Saturday, April 11, 2009

Coca-Cola comes with a Brrr!!! What we drink in Ghana

One of the most popular African commercials in recent years is the Coca-Cola Brr advert with the African king. Turns out the guy who plays this character is a famous Kenyan actor called Charles Bukeko. Charles is also in the only Kenyan movie I've seen so far, 'Malooned', he plays a lazy security guard. Are most security guards in Africa lazy? Do they come to work and sleep? Charles' character did. When he happened to be woken up by shouts of help, he dismissed them as 'demons'. It's tough not to like him for his famous shiver in the Coke advert though. There's nothing like a cold Coke. Especially in Ghana.

You can see Charles Bukekeo in action here (First section)

Read an article about Charles here
In Ghana, we call Coca-Cola Coke or Mineral. Why Mineral? Beats me. Maybe because it has a lot of minerals in there? No one knows what Pop or Soda is. And Pepsi is a form of Coke, if you ask an average Ghanaian. Foreign drinks in Ghana are dominated by Guinness, Malta Guinness and Coke. I doubt it is much different in other African countries. You can even test the pulse of the nation with Guinness. When Ghanaians are happy, Guinness sales are flying off the counters. When Ghanaians are down, you can count the number of Guinness bottles sold.

Ghanaian kids start out having things like Juicee, Coke (liquid one), Refresh (when it was alive) and gradually graduate to Malta Guinness. These days, there's Malt Quench; basically Malta fizzed with Coke. There's also the famous 'Hye me ma' drinks, aka Ghana's version of Koolade. I miss that stuff. Vimto was my favorite. They didn't last long in the fridge. These days, you'll find things like Ceres and Don Vita in many middle-class fridges. Others have to make do with flagging down the 'Asana' sellers. There are many juice drinks in Ghana these days, mostly found in restaurants. There is no big brand; if you bought pineapple juice at 10 social spots on Osu Oxford Street, you may have had at least 5 different pineapple juice brands. Scale up people. We need big production houses, combine your powers and let's export something.

We happen to grow and we must leave childish drinks behind. Sad. In no time, the ladies are lighting up the night with Gordon Spark, the sweet-tooth social drinkers like myself are popping Smirnoff Ices while the revellers chill with Star, Castle Lager and Stone Lager beers. There are many energy drinks on the market too. I love palm wine though so I normally ask for that first.

Let's not forget the successful alcoholic bitters industry. Kebacho, Agya Appiah, Pusher (Shai laa pishua), Alomo, are mainstays and for those who want 'shots'. I tried Akpeteshie once, haven't done so since.

This is all I can remember now. Post will be updated as I am inspired accordingly. Maybe I should watch a couple more Ghanaian movies to 'rediscover' a few.
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