasia paaa. In a very unwelcoming voice she asked “wo p3 d3n?”. I said I wanted bananas, she asked how much and I said 4cedis nkate3 1cedi. Brothers and sisters I almost cried , this woman gave me 5fingers of banana as against the 8 + ntosuo I used to get from my Nigerian Mummy as I called her. Herhh. I said eiii.. there nooorr this woman bore. Started complaining how things were expensive in the market bla bla bla. I just took my 5 fingers of bananas and left. Now these bananas were not even fresh compared to the ones I buy from the other woman. I could only eat 4 as one was almost rotten. I learned a lesson the hard way.
I thought it was just a peculiar case. But soon the pattern Became clearer with more Ghanaian women traders and even men i transacted business with. They’ll insult u for attempting to bargain or plain get angry and refuse to sell. One thing I noticed with the Nigerian fruit seller was, her fruits sold faster since more people Bought from her, this means that while the Ghanaian woman was waiting to sell a batch at her set price, the Nigerian woman had sold 3 or more batches and gone for another, reason her fruits were always fresh. The Ghanaian woman on the other hand would end up with rotten Fruits but also couldn’t throw them away so she kept them and insisted on selling at the original price even though common sense should inform her to reduce the price to clear.
Unfortunately that is the mentality of many Ghanaian traders and businesses in Ghana. The concept of moderate prices and larger customer base is alien to us. We want to invest and recoup immediately. Then turn around to blame govt. for how expensive things are on the market. Then wonder why Nigerian traders are doing better than us in our own country. Susu birirbi