Shop Names in Ghana

I have just enjoyed a lovely 10 days visit to Ghana, where my husband is currently based for work.  Despite not doing many touristy things – I found plenty to enjoy and amuse myself with.

I had read, in advance, that shops in Ghana (mostly outside the capital city, Accra) can have some curious names, so I had some fun snapping away as many as I could as we drove past them.

I have never before witnessed religion so visual as this.  In addition to shop and street names, there were huge posters advertising religious gatherings, church services and the passing away, or as it is often referred to as the “home call to glory” of notable members of the community.  I didn’t photograph any of these latter posters – out of respect to the dead.  It didn’t seem quite right.

(Click on any one of the images below to view as a slideshow)

However, there were many that I wasn’t able to photograph (either I was too slow to snap it as we drove speedily past, or there were too many obstacles in the way).  I did scribble down some names, though.

Some make sense – others seem rather more obscure.

Oasis of Love Road
Triumphant World Ministry
Innocent Blood Cold Storage (for meat and fish)
Mercy Hair Salon
Tell Jesus Ent.
Show Your Love Ent.
Happy Family Mortuary
Decent Spot (drinking place/pub/bar)
His Grace Fast Food
King of Glory Bakery
Rome Was Not Built in a Day
Good Things Last Longer Furniture Ent.

There are  plenty more that I can’t remember off the top of my head – but I do hope to return to Ghana someday and collect some more!

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131 thoughts on “Shop Names in Ghana

  1. Ohoho! Manila, Philippines is a treasure trove of punny shop names 🙂 Off the top of my head:

    Curl Up and Dye (a salon)
    Goldirocks (selling gravel)
    Baywash (laundry shop)
    Let’s Talk Dirty (another laundry shop)

    1. Hi Macy! (I don’t own this blog but I’m Filipino and I found you comment funny.) My favorite is a little kiosk along the MRT II train line. It sells kikiam, siomai and squid balls. It’s called Kik-Mai-Balls. So much win!

    2. Hi Macy – those are great shop names! I do love a good pun. I think this is my new-found in-car entertainment! It isn’t often we get good names like this in the UK. Perhaps we are all too boring here!!?

    3. Those are the best names ever! The Philippines could have a new export – job titles and branding!

      As for Ghana, it is interesting how all the examples have a religious connection and a strong one at that!

  2. Ha these are wonderful. When I lived in Egypt there were so many knock off brands with great name. Some that I remember are Abeebo (adidas), Gag Clothes (Gap), and Boreo Cookies. Oh and Swoosh sneakers (nike symbol with a dot underneath lol)

    1. Hi Ezra – At least, then, you know what the product is meant to be a knock-off of – AND that it is a knock-off!
      Thanks for the comment 🙂

  3. Wow! This is really amusing. Only Jesus Can Do It is my favorite. I though religion is really visible here in Latin America, but it seems like “Jesus Is Your Only Hope” sign on a side of a building is nothing compared to these!

    1. Hi backpakerina – I must admit I would get a tad annoyed at being told “Jesus is my only hope” every 5 mins – at least this is creative and amusing! I don’t feel that I’m having religion pushed down my throat despite it’s widespread visibility 🙂
      Thanks for the comment!

  4. The religious / spiritual inspired names remind me so much of some provinces in the Philippines where it is a requirement before you get a franchise of a public transport line for you to get a Biblical passage painted in calligraphy on your jeepney, bus or tricycle. Perhaps it gives the owners hope, and reasons to wake up and go to work i.e. keep shop everyday. 🙂

    1. That’s very interesting. I’ve seen something like it in Mali on the back of taxi-buses, but I would never have known if it were a pre-requisite or not. I also wondered if it wasn’t something to do with getting to your end destination on a “wing and a prayer” as much as it was to rely on the driver’s road sense and driving skills!
      Thanks for your comments, irisoniris 🙂

    1. Hey graciamc – I’m pleased to have brought back some happy memories for you! Now that you mention it – I also saw “God is Dependable” and “God is Able” on several shops. Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment 🙂

    1. Thank you meromusings – I must admit, it was only when I started reading up about Ghana, before my visit, that I first found this out for myself. I know several people who have lived in Ghana – and no-one thought to mention it!

    1. Thanks Josh – the best thing about all the corners of the world – is that there are some just up the road from you too!!
      Thanks for the visit 🙂

    1. Hi LipstickNotes – It makes me wonder about all the signs I’ve previously missed – there must be so many out there in the world! Must keep my eyes open more 🙂
      Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment.

