Cosmopolitan Ghana: Reflections on Osu


It was about 4:30 pm. The sun felt slightly milder on the skin, though still hot. Night bars were getting set for another evening of drinks, grilled meat (suya or keebab), loud music, premier league matches and the frequent arguments from enthusiastic guests.

The streets played host to everyone from worn-out pedestrians returning from work, through hawkers peddling everything from bathing sponge to a collection of sunglasses, to drivers in expensive cars and commercial minibuses (tro tro).

Bus conductors called out their destination and rushed towards every potential customer in a bid to outcompete other minimuses. Everywhere we went, there was a certain level of energy you could feel on the streets. It was both interesting and unusual. No other part of Osu exemplified this tempo than the famed Oxford street.

The street played host to upscale malls, hawkers, roadside stalls, supermarkets and an out-of-the-world heavy traffic, especially in the evenings. But it was my favorite part of the capital city. It was the street that never slept. The bars and restaurant stayed up into the night. You could find people of diverse nationalities examining a sculptural carving or haggling over the price of yards of the kente fabric.

The famed Ghanaian Kente. Source: International Traveller

At Oxford street you would find upscale restaurants and the roadside chop bars; open-air grilled meat stands and fresh banana stalls. It had it all. Osu was my first stop on a two-week vacation in Ghana. It made a curious impression. I would spend the rest of the week asking many questions to my guide as we travelled across the country from bustling cities to quiet coastal villages.

Osu packed a lot of history. Oxford street made me fall in love with the country. And I would return to it again. And again.       

Nugwa & Co. designs private luxury trips to interesting locations across West Africa. Learn more about us at

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