Posted on April 10, 2010


And then THE BANK:I am in the Standard Chartered Bank making deposits into a foreign account at one wicket and a Ghana cedi deposit at another wicket. I do the foreign one first filling in the deposit form waiting for one person already being served and then its my turn-as smooth as silk….

Then I go to the other side of the bank to fill in the form for the Ghana cedi account deposit and then take my place in the queue of about 12 customers in front of me.

QUESTION FOR THOSE WHO LIVE AND BANK IN GHANA: Have you ever thought that in Ghana the line gets longer in front of you than behind you?

So, I’m waiting and then this middle aged man in a white shirt says to somebody two people in front of me, “This is my place.” and the person nods his head and the guy gets behind him.

“Humph,” I say under my breath.

I continue waiting -12 minutes I see by the clock above the tellers-and then a younger guy in a pink shirt comes and talks to the person in front of me saying again “This is my place.”

Then I react! “You weren’t here. I’ve been standing here waiting for more than 15 minutes I never saw you. This happens too much here. Like that fellow there in the white shirt.”

So the guy with the white shirt turns around and says, ” I was here and left. That is the culture here in Ghana. This isn’t Europe. This is Ghana.”

Now I know there is absolutely no point arguing with this guy.

But when he goes to the wicket leaving me and the guy in front of me I say, “It sure isn’t fair to all the people who stay in the line.” I turn to motion to all the people in line behind me….and who is back there? the guy with the pink shirt…with a grin on his face! ”

It’s surprising how often “culture” has something to do with men exerting power unfairly over others for their own benefit or advantage.

Hey, I hope this is material for Ian Utley’s second edition of CULTURE SMART GHANA.



And one last thought, next time I have two deposits I’m going to go to the cedi account line first, get in line and then tell the people in front of me and behind me that I am here, go do my other business (gee I could even go out and check out the new dvds from my favourite vendor just outside the bank)

My favourite DVD stand just outside S.C.B

then come back to my place in front of all those people who were standing in line.

Hey, when in Rome…..