Ga. Ashanti. Ewe. Fante. These are a few of many Ghanaian ethnicities. Believe it or not, Ghana is populated by a cool 23,000,000 people. With this is in mind, let me ask one question: Why on earth would anyone expect all Ghanaians to look the same?
As a Ghanaian woman living in London, this is a question that has wandered around my mind for some time now, and has still found no answer. Seriously, if I got one pesewa every time I was asked if I was Ghanaian, I would be a millionaire by now. I would be even richer if I received a pesewa for every time my response (a big YES) was followed by a look of surprise from my interlocutor. What do I need to do to prove to you that I am not Nigerian, Caribbean, Sierra Leonan and all the other nationalities I'm apparently supposed to be?
For those who walk around expecting me to be a few shades lighter than a black board and short with too much junk to fit in the trunk just because I happen to be of Ghanaian descent, you really need to take a trip back to Accra and take a good look around.
I remember being at a cousin's wedding. I was speaking to a family member, when I noticed a man nearby staring at me. Although I carried on with my conversation, I was becoming a bit unnerved by how intently I was being stared at. I was beginning think I can't take any more of this when he finally approached me and rudely interrupted my conversation, "eh! excuse me, are you a Ghanaian?"
"Um, yeah" (that was me, a little surprised about the audacity of some people). I then got the once over as this man's eyes slowly ran over my body, from head to toe. When he was done, he focused on my face again and responded "it's up to you."
THE CHEEK OF IT!
Although I understand for each nationality there may be a 'typical look', I don't get why people act shocked when they stumble upon someone who looks different from 'the typical'. It's not as if I go through life never expecting to be asked where I am from, I just find it very annoying when I am treated like a compulsive liar.