The early days of urban development made street naming a vital activity to implement in order to easily access locations.
However, streets weren’t just given any name, streets tended to be named for landmarks like markets, institutions and even religious centers.
Other major streets would be named for symbols of power and authority, the names of national heroes and leaders like Kwame Nkrumah and Yaa Asantewaa weren’t left out either.
It’s in the wake of this realization that left me puzzled and baffled upon seeing streets being named after vegetables, fruits and other foodstuffs in Dansoman, a suburban town in Greater Accra Region, a town considered to be the largest estate in West Africa.
It wasn’t only astonishing but quite ridiculous as my mind begged questions that I would only need to answer myself.
Why were streets being named after foodstuffs ahead of landmarks that are easily noticeable and over great men and institutions that have contributed immensely to the successes of this great community? I guess whoever was in charge of these streets naming exercise didn’t give it much thought.
Opinion leaders and other authorities in the community were probably not consulted — at least that is what I choose to believe, but if they were, I guess they want to prepare “ampesi” with the streets of Dansoman.
AMADAN STREET (PLANTAIN STREET)
Can you imagine? There isn’t a single plantain tree on this street. One can raise the argument on historic lines — suggesting that, probably the street used to be a plantain endowed area of a sort. Even so, someone discovered it, and took care of this farm, what happened to the first settlers of this land — who worked tirelessly to ensure this particular street’s survival to this stage.
SEBE STREET (GARDEN EGG STREET)
I guess this street was also a land naturally blessed with garden eggs and there was no better landmark that could best substitute for “Sebe” street.
This street actually has a drug store that has been serving members of the area with very professional and effective healthcare, which I believe serves as a more noticeable and easier way to communicate locations and bearings. The drug store is very popular amongst the people hence it beats my logic why one would choose to name the street after garden eggs.
SHITO STREET (PEPPER STREET)
I don’t really want to believe anyone living on this street can proudly consider using Shito Street to make a direction to their residence or location. Like, “Hi Sandra, my name is Nana, I live on the Shito Street.” That’s on the lighter side. All I am trying to reach at, is that, these funny street names for whatever reasons they were used could have had better substitutes.
AMEO STREET (TOMATO STREET)
We conclude with Ameo or Tomato Street. There are other funny names like Wuowolo or Egg Street, Sabolai or Onion Street, Nkatie or Groundnut Street, Abonua or Lime Street and many others.
I believe other Ghanaian communities share similar sentiments.