about me

After slaving away in the rice fields of Thailand… oh, hell… I returned from half my life in the U.S. to try out life in this musty and hot (yet beautiful) furnace called Ghana. It’s been a mixed ride so far, but a rewarding and promising place to live provided you have the patience and are willing to toughen it out a while like I’m doing now.

I was an equity and options trader (you try doing that work in this country). I’m now a college consultant, a proprietor of a food business, a blogger (a once-or-twice-a-week confessional of sorts), and I’m trying my hand at writing screenplays. What else…I’m a no nonsense guy, but also a very nice guy. I tell it like it is- usually what you wouldn’t allow yourself to think. I travel whenever I can; work out whenever my body permits; garden when the rains fall and I’m a perpetual writer of all things Ghanaians hate to read about themselves.

So…this is Made-In-Accra. Don’t be scared by how I write; it just might grow on you. Oh, feel free to ask me anything questions you might have. If I can be of help, I’ll try to answer every one of them. Thanks for stopping by!

§ 28 Responses to about me

  • Panyin says:

    Hey, Mike,

    I really like reading this blog! What brought you to Ghana this year? I’m about to go to Accra for an internship, so I’ll be looking around more to find out what you think about people’s work culture.

    Thanks for writing!
    Kyle

    • Mike says:

      Sorry for the delay in responding. I actually left a response a long while ago, but I don’t know how it didn’t register. Anyway, nostalgia and work brought me to Ghana. I always wanted to reconnect with my childhood and this year presented the best opportunity for me to do so. Feel free to email me any other questions anytime. Bring lots of sunblock. You’ll thank me later. Best of luck with the internship!

  • Letitia says:

    Dear Mike
    I have found your blog by accident why looking on line for help for a friend

    I am sorry to bother you but could you give an email address to contact Or any ideas of how to help him

    I have a friend who has been attacted and robbed in Accra. He is alone in Hospital and quiet baddly injured.He was on a business trip.

    I don´t know what to do to help him and if I was in this

    situation I would like someone to help me.

    I live in Spain, so I am too far away to help him

    I would be gratefull for any help

    Thank you

    Letitia Fossati

    Ps I will read your blog this afternoon
    Thanks

  • igobyc says:

    Hey,

    I am staying at the University of Ghana for a while, and I am trying to find information on day hikes I can do around Accra. Do you know of anything like that? I am looking for something I can get to without a lot of time, so that I could go in the morning, hike, and come back without overnighting. Any ideas? Thanks in advance for whatever help you can give!

    Best,
    Chrissy

    • Mike says:

      Chrissy,
      hard to say where in Accra is best for day hikes. There are good trails in the Akuapem region for hikes, and these are less than 2 hours from central Accra. I can’t give you specifics now, but there are several with some offering mt. biking tours through the waterfall spots. A few google clicks will help. I’m rarely online, or I’d have more to add. hth

  • sophia says:

    Mike,

    I really love this blog. I’m going to be filming a movie in Ghana in the beginning of 2012, hopefully, and found it while I was doing research. I’d love to talk to you more about your time in Accra and was wondering the best way to reach you since leaving a blog comment / post seems like the least efficient way of communicating.

    All the best,
    Sophia

    PS I’m from New Jersey too!

    • Mike says:

      so sad, another poor jersey soul coming to ghana 😦 ..kiddin’! you’re right, the blog is the least efficient way of comm… you can email me at madeinaccra@gmail.com If need be, I’ll then send you my reg email and mobile and see how best I can help you. Hope to see you in this heat next year!

  • efiasworld says:

    Hi

    I’m not really one for leaving comments but have to say I love your blog. Moved back here from London about 3 years ago and can relate to everything you have written.

    Especially love the one on dating a Ghanaian girl

  • GADEL says:

    The few posts I’ve read on your blog are quite moving Mike. I only wished you were not an atheist/agnostic.

    GADEL
    http://www.gadel.info

  • Hey A friend just sent me a link to your blog. just read the post on black people and I like it. Really excited to read all your entries.

  • mawunyo says:

    ‘great writing skills, very engaging , i also live in adenta just like u, so see u around, i really like ur blog, kudos to u. nd i’ll like to start a blog myself, how do i do that.,

  • Jean says:

    Hope your year in Ghana reaps great learning lessons and positive notes (despite death of friend).

  • Elizabeth says:

    I’m getting ready to head to Ghana and happened upon your blog. I really enjoyed it! Thanks for the honest and humorous insights!

  • Jeena Effoe says:

    I love your blog… very interesting. I am planning a trip to Gh next spring and am trying to gain all the info I can… I have a fantasy about coming to Accra, but it is helpful to read a more down to earth assesment of your experience ~Afrikan Superstar

  • Jeena Effoe says:

    So you are from Ohio?

