Racism Exists in My Backyward: My Personal Experience with Race Discrimination in My Country Ghana



My country Ghana is one of the most hospitable countries in the world, no doubt.  But it is one of the most race discriminatory countries in the world too. Why do I say so? Because too many people are made to believe that white skin is superior to black skin.

I know this may sound strange to you but it is the unfortunate truth we live with today in our society.—-where black loathes black skin and loves white skin. You will come to understand why I say this with so much regret at the end of this piece. My experience with race discrimination was a very annoying and for me, I pray that no one (be it black or white) experiences this.

I was excited when I walked down the long alley of the Movenpick Hotel. It was the first time I walked into the beautiful interior of the huge hotel which stood tall among hotels in Accra. The main idea was to have a great time with my cousin who had just come from Holland.

She was also experiencing this for the very first time but her experience was different I guess. It was nostalgic. It was similar to the big hotels in Holland. What she told me was she didn’t know that Ghana has changed this much. She has been out there far too long. Of course she was experiencing a new Ghana. What I called a Better Ghana. Perhaps, if Ghana played it cards right she would have been experiencing Ghana at its best.

We walked into the cocktail bar and we were welcomed by a neatly dressed and receptive waitress. As we sat down we took in the beautiful ambience of the large room. But for the men smoking in the room, it would have been the perfect setting for us.

The waitress politely gave us a menu to order and we did so immediately because we were famished.  My cousin ordered for some baguette, French fries and salad and I ordered for some samosas, spring rolls and french fries. But before then we were served with our choices of drinks. The neatly dressed waitress serves us with a chilled bottle of coke and Malta Guinness before she left to attend to our orders.

The food took a little while in coming so we requested for a second round of drinks. My cousin substituted her coke for some juice. We relaxed on the comfy couch as we waited for our foods. Light and Soothing music came from a jukebox in the corner and we enjoyed it all the way through.

After ten minutes, the waitresses returned with a very palatable looking and colorfully served meal.  We lunged for the food like hungry animals. The samosa and spring rolls tasted heavenly but my cousin had a problem with her salad. She didn’t like the sharp after taste of the vinegar in the salad and asked that her order be replaced by some tasty mango flavored chicken burger. It was food heaven.

After the very filling meal, I decided to take a stroll alone by the huge poolside area. The weather was perfect, the water inviting but the timing was ill-fated. It was a beautiful sight to behold and I could not resist the urge to capture the moment. So I took out my camera phone to take my Kodak moment. Then out of  nowhere approaches a young, dark imposing man. A lifeguard I suppose? He was in a yellow Tee Shirt and red shorts. Well, I assumed he worked at the plush hotel. “You are not supposed to take pictures here” He said. I did not hear him the first time since he was far off.

He moves closer to where I stood and repeats “You are not supposed to take pictures here”.  He said this time in a very bossy way. “When people are swimming I say”. I observed him for a while and around me there was no one in sight, no swimmer in the pool. So what was he saying?

I looked round for the second time but it was just the two of us. Obviously he was talking to me.  “I am only taking a video” I said politely. “No, you cannot” he ordered as a matter of emphasis. What he didn’t know was, earlier on I had spotted him watch on as a white man did the same thing I was doing. So the white man can take a photo or video and minutes later, I cannot do so simple because of my skin colour?

What gives this man the right to treat me this way? I, a black woman. I, who shares the same color with him. The same nationality perhaps…Probably the same native tongue and bloodline… I shook my head.

We are the same people who complain bitterly about race discrimination yet we treat our fellow black man with so much impunity. Leave it for the black man to hit on his brother. Leave it for the black man to hate on his brother.  Again, leave it for the black to betray his own. We are our own enemies.

Do you think the white man cares if you treat your fellow black with so much disdain? Do you even think for a moment that the white man gives a hoot about you?  No, sir they don’t.

I wanted to speak my mind to this young ignorant man. I had so much to say but the thoughts were flooding my mind. I was disgusted by his behavior. I was saddened. More importantly I felt so sorry for this black man. All I could get out of my mouth was “I am very sorry for you”.  I immediately walked through the gates of “hell” with my head up high. Believing that I have done good by shaming the “devil”. Of course racism still exist this time in my own backyard (in Africa)

I had to share this story not because I want to pursue a personal vendetta against this young man. No!  That is not the kind of person I was raised to be. I share this with the intention of changing the mindset of a backward race. A race that feels inferior to the white man. We all are equal in the eyes of the maker.

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