Tro-tros are minibuses of various brands and sizes that transport people from one point to the other in Ghana. Every day, I assume the cool boy tag in the tro-tro and wait for the most suitable discussion to shoot ‘heart clapping’ comments.
At times, it ends well. But more often than not, we do not hear the end of the matter. In the tro-tro, the end never justifies the means. This is because the Tro-tro is the spine of the transport system in Ghana. Everyone boards the tro-tro and everyone has an opinion, likes and dislikes.
You can laugh your way to your destination when either the driver or his mate puts on their humour cap and display the talent that every local tro-tro driver seems to have. Or, you will be entertained for only the price of your fare when one of those natural comedians boards the bus in full colours. However, in most tro-tro trips, a heated debate is the norm.
Let’s take a look at some of the memories tro-tros in Ghana bring by looking at 4 engaging tro-tro discussions you cannot ignore. Especially in the most top cities in Ghana; Accra, Kumasi, Cape Coast and Takoradi.
Warning: Tro-tro debates are not for the faint-hearted, do not consider age and may not be privy to your status.
1.Mother vs Father Tro-tro debates
Quite interestingly, the mother vs father debate has become a popular topic for discussion in tro-tros recently. For whatever strange reason this funny cum controversial topic is even entertained, the mother or father argument is gaining notoriety quick and fast. And every child (all of us) must go through the torturous ordeal of pondering over it, at least.
The team supporting the mother side are often on the winning side, perhaps because they get the numbers. But, on the few occasions when I have witnessed those for the fathers brave enough to present their case, they were flawless. The others were no match for them; the numbers were shut up.
For me, I will not dare state my stance for fear of the consequences. My opinion is in my head. Decide for yourself, mothers vs fathers: who is better? Next time we meet in the tro-tro, be ready to make your defence!
2.NDC vs NPP
The famous NDC vs NPP debate needs no invitation. It will happen regardless. For as long as the radio stations remain unrepentant from the politics, this discussion will be the most common in tro-tros. The end of these debates is usually unpleasant. There is no common ground in the argument.
On one particular occasion, the bus had to be parked because the argument was so distracting the driver could not concentrate. What’s more? We all have a side. So it is close to impossible to not comment under the circumstances.
I will continue to toll my line as a PPP sympathiser. It brings me the comfort and peace of mind when all hell is breaking loose in the tro-tros. One advice though; when you decide to be party to this Showdown of a debate, please don’t lose! Otherwise, your journey in the tro-tro thereafter will be far longer than usual.
3.Shatta Wale vs Samini
The music rivalries have taken a whole new dimension in Ghana. With each winning one international award after the other, the answer to the ‘Who is the best’ is less obvious.
Passion for these top music celebrities has fans carrying the fight on their shoulders and waging the war helter skelter. It started on Social media but now even Tro-tros are not spared. The diversity of people using this transport set-up is not restraining enough.
Drivers are at the mercy of passengers when their choice of music is contrary to what even one passenger expects. The lively ones will comment and immediately the debate is sparked. It lasts until all parties alight.
My reggae stars have not yet gained a seat at this table. It is for these times that I always keep my headset on me. All these artistes have their own qualities but there can only be one true king in this Game of Thrones. The chosen one…... maybe is not yet born.
4.The legendary Ronaldo vs Messi argument
It will never go away! Ronaldo vs Messi. Amazingly, the Messi-Ronaldo fever is no longer an exclusive reserve of guys. The ladies are having their say and in a big way too. At the mere mention of one, an opposing opinion expectedly is unleashed.
It is a wonderful sight in tro-tros when mums of today with male teenage children show that they know that much about football and are confident enough to express that knowledge. Their stance may not be as factual, but they do know when something is good. Little wonder that their opinions about Messi and Ronaldo sink from the popular often.
The Messi-Ronaldo debate is one of the most evenly matched topics as far as Tro-tro statistics is concerned. But I will overcome the temptation of choosing between the 2 because, anyway, Ronaldinho is my idol.
Credit: Kofi Baiden, Jumia Travel