Friday, April 21, 2006

As the Week Draws to a Close in Accra: Thoughts on…Armed Robbery, Easter, and AREEBA vs ONETOUCH (Ghana Telecom)

As per usual, my parents and I went to the Central Region, by way of Weija (see picture below), Winneba. The road from which I took this picture is close to Weija, where the police barrier is, and is the newly-constructed route that is trying to lend itself to "dual carriageway". Confusion is evident by the fact that the white truck is also passing us on the left. I thought it should be our right of way--and only ours...who drives on the road to the extreme right of us, then?

At the time that this was going to “press”, there was news that the occupants of a taxi in Dansoman, a suburb in Accra, had all been killed by policemen who believed them to be armed robbers. It is sounding like a case of mistaken identity, as some of the occupants, so the news reporters at CITI FM maintain, were themselves victims of an armed robbery!

This calls to question the vigilante-like tactics of police officers who shoot-to-kill without verifying, plus the hard-nosed attitude of the police these days towards armed robbers. The latter is a very good point, given the spate of armed robbery, but mistakes like these are bound to occur if proper regulation by higher-up authorities is not maintained. My view is that given this attitude by the police, armed robbery has been clamped down considerably, but, as always, the double-edged sword is that innocents get killed. That should not be toyed with.

Serendipity and Tribulation at Kokomlemle
It was with a great degree of joy that I uncovered not too far from BusyInternet on the Ring Road this place called Phones and Phone City. The reason why I went there at all stemmed from the Easter break, and me having a small accident with my SAGEM myx-7 phone. Although it is covered, I accidentally put it with some things, which included pure water. By the time we ended up in the Central Region, after almost two hours of driving, the pressure from the pure water (chill, actually) had formed condensation on the plastic sheath of my phone, which, in turn, had gone into the battery.

This meant that a bit of water affected my battery!!

I spent the better part of the weekend plugging and re-plugging my phone—only for it to start up once it was plugged and stop a third of the way as the SAGEM logo was about to be displayed.

I was crest-fallen. I had to be decisive, so I decided that upon returning to the capital of Accra, I would check out the Ghana directory for mobile phone places. After calling and re-caling for phones, I was informed that the SAGEM phone they had was an myx-5, or myx-5-2v, which had a camera. That sounded great, but I wanted one that was very close to my sagem myx-7. Turns out Phones and Phone City had SAGEM myx-6. Not the myx-6-2, which has MP3, regrettably.

Whatever the case, I was overjoyed that the shop just next door to that place, in Kokomlemle, was selling my x-7!!! a quite prohibitive price of ç1,700,000. They said they would offer it me at ç1,500,000. I told them “no need”, and whipped out mine. In explaining the problem to them, I told them to that end, I would want a new battery. Lights were out, so there was no way of testing.

I ended up taking it to Phones and PhoneCity, where the very personable young woman (Eastern Region—I know cos I suspected and asked (she had the vestigial beauty of an Eastern Region woman, including my girlfriend!) – decided she would test it for me—irrespective of the lights not being on.

It worked!!!

My frustration was over. My serendipity had been consolidated—I did not know much about Kokomlemle, but thanks to this, I am glad to know it, and, finally, I know a good place/area to get some really decent mobile phones and accessories ;-)

Easter suicide

The picture was taken by yours truly of an Easter Convention gathering in Mankessim, Central Region

The papers have been replete with little else than after-effects of Easter. One news story that has carried through the short week of Tuesday to today has been that of a man who committed suicide in a church on Easter Friday or so. The sad thing is that he had been with the church for around fifteen years, and was also sponsoring a child. No-one is quite sure what motivated him.

Areeba vs GT--Who Wins?
The afternoon has been fraught with confusion on the areeba airwaves, because for a good two hours, connectivity was virtually impossible. Any time you tried to make a call from one areeba customer to another, it said “Busy network!”. Yet, calling Onetouch from Areeba, or onetouch to onetouch was a walk in the park. This prompted speculation by some of my colleagues that the erstwhile war going on between AREEBA and Ghana Telecom, operators of ONETOUCH, are still rife.

Connectivity at the time this goes to the blog (5.25pmGMT) is still very poor. My text message to a friend from thirty minutes ago is still not sent.

The battle, I guess, continues…


My parents and I have extolled the virtues of Nollywood acting. This site is impressive, going to complement the perception that Nigerian films are doing very well:
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