If you have a business idea of establishing a food joint in Anloga in the Volta Region with aims of raking in profit, then you may want to reconsider that decision.
This is because the culture of the people may not encourage the viability of such venture.
Located on the lower bank of the Volta River in the Keta Municipality, Anloga is one of the oldest communities in the Volta region and the seat of the Paramount Chief of Anlo State.
There are interesting aspects of the people’s culture which make it gratifying to learn. In this typical fishing community, men go on the high sea to fish while their women stay back home preparing meals from previous harvests.
The tradition encourages the bond that comes with families eating together. But its defects in the stomach of any man without a family can be revealing when he finds himself in the streets of Anloga.
Yes! I came up and close with the reality, when hunger stroke and I had to buy food from a vendor across the streets.
For almost an hour, i have combed the streets of the town without a decent food to buy.
In my fruitless exercise, I was told the people here, put much premium on women who prepare home meals and that do not allow their men to go on the street looking for food to buy.
Reasons that backed this culture include the fact that, men do not trust meals prepared elsewhere apart from their wives pot. And also their beliefs about a woman’s menstrual period.
Religiously and hygienically, the people think women are not fit to do certain activities during their menstruation period. One of such activity is food preparation; hence they advise women to not cook food during that period.
As persons of superstitions they are mindful of what they consume hence an adherence to diets and eating patterns sanctioned by their culture.
Unlike elsewhere, it is not common to see vendors selling staple meals like Banku, Rice, Fufu among others, on the streets of Anloga. While this may not be exhaustive, however majority of the people believe in eating meals at home.
According to the Spokesperson of the Paramount Chief, Togbui Agbotadua Kumassah, Anlo women are expected culturally to be good home makers hence almost all their women are good cooks and perfect homemakers.
In fact one way an Anlo lady shows love to her man is by making his home; cooking for him, washing the dishes, and his cloths, this way, you know she is into you.
This culture may not be good for business but it serves a greater benefit to the town.
There has been a growing concern that families are no longer eating together and this has several effects on the quality of meals children eat and the bond among families. For many children, enjoying regular family meals can provide sense of security and strong ties between them and the family. It is also true that, family meals depict the ethnic, cultural and religious aspects of the family. What the family eats, how they eat, and when they eat reflects a cultural identity.
And for the Anlo Family, as children participate in these cultural traditions, they begin to learn more about their heritage and the history of their people.
In the absence of vendors, the community doesn’t have to spend time battling with improper disposal of food packages like plastic bags. In fact the community is one of the cleanest in the region; streets are well swept and buildings built with well-ordered alleys.
Fortunately, as a make up to this aspect of the culture, the people have adopted a rich hospitality skill that encourages home stays for most tourists that visit the place despite the presence of few fine hotels.
My experience in Anloga may be awful at the beginning but I eventually appreciate their culture and efforts being made to preserve it.
So anytime you visit Anloga, please do not be like me by roaming on the streets with bowl in hand. Rather walk to the nearest home; when you are warmly welcome, please draw your seat to the dining table and enjoy good home meal.
By: King Nobert Akpablie