Friday, May 20, 2011

The Exodus Project - Ms. Akua

Ms. Akua is the founder of Hired Capital - a recruiting and human resource consulting firm based in Accra, Ghana. Visit their website at

How long were in the US? What was your experience in the US? How has your experience in the West shaped your perspective?

10 years. University and work. Exposed me to how things are done here, how people relate and how the system works here. It’s been a very positive and rewarding experience but it’s important to know when it’s enough and when you can go back home feeling accomplished.

What has the experience been since you moved back to Ghana (socially & culturally) and in your work/business activities?

Socially, it was initially challenging as I had lost touch with friends who live in Ghana as my closest friends didn’t live there. After about half a year it became stable, I now find myself with a lot of non-Ghanaian friends or repat Ghanaian friends.

What is your advice for others who want to move back to Ghana?

Start reaching out to the people in Ghana early enough.. Also, get in touch with Hired Capital..:)

What are your hopes for the future of Ghana? How do you think we can achieve them?

We can achieve our hopes by being bold enough to participate in what matters to you – be it business, philanthropy or politics. Do something! Also, selecting the right leaders…Although you only have one vote, exercise it when you can.

What business opportunities or (opportunities to have an impact) do you see in Ghana?

There are many opportunities – anytime something isn’t available or something isn’t done right, it’s an opportunity. It’s what tickles your fancy. The only thing is that you can’t sit back and think about the opportunities, because there are at least a dozen more people with the same ideas – it’s about who will execute it.

If you were President of Ghana give us a list of Top 5 things you will do.

I’d take care of the basic necessities of life. They are so basic that it’s ridiculous not to have them.

Why did you move back to Ghana?

I wanted to go home!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

My Mother's Okro Soup

Yes, my mother's okro soup is the best in the whole wide world. Just look at it!

There's a proverb that says "The child who has never travelled away from home is the one who says his mother's soup in the best".

I haven't travelled everywhere but I have travelled a lot of places and my mom's okro soup beats them all.

Any challenger?

Monday, May 16, 2011

Joke: Customer Service at Samsung in Accra

The other day my dad and I went shopping for a new air conditioning system. We drove down Ring Road between the Kanda Bypass and Circle trying to choose between LG and Samsung. We finally went with Samsung. The sales personnel told us to choose anytime the next day for the installation crew to stop by the house to install the AC, so we chose 10 am the next day. To be sure they’ll show up I had my cousin call them from 8am on the day of the installation appointment and practically all day long past the 10am appointment. They never showed up. So the day after they promised to show up my cousin called them again starting around 8am. They tried to get out of their commitment by giving all kinds of excuses – you didn’t give us your phone number (I gave them 3 different phone numbers). So I got on the phone myself:

Ring, ring, ring ring…..

Samsung guy: Hello

Me: Yes, I bought an air conditioner yesterday and you promised to come and install it and I’m still waiting.

Samsung guy: But I just talked to you

Me: No you talked to my cousin

Samsung guy: You didn’t request installation, and you didn’t provide us a number

Me: That’s not true, I can come to your office right now look the sales girls in the eye and ask them if I provided them a number.

Samsung guy: Well, the number you provided to us was wrong.

Me: No I provided 3 different numbers, and all of them are correct.

Me: Well, I need you to tell me what time the installation crew will be here.

Samsung guy: We are not sure, maybe next week. You need to request the installation.

Me: Look let me speak to your boss
(phone passes to someone seamlessly without warning)

Me: Boss, I need to know when TODAY you can come and install my AC or I’ll return the AC to your office and go to LG instead.

Samsung Boss: Calm down, I’m trying to be fair to you and you’re not (being) understanding.

Me: Listen, I don’t care. If you don’t come within the next couple of hours I will return the AC. We’ve had LG air-conditioners in our house for 16 years and with regular maintenance they worked fine. I don’t need to beg you guys. I’ll return your AC and go back to LG.
(Phone passes seamlessly back to someone unannounced)

Samsung guy: Herr, do you know who we sell to? Do you know what companies order for us? Go ahead and return the AC.

Me: I beg you, tell your boss to give you a lesson in economics. I am nobody but money from a rich person or company and money from a poor person is all money.

Needless to say they called my mom and said I was insulting everybody in the office and the installation crew showed up within 30 minutes of my call. The average worker in Ghana just doesn’t understand business. It’s very very sad. Everybody is waiting to make money without working for it.