Yep, in Ghana and maybe even across West Africa the thing that everyone can happily start buzzing about is the opening of a mall. Measuring at 30,000 sq metres West Hills is significantly larger than everyone’s favourite Accra Mall (20,000 sq m) but then again, these malls are no Westfields White City(150,000sq m) or Stratford (175,000sq m), they might just adequately compete with your Surrey Quays Shopping Centre or One New Change in the cramped Cheapside.
But either way, West Hills mall in Dunkonah opened on 30th October, we were there today to browse and see what all the fuss was about. As I have been living here and travelling to Kasoa quite regularly I’ve passed by and really seen the building come to life so I had to take my sister when she arrived in Ghana. No more Accra Mall for we!
It will officially launch some time later this month and of course I’m expecting some freebies, otherwise what’s the point, right?
I’ll share a little secret before I go. If you can get into these stores early, like within the first 2 weeks of opening, that’s when they’re the most enthusiastic, polite and easiest to build a good relationship with. I took the names of all the people I spoke to and referred to them by their names. In Africa that’s a really smart thing to do because everything is so personal all the time.
Favourite store: Hands down is @home
It was just sleek, the staff were really friendly and finally I think I’ve found a one stop shop to create my classy Westernised home in Ghana.
Having a big camera with you is always useful to break the ice with the staff. There’s this running joke in Ghana (or at least I hope it’s a joke) that if you take a picture somewhere you have to pay the people there for that privilege, whether they are in it or not. So needless to say I had a number of people trying to invoice me as I walked through the mall. I decided to pay them in selfies…
When in Woodin, I met Laud, a sales rep/rapper. He was a funny guy, we basically stood there planning his rise to the top of the Ghana music scene, so if you ever hear of Laud the Woodin rapper know that you heard about him here first. As a side note, see this awesome photobombing by another staff member…
So we took the nephew and niece to Payless to get the niece some new shoes for school. Turns out after 15 mins trying on various shoes, she wanted the sandals she arrived in… Which obviously was not good news for the sales girl who had dedicated her time to helping us. And you’ve got to think, ‘I’m about to spend 100 cedis on shoes this girl doesn’t want, if I wanted to just spend money on shoes she doesn’t want I could find some 10 cedi ones in a bend-down boutique and spend the remainder 90 cedis on myself!’ In the end we got her a pair anyway. Her little brother, chilling in his Ted Baker outfit, enjoyed some Apple and Blackcurrant baby food which is fair.