Eko Encounters: And He Drove…Me!

27 May 2012

I have already written about my vow never to drive in Eko. That intention actually goes against one of my cardinal principles: never to say never. My colleague Mrs B had already told me I would be driving in Eko before the year is out, to which I giggled. No way, I told her.

The Akans say that when it gets to the crunch, the white man, the Obroni, speaks Twi. My former Unilever colleague Emmanuel had invited me to a lunch in his house with our former boss and other colleagues, and his house is at Ikoyi. Well, not too far from where I am living presently. Nasiru doesn’t work on Sundays. So my options are actually two: to drive myself or to go in a cab. Forget an okada!

When we got married in June 2002, I had an Opel Vectra, my first car. I loved that car; I felt it was a Mercedes. I remember sending a mail to my classmates from Tech via our class mailing list to inform them about the car. From memory I recollect that I thought the steering was power-steering. By the blessedness of technology and my archives, I have been able to retrieve that mail:

From: Nana Damoah

Sent: Tuesday, January 22, 2002 7:54 AM

To: Classmates

Subject: Declaration


God has been good to me for all these years. This year has begun on a good note for me. By His grace, I now drive a 1992 Opel Vectra 1600cc engine. I am still getting used to it, and enjoying it with my wife-to-be. Features include 15″ alloy wheels, Power front windows, Power mirrors, Central locking, and nice steering (almost power, though I am not certain yet).

So, praise God with me.

Another information which is already in the public domain is that I am planning to marry on 15th June this year. I am giving you all very very advance notice, because you are special.

God bless, and keep the Spirit. More blessings are on the way for all of us.


 I am laughing so hard at the mail, 10 years down the line. My signature then was a fleeting nickname my classmates had given me: His Excellency The Chilling Brother.

Vivian had learnt how to drive but wasn’t really practising. I was in the Quality Assurance Department of Unilever then and use to travel on trade visits every quarter, going away for a week at a time, covering the entire nation each year, visiting the key distributors and the markets to assess quality in the trade. When I left, the car was packed in the garage and Vivian who was then working in Accra (we lived at Lashibi) walked from our home in Community 18 to the junction, and had to pick series of public transport (taxi and trotro) to get to work. The first day of that week, she really had it in traffic and got home late. On her way home, she decided that it made no sense to have a car at home and be struggling to get a car to and from work! That evening, she cleaned the car and the early on Tuesday, she set off to work, very early so she wouldn’t encounter much traffic. By the Friday when I returned from my trek, my wife had become an expert driver.

This morning, I decided to use the same approach. Sunday is not noted for heavy traffic. So though the lunch invitation is for around 1pm, I drove out to find the location, and realised how much I miss driving!

Tentative first attempt. I will drive to and from Emmanuel’s house again this afternoon. Let’s see how quickly Mrs B’s prediction comes to pass.

Eish, Eko o ni ba je!  

Ah, o baje ti!


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