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Jamestown

Jamestown is a vibrant neighbourhood every visitor to the city needs to see. Rajaa Banda gives eight of the top reasons why you need to go and visit for yourself

Daniel Neilson
Jamestown Lighthouse, Accra, Ghana

I’ve found Jamestown to be a place that is often discussed but rarely trodden, as though it is off the beaten track. But Jamestown, an enclave just beyond Osu and positioned at the edge of the city, contains some idiosyncratic delights that are not to be missed.

Oseikan - An Accra rarity: an oceanside bar perched on the rocks devoid of any frills or touristic touches. Enjoy a beer while the rocks crash below you (be careful not to get soaked at high tide). At the culmination of Homowo festival, the local Ga people traverse these treacherous rocks to give offerings to their gods dressed in pure white to the beat of drums. Definitely one to look out for.

Tee’s Tavern - A soulful, funky bar located opposite the Jamestown Post office with a steady soundtrack of Seventies disco, soul and funk and its red walls lined with endless vinyl records. Tee’s is a mighty local gem with chilled out vibes that spills onto the street.

Bokum Boxers  - Bokum, a pocket of Jamestown, tucked away deep within its bowels, is probably best known for producing more world champion boxers than any other one place on earth. The place itself looks like something from a gritty movie, boxing jousts are held in rough hewn areanas that are beyond atmospheric. To find out more and how to catch a game or get a tour, contact the Ghana Boxing Federation on +233 302663944

Jamestown Cafe - A newish spot tailored to the cultural mavens of Accra, combining food, drinks and cultural exchanges such as film screenings, laid back live music gatherings and talks with prominent writers, musicians and artists. It is a much needed space for the more thoughtful Accra denizen.

Brazil House and Street Art - The epicenter of modern youth art in Ghana that culminates annually in the Chale Wote Street Art festival every September. The graffitied walls are hyper colourful and powerful (and also make for excellent selfie backgrounds).  Brazil House also houses Accra Dot Alt which houses Sobalai Radio and bills itself as a space for emerging artists. The area around features the lighthouse  (do the obligatory walk to the top) and Deo Gratias, Ghana’s oldest photographic studio (still in use) that showcases beautiful vintage shots of the country in its infancy and before.

Architecture - ‘Old Accra’, is known for all the things that ‘New Accra’ has left in its rearview mirror - wide Avenues, towering colonial structures (some so faded and run down that one can’t help but see something majestic in their dignified crumbling’ and a sense of order and organisation. Stroll the streets and marvel at what Accra might have been if the entire city had gone this way, stroll along High Street, look in on Ussher fort and see the city from new, elevated angles.

The Mysterious Vinyl Record Guy - He has no name, no fixed abode, some even doubt that he exists but the vinyl record guy just wants you to solve the mystery yourself to find him to make your purchase of old Afrobeat records from the sixties to the eighties more worthwhile. And who knows? You might just stumble upon him, records laid out, on one of your walkabouts whilst marvelling at the streetscape and architecture.

Because Tom Cruise almost filmed Mission Impossible 3 here - Yup. But then he didn’t. He came, he saw, he took multiple publicity shots with the locals then announced that he was ‘very taken with the citizens of Jamestown’ and started to make plans to film there, even going so far as to announce his stay at La Palm Royal Beach, ordering them to convert and decorate a couple of villas to his standards. This was 2003. He decided just as fast that, after all, no, he would not film there, leaving the area just a little bit more interesting, after all, what was the movie star with the megawatt smile so ‘taken’ with? Why not go and find out for yourself?

 

 

 

 

 

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