Don’t we all just love public transport?

If you’re like me, you wonder why you can’t just have a smooth ride to and from work devoid of drama.

Take one typical day, for instance.  You look around with a frown on your face in search of the Zoomlion truck that must’ve come to pass without your noticing it.  These frantic efforts to locate it come to naught, as it dawns on you that the foul odour is right from within the rickety trotro taking you to work.  You’re hot, you’re flustered and now you can barely breathe.  The smell, disgusting as it may be, has a familiar stench to it: someone has broken wind of the silent killer variety.  As you gasp for fresh air you begin to pick out suspects, an amateur Sherlock Holmes on a mission.  For whatever reason, you suspect that young man in a suit and wire-rimmed glasses.  His seemingly cool demeanour in the midst of this gaseous attack can mean only one thing.  You’ve had enough, and you think to yourself, “for how long, Lord?”  That’s right, it’s the daily commute.

And does this sound familiar?  The piercing rays of the merciless African sun are beating right through the window panes, as if they were looking for something deep within your skull.  The window that’s open to your left, that is.  The one to your right is jammed shut.  Not even Schwarzenegger in his day could move that thing.  At one side is a fat lady struggling with two carrier bags, at the other side is a woman with a baby who won’t stop crying, and in between his tearful bouts, his nose is running so badly and his mother is wiping it with her bare dirty fingers.  You’re in a Benz 207, seating four on a row.  You happen to be the unlucky one who has the seat next to the foldable one, and you have to awkwardly balance one buttock (?) on each side of the torn seat, since one is higher than the other.  As you fume and stare out of the window, you see that junior whose food you used to eat back when you were in Secondary School driving by in a Toyota Corolla with a ‘10’ number plate.  Patience is flying out of the window.  You endure the choking fumes from the bus, mixed with what you suspect is the mate’s armpits, but when the trotro grinds to a sickening halt and refuses to start a few metres away from the 37 Military Hospital, you’ve had enough.  Let them keep the money.  You stomp out of the contraption and find a taxi, regretting the day you first boarded a trotro.

The thing is, there are thousands of great stories in every trotro.  Always.  And each of them is unique.  They make us smile, they make us angry, and some just leave us plain bewildered.  Painful as some of them may have been while the story was being enacted, we learn to look back at them and have a good laugh.  But the thing is, tomorrow, just like I saw written on the inside of a trotro, “you’ll be back”.



About Kwaku Dankwa

By day, I'm an advertising copywriter. That's what I've done all my working life (National Service doesn't count). Husband of Esther, father of Jesse and twin boys Mark and Andrew, and servant of Christ. I previously wrote a blog on the dramatic side of public transport in Accra, "The Daily Commute: From Bridge to Ridge." Enjoy.
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61 Responses to Don’t we all just love public transport?

  1. Daddy says:

    I enjoyed reading this, Kwaku. I guess by the end of the year you will have enough trotro stories for a book.

    Keep it up.


  2. Aunty says:

    No you aren’t called asomasi, that is not a name, so if you like we will call you Asomani, as it sounds like you want another name.
    Anyway, your script blows me away. I have holy fury within me to pray hard for a car for you. Amen! ma it be done in Jesus’ name!
    I love you kuu, Aunty.

  3. Francis Adu-Gyamfi says:

    Hmm, interesting read. An impressive start. However, never figured you’d choose to write under a pen-name.

    Anyways, the option you were looking for is the last but 3 item on the first toolbar of buttons. (“Insert More Tag”)

    Welcome to the world bloggin buddy, hope to add you to my Blog Roll soon, (i.e. if get around to adding anyone in the first place. Perhaps you might be my first)

  4. Ama says:

    Haven’t read it yet but love the concept and love the title!

  5. Fo Johnny says:

    Way to go Nana. I’ve had a good laugh remembering all the things I am missing. Keep it up man and forget about the once every two weeks update. Weekly might not be even be enough but that might do for now. More grease to ur elbows!!

  6. Kwaku Dankwa says:

    Oh, thanks for all the comments!

    Holy fury, huh? Well, I receive it.

    I wrote in “Wanna know more about this blog?” that I’d post fortnightly, but I’ll see if I can do it weekly. Should be good, huh?

