Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Ghanaian Shade

Shade. It is the polite way to say something impolite. The way of making a statement and leaving it open for others to interpret or a word or phrase that belittles an individual with a cool, smooth statement. Now although, it seems all of the Housewives have perfected shade, we too  throw shade in Ghana. Today, I have compiled several phrases, which can serve as key indicators that shade is being thrown. So my friends, let the shade begin.




1) Paa. Now paa is a funny word because I still haven't quite figured out its exact meaning, but it stresses a point. So paa and even the word kra can be added to the end of phrases where you want to really stress a point. Paa is the most common way of throwing shade in Ghana, especially since it allows you to take someone else's statement and add shade to it.

Example: First Person: I saw Afua at the club. She was really enjoying herself.
                Second Person: Hmmm, that girl she likes to party paaaaaaa. I think that is her job.

This leads me to Number 2 

2) Hmm or Teeth Sucking- Now saying Hmm before making a statement, shows disapproval or disagreement almost instantly. If the person really wants to stress a higher degree of annoyance they will suck their teeth making a high pitched sound. This sound often indicates the words, "not serious" will soon follow,

3) Not Serious- Not Serious is the ultimate shade phrase thrown in Ghana. Being "not serious" is almost has bad has having the Ibola virus. When someone says someone a person is not serious, it means they think the person is a joke. Get enough people calling you "not serious" and see how the dominoes fall.

3) You Are Enjoying-  Whenever you are out, undoubtedly, when someone approaches the first thing they will do is scan the area to see how many liquor bottles you have. If there are at least two bottles at the table, the phrase, "I see you are enjoying yourself ," comes out. Now let me be clear, I don't think this phrase is always shade. However, it is shade if the person who says it, is someone that you don't typically associate with and they note that, they, themselves are not drinking. 

4) I beg- Now I remember when I first moved to Ghana, I could not bring myself to say I beg. Because after all, I am American, and we never beg. However, 3 years later I have learned that I beg can have two different meanings 1) It really can be a plea, letting someone know to consider your circumstances before making a decision. 2) It can also be used to show that you are being dismissed. This is the more aggressive way of throwing shade. This shade requires an individual to cut a person off  mid sentence throw up their hand and say, "Boss, I beg". This is an indicator that the person has deemed whatever was said irrelevant or inaccurate or you just think someone is a complete fool and you can't waste your time in discussion.

5) The Frown and Nod- Ghanaians have mastered holding their tongues in most situations. I attribute this to the frown and nod. The frown and nod, followed by the words, "Yo mati" (I hear) pretty much let you know the conversation is over.If the point is not received by the other party, the frown and nodder simply repositions themselves so that they are no longer facing the person.

I may not have everything figured out about Ghana, but I do know shade.

Until Next Time. Smooches.