Posted September 22, 2010 from Ghana

Accra central is always busy with human activities which include buying and selling and the transportation of both commodities and humans to their respective places. It is one of the busiest places in Accra where an individual will get what he or she wants in the market available. What caught my attention this time around was the “kayayoo” literally meaning “head potter” who was engaged in an argument with another lady who I later got to know was her client. She had carried her client’s goods from the vendors place to the car park but then the client refused to pay the amount she demanded because the head potter mistakenly dropped some of the items she was carrying. This turned into a huge argument between the two. Later, in order for peace to prevail, the head potter left without taking her money.

Most young girls who migrate from the rural areas to the Capitol of Ghana face so many trials and tribulations. They leave their homes thinking life will be better for them in the capitol only to realize that it is far worse. Those at higher risk are the girls. Since they have no place to lay their heads some bargain with the driver’s mate in the transport yards in order for them to sleep in the bus when work is over. They see this as a form of protection from the rest of the outside world. They have no say in matters that affect them since it is a street life, they have to struggle to make ends meet. Some of these head potters are sexually harassed by the driver’s mates. Refusal to comply means no place to sleep. For these young girls, the saying: “the customer is always right” is always abused. Some clients end up cheating them at the end of the day and the unfortunate ones get nothing at all.

As if this is not enough, they have tasks to pay. Whether these young girls have made sales or not, these tax collectors take their money. Failure to pay the tax means no ticket to go about your daily activities since they will be pursued throughout the day. What the money is used for, no one knows.

There have been countless measures taken to curb this situation. Some NGO’s have taken it upon themselves to provide skills training in arts and crafts; others have provided some of the head potters with sewing machines to take back home and start a trade. This rather made the situation worse since more of their friends came to the capitol- Accra to get more of these privileges.

To be cont.....

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