    Since I came up with this idea, I just smile when stuff goes wrong in the troski. It’s fodder for another piece, no?

  7. Godfred says:

    Heh Kwaku, cha I didn’t know you had it in you…….good one though…’ve just gotten for yourself one of your loyal readers……can’t wait for the next story

  8. Rocka says:

    there is only one solution to his…Buy your own car but remember by 2015 the streets of Accra will be filled up with cars to your office….Keep this reality writing on….

  9. What can I say man, your sense of humor just blows me away.
    Keep them coming. Good work

  10. Ray J says:

    For me, this was just on point, funny and inspirational…Another reason why i’m gonna send ma kids to those schools..hahaha..keep it up man.

  11. Kweku says:

    You got me laughing all morning….ur so talented,dont worry bro,ur ’10’ number plate is on its way

  12. THE GENERAL!! says:

    ..Nice trotro story…I love this..please keep them coming

  13. Kwaku Koranteng says:

    I love this peace man. Reminds me of those days but now, the Lord has been grateful. Cheers and keep up the good work.

  14. Guy Lou says:

    It has that touch of reality. What interests me is that the author has an Ivy League education ( by Gh. standards ) and is a black Republican but has experienced these things in a non-vicarious way. Its a good read.

  15. Ama Amissah says:

    It’s about time!!! Fantastic story! I could actually imagine myself in the trotro…

  16. Emefa says:

    KD, this is fantanstic. It’s put a smile on my face, and probably my whole day. I loved it 🙂

  17. Manuel says:

    Funny smells from unmentionable sources in a trotro? Can you imagine that happening continuously on a flight for almost 6 hours. Much easier for Sherlock Holmes to determine the guilty party, but he could not be bothered.
    And Kwaku, I presume by “choking fumes … mixed with the mate’s armpits” you mean the “scents” from the mate’s armpit. I would hate for you to have meant anything else 🙂

    Great piece! More grease and all … May the prophecy in the trotro be a false one. Very soon, you won’t be back, but don’t leave your humour in the trotro.

  18. Gabbsta (Mwalimu) says:

    very interesting piece there son, really enjoyed it. it great to see my students doing great. makes a hunmble teacher(Mwalimu) really proud. good job son!

    expecting to read more soon.


  19. Dee says:

    Hahahahahaha…’silent killer variety’. Hilarious! Kwaku keep this flowing. I enjoyed reading every line of it! Well done!

  20. Akosua says:

    Great piece! Read it like three times already. I might just take a trotro to work tomorrow just to relive the experience. And yeah, posting weekly would be great, so please keep e’m coming.. 🙂

  21. Akosua says:

    A personalized license plate just for you ” LADY KU 10 ” I see it, so simply say Amen and receive it….

  22. Kwame Baah says:

    great read. You are a great writer with a natural, uncanny ability to mix humour with seriousness. keep it up..

  23. Ben-Mahmoud Sulley says:

    Had a good laugh reading this piece. Very good write up. Waiting for the next one.

  24. Adoma says:

    Nana Bin! Ur love for troski has finally got u to write abt its bad ol days. Im sure it wud say if it had a mouth; When we (troski’s) were we, where were u? But keep it up and always leave me wanting more. u sure are a gem.

  25. maxwell says:

    Well i think we will be experiencing a lot more of these stories for the next 20 years when the ministry of Transport plans to change the public Transportation to meet international standards……more stench to our noses…nice write kuuku!!

  26. Cudjoe says:

    HAHAHAHA OMG!!! I like. Can’t wait for the next one man.

  27. Abimbola says:

    Excellent, Kwaku. I’m not saying it lightly either. It was excellent. 🙂 I experienced that cocktail of ..well…smells like it were wafting right along here on F street, and felt your disdain for the junior in the hot ride. I’ll keep reading if you’ll keep writing. 🙂

  28. ecapghana says:

    Hahaha Classic memories Kuu! I can’t say I miss em, that’d be a great lie. But reading it with all the details brings back memories real quick, recalling the moments and the cries from within. Yes its a lot funnier when you don’t have to do it again in the morning 🙂

  29. Prisceebabe says:

    nyce one there boss! knew u had it in u long ago since MM days. keep it up n keep me updated. love the laughter after a hard days work.

