We asked you five questions about Ghana. Here come the answers!
- What does the name Ghana mean?
It’s a word in the Soninke language meaning “Warrior King“. The ancient Ghana Empire was actually further north than modern-day Ghana, and the vast majority of Soninke speakers are to be found in Mali, Senegal, The Gambia and Mauritania.
- Fufu is popular across western Africa but is thought to have originated in Ghana. Is it:
- A lively style of music similar to soca?
- Mashed cassava tuber often eaten with soup
- A cross between volleyball and football, played over a palm net?
To make fufu, cassava (or occasionally other tuber) flour is boiled and then traditionally pounded using a giant wooden mortar and pestle. Green plantain may be added to the mixture to make it less sticky. Balls can then be torn off with the fingers and dipped into an accompanying soup (often peanut or palm nut soup) or sauce.
- Jerry Rawlings, a serving officer of the Ghana Air Force, became Ghana’s head of state twice after coups, in 1979 and 1981. What was his rank at the time?
He was a relatively lowly Flight Lieutenant. The 1979 coup saw him sprung from prison where he faced execution at the hands of the ruling Supreme Military Council. The 1981 coup followed Rawlings’ dissatisfaction with his attempt to establish democratic civilian rule under Hilla Limann.
- Kwame Nkrumah-Acheampong achieved fame by becoming the first Ghanaian participant in a Winter Olympics in Vancouver in 2010. From which feline does he take his nickname?
The Snow Leopard. Despite his name, slalom skier Nkrumah-Acheampong is unrelated to Ghana’s first post-independence leader Kwame Nkrumah. He was born in Glasgow in 1974. Although there are no snow leopards in Ghana, he contributes to the Snow Leopard Conservation Trust which seeks to protect them from extinction.
- What did Ghana do in 1974 that The Gambia had done in 1965, Sierra Leone in 1971 and Nigeria in 1972?
It switched to driving on the right. All four were former British colonies but surrounded by countries where right-hand traffic was the norm. (In Eastern and Southern Africa, former British colonies and Mozambique all continue to drive on the left. Rwanda is considering switching to match them.)
How did you get on? Why not let us know?