  5. Totally love your post, I never get tired of looking out the window while driving the streets of Lagos. We never get tired of naming stuff in a totally hilarious way. Thank God for God.

    1. Hi Nwanyi – Thanks so much for your comment! It sounds like we are pretty much the same – I never have a dull moment on a car journey. No matter how short or long – there is always something to see that is unexpected and charming or just plain fun 🙂
      Feel free to share your take on the Lagos shop names – I’d love to hear what you come up with!

    1. Hi cigarettesandmovies – yeah, I had a giggle to myself on that one too! It made me wonder if they were particularly clumsy and kept pricking themselves with their needles and pins 🙂
      Thanks for the comment!

    1. Hey aandruk – I personally don’t think that Ghana is one of the worst places on this earth. I loved it – It was my first proper visit and I have a brilliant first impression of the country and everyone I met. I’m seriously hoping to return there.
      It may be construed that it could be one of the worst places if we were to place it in a world order of “rubbish on the street” or “open sewers” – but then again, that was only really evident in Accra and the larger towns.
      I think the comment was made in a general sense…not specifically to any one country – not even Ghana. We could extrapolate “worst places with such devotion to God” to be the Bible Belt in the United States of America!! I guess it’s all down to our own perspectives of what we consider best and worst of the society we live in.
      Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment 🙂

    2. aandruk – I’m glad you started this thread. When I read the original comment I thought, “define ‘worst’.” It may be true that Accra has among the ‘worst’ traffic I’ve ever experienced but…. to say an entire country is ‘one of the worst places????’ Debra – go visit Ghana, with an open mind. I love Ghana. I’ve only spent a little time there but it was one of the richest experiences of my life. I hope to return soon! aandruk – if you’re up for reading a lot more narrative, I’d be interested in your comments on my blog, which can be found at:
      http://abenaandekowinghana.com/

    1. Thank you Anita – yes, I hope so too! There were too many that I missed – and I’m pretty sure I’ve forgotten many of the ones I saw, but didn’t photograph.

  6. Great observasions! The Humnor of every day life. I love to keep my eyes open for lisence plates: some funny stories there also. Have a great week and keep on blogging 🙂

    1. Hi wordsbyirma – thanks so much for your comments 🙂
      I was unfortunately sitting in the back seat – had I been upfront, I might have seen a few number plates as well! There’s always (hopefully) a next time…

  7. “I personally don’t think that Ghana is one of the worst places on this earth”
    – Is that why you comment that a place in heaven is the only thing to look forward to???

    “perhaps it is the only thing to look forward to – the “Home Call to Glory” and a place in heaven”
    Really??
    Ghanians are so hopeless that the only thing they look forward to is the call to glory??
    Is that the “brilliant first impression” you got from everyone you met??

    “It may be construed that it could be one of the worst places if we were to place it in a world order of …”
    – There’s absolutely no ambiguity in the statement. It’s simply uninformed and based on pre-conceived prejudism. Yet, with your said experience, you go ahead not only agree, but amplify it.

    Sad.

    1. oh dear.
      I’m sorry that you have chosen to interpret my comments the way that you have.
      I do not think the people in Ghana are hopeless. Do not put such words in my mouth, please. If that’s what you think -then claim the comment for yourself.

      What exactly do you think is uninformed and based on pre-conceived prejudism, if I might ask? Rubbish in the street is rubbish in the street. Shit in the gutter is shit in the gutter. It is what it is. What’s to interpret? What’s to guess?

      What exactly is it that you are upset about?

  8. Hey Lu! I read this post yesterday and saw it today under FP! Congrats! Hope you are doing well and I’m looking forward to more posts on Ghana, especially as my oldest childhood friend is about to move there for a two year stint! Nicole

    1. Thank you Nicole! Yes, all is good 🙂 I’m hoping to get a few more posts out about Ghana, but I’m still prepping for my Iceland trip, which kicks off this weekend! (Busy, busy!)
      I hope that your friend has a brilliant time over in Ghana. Where about are they going to be based?

      1. Iceland! You lucky lady! If you can make it to Skatafell National Park I highly recommend it. I loved it there as well as all the glaciers along the way. I’m very envious!

        As for my friend, I believe she will be based in Accra but not sure….

      2. I can’t think what our itinerary is right this minute – but I’m sure we will be in that neighbourhood at some point 🙂 I really can’t wait to get there!!