  30. BA says:

    There he goes dropping the treasures I knew he had! Thx for sharing Kwaku, I’m still deciding if I should pray that u get your ride soon so you can escape from this ordeal, or that u stay in it just a bit longer for some more fodder! You made my evening darl, really did. Mighty proud of u!

  31. Sis says:

    This is great, just great! Keep it up!

  32. BA says:

    I just had a very funny image! I can so imagine u now leaning in towards people and pricking your ears to pick up anything worth anything in every troski u get into!! The funny thing though is that u definitely will not be disappointed. All the best man!

  33. Abby says:

    i laughed myself to tears. it’s a classic piece, so very familiar. Can’t wait for the next one. Good work Kuks, keep it up.

  34. Banks says:

    Kwaku, i must congratulate the way u write. Its really well written compared to the poorly written trained professional journalists on myjoyonline and other media outlets. Ur command of the english language is top notch. I think u should keep this writing thing going cos i think u on to something…..

  35. Tosin says:

    Ok, thank God I lived in Ghana, some of the terms would have been jargon to me…but as usual, i’m proud of ur skills…when will u feature me?

  36. Afua says:

    This was very interesting to read and though I feel your pain, sometimes I wish I lived in an area where I could commute back and forth without needing a car which in turn will elimate all the bills and maintenance associated with it. I enjoy your reading immensly! I look forward to the next one and the next and the next…

  37. Amma says:

    Lol. More of those!

  38. Kwame says:

    Hilarious stuff, Keep more coming mate.

  39. Adwoa says:

    omg. Kwaku, glad i finally read this. hahahaha… love it

  40. Sydney says:

    Men, i really identified with this script. the Troski stories are just mind blowing. They’re perfect especially after a hard and annoying days work. Sometimes you can’t help but lie in your bed and smile over them. It’s really gives a good night sleep. Trust me.

    Kudos Pal!

  41. Kwabena Afreh-Sika says:

    This is real a Ghanaian tale brewed with rich and flawless humour.

  42. Yaw says:

    What more can we say?
    Without these scenes you would be wondering if you really are in Ghana.

  43. Maame Yaa says:

    this is so nice…. i can relate…. oh those my trotro days….

  44. niiquart says:

    interesting brother

  45. Mary Anna says:

    It was a great interesting read…..Keep it up:)

  46. elorm says:

    Kwaku, I you are a pro. I like your angle and the details. I actually logged on to do something else but found myself laughing all through. Great Blog. Keep it running.

  47. Too much says:

    U dey form.

  48. Don Flexy says:

    This is a brilliant piece.Thumbs up bro.It really brings me memories of traveling in Trotro.There are definitely nice days n bad days as u said but as usually we cannot stop coming back.

  49. Timothy A_A says:

    Man KD, you make me proud!! Aye, trotro ‘glory’ days…when we would pass over taxis even when we had the money. Quite a number of reactions on a number of fronts:
    -Good story, good grammar, superb diction and punctuation, flawless writing, easy flow…I’m in lyrical ‘heaven.’
    -LOL at the “junior with the #10 Camry”…oh life?!
    -Yeah, JoyFM should hire you. Some of our journalists don’t do GIJ -or wherever they were trained- proud at all.

    Keep it up-:)

  50. Agyakomaa says:

    lol! that is a very good vivid description of a car-less life lived in a good old troski. this is very good. you just made my day. God bless

  51. Helen says:

    Kuu, that’s an amazing start. Just keep the articles coming. You are such a talented writer. Congrats! Hey whats gonna happen when your ride arrives, anyway all the best………………………..

  52. moshi says:

    please and please, talk of a return home after work, when you are all tired and out. and you choose your only means of transport home since its not yet your time to acquire a vehicle of your own. the radio buzzing at a pitch only God know who can hear it. and in an accent that offends when and only when you are tired.

    any ways, i promise to read it every time i get the chance. a good piece

  53. me naa says:

    argh! the balancing of the buttocks, it’s the balancing of the buttocks! it always friking gets to me

  54. Raj says:

    I did not get to read and comment on this first one but am doing now(better late than never) but like i said on fb keep them coming especially for me who will be using it as my laughing zone to get out of my boredom in a far country from home. kudos and God bless.

  55. derby says:

    luv da writing…bh like you said,’we’ll always go back’

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