I’ve been to Kumasi several times, in fact I have lost count. This is not an achievement but it has led to several experiences and exposure to the lifestyle and mindset of Asantes in Kumasi.
Asantes are proud, (not always a negative thing), they feel inferior to no one, superior to everyone. Unlike other regions where the mere ‘I’m from Accra’ tends to draw special treat, it counts for nothing in Kumasi. You are from Accra and so what what? Even burgers are not given a look.
What matters is having money, regardless of where you are from, your respect is guarded.
The Asante doesn’t want to be poor, they are some of the hardest of workers and trust me, their diligence to work is admirable. When you give a typical Kumasi man a contract, he is in a hurry to finish it and move on to another job. Even in your absence, you can trust him on that.
I have been to a number of barbering shops in a Accra around 7 am only to be told to come back an hour or two later because the attendant was still putting the place in order. In Ksi, wake the barber up at 5am and he is going to attend to you. There is one at Stadium, the first curve on your right after It’s My Kitchen Restaurant, I was there at 5:30 am, he did the job. That is the Kumasi boy for you.
The typical Kumasi boy wants to look good, he wasn’t to pimp his room and wants all the luxury necessary for his branding, the typical Kusmasi woman wants to be independent, her pride lies in her ability to provide for herself. Everything to have the bragging right, trust them to grab it.
If you go to Ksi as a visitor, you are likely to have some items sold to you at a higher price, food especially. Taxi drivers are likely to charge you more. To survive, learn to bargain or at least, don’t talk much to make the seller know a visitor is in town. Making money and being self depended is so important to them.
One major positive thing about them is: their young men take care of their children, when a Kumasi man impregnates you and the two of you decide not to marry, he is going to take a very good care of his child. In the unlikely event he doesn’t, which are few and far between, the woman will shame you by giving the child the best of care. It is rare to find a proper Ashanti homeless in Kumasi because the external family system still works effectively and hence the don’t-have are met half way through by the haves in their family.
I am only shareing common phenomenons, nothing absolute.
The mentality of Asantes in wealth acquisition is different from anywhere I have been in this country and I have travelled to every region of Ghana with the exception of the two recently carved out of the Northern Region.
Every region needs an aspect of this and also the regard for the external family system. It is the only answer to extreme poverty. Why should one starve when he has a super rich uncle?
In Kumasi, if your uncle is rich and you get closer, you won’t starve. It’s not so in Akyem and Fante for instance, I’m from both so can say with certainty.
What we learn from Kumasi is that wealth in family is best sustained when shared.
As some people maintain their importance in the family by starving others, the Asante man creates his influence by feeding his family from nuclear to extended.
Isaac Kyei Andoh
Kofi Kyei -Media