  9. I misintepreted your comments?

    Alright, sorry. But it would be nice if you helped me properly interpret this:

    “perhaps it is the only thing to look forward to – the “Home Call to Glory” and a place in heaven?”

    as a response to

    “some of the worst places have such devotion to god”

    The latter isn’t yours, I accept, but your comment is a follow up in agreement.

    But, please… I’d be glad to find out that I interpreted it wrong.

    1. Ok – first up, let me apologise too. I’ll try to clarify what I meant.
      I did use the “Home Call to Glory” as an example of what I understand to be the reward to a devout believer in religion. Ghana happens to be the only place that I have noted this. I saw it as a way of celebrating the life of the person who had passed away. When I made the comment “perhaps it is the only thing to look forward to” I wasn’t thinking of Ghana at all. My interpretation of “worst countries” does not include Ghana. My fault is that I chose to pick up on the “Home Call to Glory” and associated it with a different thought in my head. I was thinking of other countries, with other faiths, with other unstable governments, suffering war, corruption, famine, drought, etc..

      In these instances the politics of a country mean that there is little hope for the citizens to improve their surrounding situations, and so can perhaps only hope for a better place to move on to when their time comes. Maybe it is only religion that offers them some form of comfort in order to help them through each and every day.

      I’m not saying that Ghana falls into this category at all, by the way.

      If you are a person who is quite content with where you live and what you do, whether it is to make things better for yourself and everyone else – or not – or are looking for an escape into the next world – or not – the point is, we all have different scales of what is worst and/or best in the situation we live in.

      What is great for me, might not be ok for you – and vice versa. I can’t say what was meant by “worst places” in the original comment, but I’m guessing that we would all have our own definitions of it – perhaps in the same way, we would all have our own expectations of what heaven may have to offer us in the same way that we each have our own aspirations, do we not?

      The only negative thing in my comment was about the sewers. I don’t consider the prospect of someone looking forward to going to heaven as necessarily negative. If it is a strong part of a culture, then it would be entirely normal to not be scared of it and in fact embrace it. No?

  10. Solid – (we need to get you a good DSLR, you’ll be great for Ghana’s publicity) – I enjoyed the signs, (My family hails from Ghana) – shoot for the taxi’s next time, there are stories behind each that you’ll hear if you ask.

    1. Hi jkehinson – thanks for the tips. I’m sure there are plenty great stories.
      I do actually own a dslr, but I felt a bit self-conscious and uber-touristy at shoving it in peoples faces (it has a big lens on it, so not inconspicuous at all…) the iPhone sat neatly on the window frame of the vehicle and seemed a little less intrusive. I’m always a bit wary of how other people might react when they see a massive camera pointed right at them. I know I wouldn’t be too pleased.

    1. The nice thing is, there is always something to see – where ever you go. All you have to do is keep a lookout for the unusual 🙂
      Thanks for the comment!

    1. Hey Joe – not at all. It might be a bit of a jumble in places, and scrap metal can be found randomly strewn around – but I wouldn’t go as far as to call it a slum. The one thing I have noticed in the tropics, is that a type of black mould grows rapidly on the walls – making things look older and less “pristine” than in more temperate areas. Also, the quality of cement and paint is mostly cheap imported stuff – it just doesn’t hold up as well under the climatic conditions of Africa.
      Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment 🙂

  11. Interesting that your comment was not towards Ghana. Since you “… associated it with a different thought in my head … ” , then perhaps you should have included that in your comment.. How else will we know what’s in your mind???
    I mean, it’s a post about Ghana, comments are about Ghana, so it’s a good assumptions that your comments are about the same.
    Also, I’m not sure whichever country(ies) you’re alluding to wouldn’t find it a tad offensive. Not speaking for them though. That’s besides the point anyway.

    I don’t hold you answerable to what “worst places” referred to, and I have no problem with your comment about rubbish or open sewers. I know that is there and I see it everyday.
    However, I don’t see how it makes Ghana one of the “worst places”.

    I’m also not saying that looking forward to heaven is negative. You suggest it’s positive, and I agree. What I don’t agree with is that it’s the only positive.

    Anyway, I’ve made my point and I think you’ve heard.
    Let it rest.

