So I touched down at this historic town in Accra – Ghana called Jamestown (James Fort). For a moment, I rolled my eyes looking round the community. I was extremely happy to see the busy nature of the town which is also combined
Journey To The Center of The Earth
Jamestown is a combined neighborhood of Accra (Precisely the central part of the Greatest region in Ghana). This community came into existence around the 17th-century. It then started growing into an extraordinary and vibrant community that embrace all sorts of tourism events including a global festival celebrated on a yearly basis called the ‘Charle Wote’. This festival attracts more than 20,000 visitors worldwide.
With it’s old buildings, it still comes with a class of beautiful colonial edifice. Of course, the structures come with clapboards and crumpled iron shacks, but it remains very vibrant and original as ever.
The Aerial View
As a visitor who wish to have a fine aerial view of Jamestown, you would have to gather courage to climb to the top of the red and white lighthouse tower which is just a few minutes from the centre of the city. It is one of the famous and tallest tower in the city of Accra. It is uniquely beautiful to see the busy environment and the colourful fishing harbour from above. The lighthouse, which is 34 metres (112 ft) above sea level, has a visibility of 16 nautical miles (30 km).
Arrival At the International Airport
On arrival at the Kotoka International airport of Ghana, an uber, taxi and public transport minivans are available to transport you back and forth any destination. These licensed drivers are always at your service. A hint of where you are going is enough for them to give you a nice and safe ride. Jamestown is only thirty five minutes (35) away. If you’re driving yourself, it’s also same minutes to Jamestown. With an amount of $5.10, you are ready to move.
Overview of the Latitude of Jamestown and Usshertown
- West: Korle Lagoon, Suburb of Accra
- East: Kwame Nkrumah Avenue, Accra
- North: Accra Railway Station, Ghana
- South: Gulf of Guinea, Republic of Guinea
- West: Kwame Nkrumah Avenue, Accra
- North: Kinbu Road, Accra, Ghana
- East: Kojo Thompson Road, Accra
- South: Gulf of Guinea, Republic of Guinea
Main Occupation of Inhabitants
For a historic place like Jamestown, one would assume inhahitants depend only on tourism for their ends meet. Fortunately, the place is built around a big sea. For this purpose, both Jamestown and Usshertown’s main occupation is fishing which is primarily engaged in by the people of Accra called the Gas (pronounced as gâs).
The people of Jamestown have one local language they speak. “Ga” is the official language of the people of Jamestown. It is spoken by majority of Ghanaians because Accra is the Greatest Capital of Ghana. Therefore, it’s appropriate to be conversant with the language just to fit in well in the capital.
It was argued that the Gâs (people from Accra) originated from ancient Egypt. Others also believed that they originated from ancient Israel. Historically, it is known that they originated from the lower banks of the Volta River. They travelled in family groups and settled at a point in the hills where they can have a nice view of the Accra plains. They realised the plains were made up of a number of lagoons, rivers, and filled with fish and salt. These two commodities together with agriculture became the basis of Accra’s early peasant economy. Shockingly, the fish and the salt were the two commodities that attracted the Gas to settle. They thought it was a good business to venture into them.
Jamestown is a combined neighborhood of Accra (Precisely the central part of the Greatest region in Ghana), Accra. The community came into existence around the 17th-century by Ghana’s colonial Masters, the Brit.. Although Jamestown looks quite old, it depicts the exact natural setting the British built and left it way back in 1871. Jamestown has districts that are very popular and have tourist destinations for visitors from around the world who are seeking to see the remaining portion of Accra’s colonial past, precisely Jamestown.
The community had a special and attractive light built by the British at James Fort in 1871. This light was the brightest and arguably the biggest in Accra that could brighten the whole of Jamestown. It brought people together as they got closer to it at night just to have fun and make new friends. Fifty nine (59) years later, the light was replaced with a much smaller one for reasons unknown. It was 28m (92 ft) tall.
As you walk in the city of old Accra (Jamestown), you will come across a bunch of children who are always playing in groups, with their hands and feet going the same position with joy on their faces. It is a dance craze in the town. ‘Azonto‘ happens to be the trend of a fresh dance at the time of my visit. Apparently, the dance originated from Jamestown. In just about a month, this rhythmic steps was all over the continent and across. Jamestown is a community of diverse elements of commercial and residential use.
The Splendor of Jamestown
The Prince of Wales, Prince Charles and his wife (the Duchess of Cornwall) on their recent visit to Ghana (November 2018), toured Jamestown and was very elated at what they saw. They acknowledged the fact that, the buildings were so unique and distinct.