  • Joyce says:

    Dear madeinaccra,

    My name is Joyce and I work for ExpatFinder.com.
    ExpatFinder.com is a free one stop website for people preparing to move or working and living overseas. We provide a myriad of services for expatriates and we have over 2,000 articles to help and support the people moving around the world and we are now creating an interview section to help the expats with real life experiences!
    We quite enjoy your blog about living in Ghana, it is very interesting and informative. Would it be possible to interview you to further share some of your tips and feature some of your first hand experience as an Expat and your interview will be published on our Expat Interview section as a guide for our expat readers. The questions are mainly about the day to day lifestyle of an expat. If it would be possible, could you also send some photographs that we can use?
    Of course, if you accept, we can add a link to your blog or some of your website.
    The questions are enclosed, feel free to respond freely. You can return the doc with your answers if you accept this invitation.
    Thanks in advance and do let me know if you prefer other means to conduct this interview and we would be happy to accommodate your terms.

    Best regards,
    Joyce

  • pat says:

    Thks for all your insight met someone on the net plan on going to see if shes real before I invest the rest of my life with this person we ben talking for months on the phone my plan is to go there for week meet her if she is every thing weve talked about if I plan on bringing her back to ca with me Ill keep you posted and except any advise you pass on to me thks pat

    • Mike says:

      I’m always iffy about these meetings. Most often, the “women” (very few are women btw) are looking for a meal ticket. Even if she’s a real person, you still don’t know her true character or motives.
      She could play a good host and present the perfect dream girl for you…this would be until you get her stateside (or wherever you are), then once she’s got that residency permit, you’d see the real she. Ghanaian women are far more conniving and dangerous than western women. A lot of the women you’d meet online have laid in tens if not several hundred beds before age 20, and you’d make for the perfect unsuspecting victim.
      PLEASE BE CAREFUL! I’m not being cynical; I’ve come to know them far too well. Even that good Christian girl isn’t anywhere near angelic. Come and enjoy Ghana as much as you can, but I’ll leave you with this: not all that glitters is gold, and if it looks and sounds too good to be true, it most likely isn’t.

  • Princess Catherine says:

    Hi everyone!

    I have questions about Ghana. Do you think that I could live on 1025 Ghana cidies (GHS) per month. I intend on moving to Kumasi for 1 year. I have set aside 5000 Ghana cidies to furnish my house and purchase essential like a fridge, bed, washing machine, cooker and sofa. I will be on a holiday visa, so I will be unable to work in the country. I have seen very nice accommodation in Kumasi for around 350-400 GHs per month. I know that I will need to set aside money for electric and water, I will put aside 200 GHs for this. Food I have calculated to be 200 GHS a month, as I am a westerner and will want a few name brand items like Heinz ect. The remaining 225 or more I will use for entertaining myself during my days. Can I survive living in Ghana on this amount of money?

    Princess

    • Mike says:

      Catherine, let’s see if I can answer your question.
      You mentioned looking into buying a washing machine…does that mean the apartment comes with running water?
      Anyway, the 400ghc sounds normal for rental, but I don’t know enough about Kumasi, so I can’t tell if it’s in a fair range or not. That leaves you with 600ghc?
      Here’s how I break down the rest of your budget:
      200ghc for food per month is a very tight squeeze. That’s basically saying you’ll be living on less than 1ghc/day! I won’t say it’s impossible, but that’s stretching it.
      If you’re very good with managing your finances, then maybe 250-300ghc might work, but 200ghc might be a tad too tight.

      Utilities: I asked earlier if you’ll have running water. If so, it’s possible 200ghc could cover both water and electricity. But ECG (the nation’s power provider) has a way of over billing customers and the prepaid meters have been found to also over-bill. But if you’ll have a TV set, notebook, maybe a fan on all night, a flew clothes ironing every week, who knows? 😏
      You also failed to mention phone/internet usage. If you’re looking to manage your money, having 3G bundle with 3-5GB data package with most of your calls being VOIP (whatsapp, FaceTime etc) will be ideal. This is between 30-60ghc depending on the mobile network.

      As for the brand thing…we import everything, so you’re bound to find some western item you want- just know if it’s quality, it’ll cost you!

      Also, allow between 5-15ghc daily budget on transportation. If you’ll go through more than 2 transit stop everyday, expect to spend 1oo-150ghc a month just on transportation, and that’s not including taxis.

      If I were you, I’d wait on spending that 5000ghc. For the mean time, a you’ll need when you get into your apartment are the bed, mosquito net, light bulbs and a good extension cord to charge your mobile devises. Have someone help you get a good queen student bed. They shouldn’t be more than 500ghc. The washing machine is a bit iffy. If you want new, expect no less than 1000ghc for a new decent one. If you don’t have running water, your cost of setting up a washing machine could easily run past 2000ghc (washer, pump, installation)! And there’s a good chance it’ll stop working before 6 months, and you’d be stuck with a useless washer. I’d rather you get one of those portable hand washers and bring it down. You can find one at the Game store at Accra mall. It’ll be far cheaper and you can take it with you on short trips. You could also have someone hand wash your items for a small fee. A good glass table top stove with two burners shouldn’t cost more than 100ghc; mind you, the propane/lpg cylinder that’ll you also need will be between 50-100ghc.
      All in all, if you shop around well, you could spend not more than 2000-2500 on all your necessities. It might be worth buying some items in Accra before heading to Kumasi. There might be mark-ups on some products because retailers buy their products from Accra.
      Anyway, saving 2500-3000 from that initial 5000ghc should give you between 200-250ghc you can add to your already tight monthly budget. hth

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