So over the years, before Ghana got to where we are today, there were a lot of menial jobs that we used to do that seem to be receding these days although there are some still going on.
Every job, is a job right? But some of these jobs will make you scream WTF!!! Here are 15 completely weird jobs from Ghana’s history.
1. The Toilet Carrier (The Gong Farmer).
These days, most homes in Ghana use water closets and so this job is on the low but people are still engaged in it though because we are not completely out of the system. We have people who go around in the night to carry poop in buckets to throw away or sell as manure to farmers and they are paid for both services.
2. Ade3 Yie.
Yes! Being a seamstress or tailor is lucrative now but back in the days, we had people who go around just to patch torn clothes, they were referred to as “Adi3 yie”. They had their sewing machines on their shoulders and go around communities searching for work. Although it is on the low these days, they are still in service but back in the days, there were really a lot of them.
3. The Woma Doctor.
The Woma (Fufu Pestle) Doctor, is the man that goes around to fix the fufu pestle when the pounding end becomes flat. He reshapes it and makes it fluffy again by hitting it on a cement block or a hard rock or surface, something every young man in the house can do. These days, it is on the low but we still have a few roaming communities for this.
4. The Water Fetcher.
This job is scarce now because these days water is available in most homes in Ghana and even houses that do not have pipe borne water have wells. Back in the days, we had to walk long distances to get water for the house. This is where the water fetcher comes in, they go to fetch the water to fill all your containers in the house for a fee.
5. The Utensil Scriber.
These days, most Ghanaians have their own kitchen and so packing and locking up utensils is easy but living in a compound house was not like that especially when you share a kitchen with your neighbors. There was always a case of people fighting over utensils and to solve the problem, we had the “utensil scriber” who comes in with a screwdriver to mark silver utensils with names for the owners. These days, people hardly engage their services although we still have a few around.
6. The Wange Wange (The Washer).
The “wange wange” is still rife in Ghana and it’s just someone who comes over to wash your clothes for a fee. Although washing machines are becoming common in Ghana, we still have people who engage their services because it is not everybody who can afford a washing machine.
7. The Plastic Mender.
These days, plastic products have become cheap so when you even break your plastic chair, all you do is to buy a new one. Back in the days, they were not that cheap and so one gets broken, it’s kept till the plastic “mender” comes around to fix it and we use it again. What they do is to sew it back together and use a hot rod to melt another plastic on it to make it strong. They mend anything plastic that’s broken.
8. The Lantern Shade Cleaner.
So before ECG came to be, we were using lanterns and although we clean the shade before using it, you couldn’t do it better than the lantern shade cleaner. He comes along with some kind of special chemicals in a container and will request for all the lanterns in the house and clean them neatly.
9. The Mosquito Coil Seller.
Gone are the days when in the evening all you hear from your window is someone shouting out the sale of mosquito coils, “Yes! Mosquito coil”. People are still engaged in it but it is on the low these days and quite common in the cities.
10. The Kerosene Seller.
“Yessss kereeeeseeeeennnnneee” is the common mantra that comes with the sale of this product which is Kerosene. These days, thanks to candles and torchlights, the use of lanterns are becoming archaic and so we hardly see people purchasing kerosene and so this job is gradually disappearing but back in the days, this was what someone fed his family with.
11. By Day.
These are people who go around asking to weed overgrown grasses in homes for a fee. They are called by day because they promise they will be done by the end of the day. Some also help with building construction by digging foundations, manholes, mixing cement or carrying blocks etc. and they get paid at the end of each day.
These days, this job seems to have vanished but back in history, we had these people who dressed as masquerades and go around houses dancing for money during Christmas and Easter. They are normally called by parents into homes to scare stubborn children when they come around.
13. Wood Cutter.
Thanks to gas and burners, this job seems to have disappeared but back in the days when we used wood for fire, the woodcutter was the man who came around with an axe to cut the wood into bits for easy use.
14. The Gong-Gong Beater.
The gong-gong beater is the public announcer back in the days who carried information to the public from the chief but these days, nobody needs them, thanks to newspapers and the internet.
15. Fufu Pounder.
They basically work at chop bars, they pound fufu for a living.