Isn’t it funny how one year you’re waiting on your “wofa Kwame” to bring your Christmas present when he comes visiting and the next year, you’re the “wofa Kwame” your nieces and nephews are looking up to for Christmas gifts? How quickly the tables turn. This is a short helpful read on navigating Christmas shopping in Ghana but before I take you through the ins and outs of it, allow me to introduce myself.
I’m Ghanaman, your new friend. Ghanaman is a popular slang for anyone exhibiting typical Ghanaian behaviour in any given scenario. That random person you meet on an almost lost cause to ask directions from; isn’t too familiar with the route themselves but offers you directions based on intuition and desperately hopes you find your way there. The seemingly normal group of people dying to try eggs with any meal and make it work, basically everything that makes Ghanaians who they are.
Now that we’re all on the same page let’s roll!
Is it too early to start Christmas shopping? The short answer is no. And if we’re being completely honest, you’re a little late, but here are tips to guide you.
Draw your December Ballin’ Schedule.
December Ballin’ Schedule lists places and activities you’d love to be a part of, whether with the squad or solo. Times are hard, and so you need to plan your movement. List the events you’d like to attend in December; planning your hangouts now helps you save towards them and decide on what outfits you’d need for December. Draw your December Ballin’ Schedule ahead of December with whoever you want to go out with in mind. As much as possible, add your estimated spend to every activity, so you have a fair idea of how much you’re willing to spend this season of ballin’.
Bronya List Is Still A Thing.
Make your list, including everything you need; clothes, shoes, food, etc.
Start shopping early. Like, September early. Save this tip for next year. This helps you avoid the ‘December price hikes’. Regarding groceries, you need to take my advice and buy in bulk. That tabletop freezer of yours is about to come in handy for real. Tomatoes, peppers, and onions are about to get pricey; mark my words and now is a good time to buy and freeze for your “there’s food at home” menu.
Move Early. The Early Bird Catches The Worm.
If you’re not going to be shopping online, you need to leave home early before that mad “pre-Christmas traffic” hits. Depending on where you live, I’d say leave home before the sun sets, less crazy drivers on the road then. Plus, you get to comb town well enough searching for the right things.
**Don’t Pass Any Lungu Lungu. E go shock you! **
Here in Ghana, alternate routes are called lungu lungu and the name suggests its meaning; winding and not too good. However, if you heed our previous tip, you won’t need this one. If you’re Uber’ing to town, insist that your driver sticks to the routes you’re familiar with.
** Kantamanto market is the best thing to happen since the invention of electric kettles.**
No matter how cheap something looks online, it can’t beat the Kanta price! Don’t shop for everything online, is what I’m trying to tell you. Kanta is a good place to rehearse all those sneaky bargaining tactics mom taught you from years of watching her do it. Oh, did she say it’ll cost 100 cedis? Tell her all you have is 20 cedis and slowly walk away.
**Wait for Black Friday **
Shopping online has thankfully come to stay. Find a credible store online, see something you like, and get it delivered. Life is easy. Mind you, the underlined word is credible. Especially on Black Friday, which falls on the last Friday in November, you need to be wary of fake deals online. The internet is a tricky place. Look out for ads months before Black Friday, check e-commerce apps to stay updated on juicy deals and remember to stick to the list.
** When in doubt, send money.**
There really is no simpler way to say this; if you ever run out of gift ideas, you can always send money instead. I don’t know who needs to hear this, but there’s no better way of breaking the news to your family back here that you can’t make it for Christmas than sending them “something small”. Call it your “I may not be there, but I hope you chill on my behalf” gift. And who doesn’t love a thoughtful money gift? If you ever take my advice to send a money gift instead, you should use the Lemonade Finance remittance App. Made by Africans for Africans in the diaspora. Times are generally quite rough everywhere, but Lemonade Finance allows you to send money back home from the UK, USA and Canada for free. There are no charges, and their exchange rates are simply unbeatable! Quote me anywhere. Get the Lemonade Finance App here if you’re in the UK, USA or Canada.
That’s all for today, do stay in touch with me on Twitter @lemonadefinancegh.
Your new friend,