It was a moment of jokes at the end of an otherwise serious visit to Jamestown, in which the Prince was told a brief history of the architecture of Jamestown before being shown around.
Amazingly, the streets of Jamestown comes with it’s own beauty, with a well built sidewalks, pavements and the main street itself. Heads keep turning as there is an attraction from Street artists. These artists occasionally display extremely beautiful artworks on the walls of many of the houses directly close to the main busy street. These artworks depicts pictures of founders, presidents and astute personalities of the old Accra town (Jamestown), Ghana as a country, South Africa and lots more of the past and present African leaders and personalities.
Once in a while, they’re changed to other motivational and encouraging pieces that inspires visitors as they gaze with awe. They are so attractive that, you’ll love to get closer to see if they are real pictures or artworks. As the oldest city in Accra, renovations are always underway to re-develop the districts of Jamestown to suit modern day standards. But for the purpose of tourism, not all of these buildings will be reshaped.
The Heads Of Jamestown
The Chief of the town, Oblempong Nii Wetse Kojo II, is a qualified doctor who was enstooled by the people of Jamestown due to his knowledge and early background in Jamestown. Enstooled on the 1st of February, 2018, Dr. Prince William Bruce-Quaye as he was formerly known before his kinship, took over power after the passing of the previous chief Oblempong Nii Kojo Ababio V (who before his enstoolment was Mr. Ezekiel Quarmina Allotey. He ruled for thirty-nine (39) years. The Chief and his elders have the mission of making Jamestown one of the fastest growing tourism site in Africa and the world over.
There are bunch of sporting events here for visitors who arrive here in Jamestown for recreation. But the main sports activity that is very popular and has left an indelible mark on the continent and beyond is the art of boxing. Every five (5) minutes stroll you take through the streets of Jamestown, you’re assured of seeing at least three boxing gyms.
This shows how the interest level of boxing is very high here in Jamestown.
These boxing gyms have nurtured a long list of local kids into champions. Ghana’s world boxing champions all came from the city of Jamestown. The likes of Prof. Azumah Nelson, Ike Quartey, Joshua Clottey, Joseph Agbeko and loads of these boxers have all had their upbringing in Jamestown. The gyms are always filled with kids who aspire to be reknowed boxers. As a visitor, you will be shocked to see the kind of jabs these young lads hit on the punching bag during their training sessions. After watching them for a few minutes, I can bet my last penny that your affection for these boys will instantly be demonstrated.
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One popular recreation place that has a heart for all visitors is the Jamestown Café. It has a joint gallery outfit that displays very catchy and beautiful pictures of various world leaders and other prominent personalities. The Café has series of memorable events that will leave you in extra excitment. Dance and drinking competitions, live musical shows, gathering of sing alongs (karaoke) and other enjoyable shows are available. An interesting part is a tour foot walk led by a guide, Collins. This comes off every Saturday at exactly 2pm through the streets. You only need to fill your pockets with a few dollars, and you are good to have a great fun. Jamestown Café is so suspenseful that, you don’t want to miss a thing.
You never know what comes up next.
Especially, when nearby cities and towns like Accra Central business district, Korle Gonno, Wiaboman, Korle Bu, Korle Lagoon, Chorkor, Tudu, Adabraka and others also join the fun with creative programs.
The Jamestown Harbour
Fishing business is booming here. With a wide stretch of the Atlantic, the harbour is filled with countless number of fishing boats called pirogues. As the main occupation of the people of Jamestown, both men and women are actively involved in this business. The women smoke the fresh fishes for sale at an affordable price especially to foreign visitors.
People have had diverse opinions as to whether Jamestown has what it takes to give out vital information on population research. Currently, Jamestown is the focus of international research and assistance programs in the areas of health and socio-economic issues. This is in relation to the dense urban population where the infrastructure and governmental regulation is not forthcoming in the provision of the needs and safety of its people. A deluge of visitors come here for various research.
Akwaaba!! – ( Welcome ) to the centre of Ghana. Happy touring!
About the Author
Osei Agyemang is a calm, passionate and a creative writer. He is an expert in composing interesting and innovative contents. He is also an addicted travel enthusiast who likes to visit interesting places in his country and the world. Additionally, Osei is an award winning national artist and an entrepreneur who studied Journalism and Global English Language at University of Strathclyde and the University of Glasgow respectively.