    Save for the offensive comment, you have a great (and funny) blog post here that’s even featured on WordPress. That’s great! It also means it has a wide reach. But if comments like these float around, what impression will Debra engrave in the minds of unwitting readers? That the otherwise creative and cultural/religious nomenclature is a result of hopelessness?
    What will your follow up comment suggest?
    You seem to be aware of the actual situation in the country, and in my opinion you should ensure that the truth is maintained in the content of your post.

    1. Fair point regarding the fact that this is a post about Ghana.
      Personally, I prefer not to cause offence, nor indeed do I take offence easily. I apologise if you think I have caused any by alluding to the fact that some people might look forward to heaven as a respite from their earthly woes. It was a comment prefixed with the word “perhaps”. In no way is it an absolute known that EVERYBODY wants to escape their mortal life. How could I possibly know?!
      But there might be some… you never know, either…
      But I agree – let’s let it be. We could possibly debate this for an eternity 🙂
      Debra is entitled to say what she feel’s like saying, in the absolute same way that you are. I don’t pick sides. If I am to be corrected – I stand corrected, and I have absolutely no problems with that (although I will challenge the point when I don’t understand exactly where it is coming from – but it is all towards understanding things better in the overall context)
      I appreciate your comments and your feedback – it makes sure that if something is mis-represented then there is always a way to make sure it can be corrected.
      I shall be leaving all comments as they are – people who unwittingly, or otherwise, choose to read through them all will form their own opinions, accordingly.

  12. Great gallery and I guess ot was loadz of fun out there in Ghana. At least one thing know now :

    God is eeverywhere in Ghana 🙂

    Thanks

    1. Hi Abena – I did see some of the taxis and tro-tros carried religious slogans, but I was cramped up in the back seat, so didn’t always have such a clear view for taking photographs of them. Next time I hope to capture more on camera!
      Thanks for your comments (by the way, they ended up in my spam folder??)

    1. Ha!! – now that is hilarious!! Do you think that they take dodgy passport photos on purpose, just so that they can have a chuckle?!
      Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment 🙂

  13. i have a suggestion: “GHANA TO HEAVEN funeral parlour”.. hehe.. on a more serious note, same thing as Philippine (it’s where i came from) Christian faith we believe including God in our everyday life, much more in our businesses, will give us more positive outlook amidst life’s difficulties….. Congrats on being FP’d and stay safe. 🙂

    1. Hi LUGS – Yes, I have had several comments from people in the Philippines mentioning the same thing. If it all points towards a more positive way of living, then I think that is a great thing. Thank you so much for your kind comments 🙂

  14. I am sorry I have created a problem with my comment. I would actually love to visit Ghana, I’m sure it has lots of wonderful thing to see and do. My comment was more about fanatical religious beliefs.
    Cogragulations on being Freshly Pressed.

  15. Great pictures they tell a great story! When I was in high school one of my best friends was from Ghana, His dad was an Episcopalian Minister I remember the whole family was deeply religious.

    1. Hey Alyssa – I thought I was easily amused, but it turns out lots of people share my amusement 🙂
      Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment.

    1. Hi yellowranger – I don’t think I made the connection…! Blessed Ent was certainly one of the more popular choices of shop names.
      Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment – glad you had a laugh 🙂

  16. Oh no! The “God is present” caption made me shudder! I do not associate God’s presence with my menstrual cycle! In fact, I am usually cursing him because of the gut-wrenching cramps tearing through me (I am not exaggerating, I am completely incapacitated, breaking out in cold sweats and nausea lying in the fetal position on my bed in a completely different world consumed by pain). Thank God for Advil Liquagels (ibuprofen)! 😀

    Lots of the signs made me laugh, especially the “I Shall Not Die Motors!”

    1. Yowsers – that doesn’t sound good at all… 😦
      Glad some other photos made you smile instead 🙂
      Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

  17. Great post. I’ve been in Ghana too in 2011 and yes I really enjoyed the names of shops too. You must have seen also all the religious signs on the tro-tro’s too, you know the mini-busses with at least 25 people in it. It’s really fun to watch whille you’re on the road in Ghana.

    1. Hi Marlies – yes, very interesting indeed 🙂 Next time I’m there, I want to capture some of the tro-tros slogans for a follow-up post!
      Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment!

  18. Here in Manila, we have Adobo ,Mang Donald’s and Kina Rogers (all restaurants). I also found a store with a punny name in Rome but I can’t recall at the moment. I was fascinated because I thought only we had that penchant for naming establishments haha!

    1. Hi janeymack, I’m quickly learning that I would find the Philippines utterly enchanting 🙂
      Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment!

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