I remember the day I grew up. Yes, for me there was one particular day when in my mine I stopped being a child and suddenly became an adult. May 22, 2013! The day I first paid rent. GhC300, ‘two years advance’. After handing over that huge amount of cash to the estate agency, my account was almost empty and when I stepped into my room for the first time, I fought back tears. Now, I had to buy a mattress and the basic things I needed to survive.
Week 1 of Growing up
To be honest, I had previously found another place with cheaper rent but they didn’t have water and I was told I would have to spend about GhC80 a month on water and said location also required I picked two different trotros to work and back after doing some basic maths, I decided it wasn’t worth it.
Growing up was hard. Accra isn’t your friend if you don’t have money. Everything is expensive! Food, transportation, everything! Take for example, Ho. There are no trotros in Ho. It’s all taxis and no dropping. The idea of sitting alone in a taxi while everyone else struggles for transportation is strange to Ho people. Back in 2013, taxi from anywhere to anywhere in Ho was 50p whiles in Accra, an uncomfortable trotro ride from Kaneshie to Airport Junction was GhC1.00.
Living on my own meant there was no one to share chores with. If I didn’t clean my room, the filth was all mine so I learnt to clean my room regularly. All the things mom used to scream at me to do, I was doing myself. I didn’t have money to hire a cleaner so I became quite good at cleaning my room. I learned to cook. I become more organized.
Trotro rides and Accra traffic always left me sweaty so I stopped wearing my singlets and boxers twice and learned to bathe more. I remember back in Uni and SHS I used to decide on singlets or boxers by using the sniff test. If I didn’t think it was smelly, it could be worn again without washing. All the boys in the dorm did it so it wasn’t weird. One day in a Kaneshie trotro and all my singlets would fail the sniff test. Eventually, I learned to wash them regular.
When I had days off from work, I would spend that time cooking and doing general cleaning. When I returned from work tired, I still had to heat some food. No one was going to shout from the kitchen about food being ready and starving wasn’t an option.
In May 2015, my rent expired and the agency informed my they had increased rent to GhC500 a year and wanted ‘two years advance’. I moved out to somewhere else, got a better paying job but still, this grown up thing is hard.
Why on Earth was I in such a hurry to grow up when I was young?