Patrons share their stories of hardship and survival rather than the usual jokes in the drinking bars
Drinking bars are not just for the alcohol but the buzz and light moments, but the current economic hardship has taken jokes out of the drinking bars.
Patrons instead share stories of hardship and survival. Some have made a switch to cheap local liquor to satisfy their drinking habits and balance their finances.
Due to the economic distress, many people who go to the drinking spots do not have happy stories to share following what they describe as the unbearable cost of drinks.
The owner of ‘Fast Way,’ a drinking spot in the heart of Adabraka in Accra, Allottey, says his business had been running smoothly for the past 30 years until recently.
According to him, many customers and patrons are sinking his business because they are unable to settle their debts.
To supplement his income, he has ventured into the ‘lotto’ business as a vendor, but even with that, he says things are still hard.
“People who owe me so when they pay, I cancel their names; it’s a business. I have a lot of friends who used to come here to patronise me very well but currently if they come, they buy just two bottles and go away.
“Sometimes, someone will come here and offer drinks for anybody who sits here, but this time you can’t find that,” he said.
The situation is true for many people who enjoy themselves or have some form of recreational activity at the various drinking spots and bars.
Annan Sowah does not drink but spends time at Fast Way for fun. He observes that there are no jokes there lately.
“When people are drinking, when people are laughing, sharing jokes and all these things, I enjoy the fun of that. The story has changed because we started in a very good mood, but things have lagged behind now.
“Beer is expensive, so they cannot cope with drinking; something sold at ¢5 at 8 am will be sold ¢7 around 9:30 am.”
A resident close to the drinking spot, Nii Afutu, requested to share his views about his living standard.
“If you don’t have at least ¢100 to spend daily, just sleep. You can’t even approach a woman; otherwise, she would burden you with her needs. Liquor is so expensive that you can’t even buy,” he stated.
The story rings true with this Liberian guy who came in as a refugee.
Five years ago, he could afford a bottle of Guinness and beer at the bar but not anymore.
Consuming alcohol helps him numb the pain of losing all his family members. Although he is not a national, he sings the chorus of calling on the government to ensure a better economy.
“Sometimes when I decide to take little to keep my body warm. Everything in Ghana is expensive; transportation and others. I used to drink Guinness, but now I go for cheaper drinks because there is no money.”
Bob recently lost his job as a male porter. He is forced to take on a toilet cleaner job so he can cater for his wife and two children, whom he sent back to his village because Accra living is expensive.
He goes to the drinking bar from time to time to drink and puff away cigarettes hoping it would ease the burden on his mind.
“Working in this economy is hard. I have two children, and it’s tough. I used to take Guinness and Herbafric, but now I have to opt for a cheaper liquor.”
Just like many other bar owners, Allotey’s prayer is for the economy to bounce back so that his customers will settle their bills and make merry once again.