CODE 233: Customized Pricing ‘Mafia’


Is there any Ghanaian who has never felt like the price being quoted for a product or service had more to do with less relevant factors than the actual quality being served 🤷🏽‍♂️?

Taxi fares get bloated and trotro mates suddenly turn snobbish when it’s raining, and a more expensive price for an item/service is demanded from the guy in a suit than from he in the crumpled T-shirt. Plump guys with the ‘dadaba’ look get the most exorbitant prices in the local food market (I know this, as you soon would), followed closely by well-dressed ladies strutting around in high-heeled shoes.

Over the weekend, I was reminded of the absurdity of it all when my brother and I hit the streets for one of ‘em Saturday morning walks intended to help streamline our somewhat bulky figures — or at least convince ourselves we are making honest efforts to. Whatever our motivations were, however, we encountered a waakye spot on our route which appeared popular enough to woo us to get some on our way back, just to start the day in proper fashion (seemingly decent breakfast doubling as a deserved treat following our early-morning exertions 😋).

Little did we know… 🤦🏽‍♂️

The first thing that should have alerted us to imminent trouble when we arrived at the stand was how the waakye seller stopped short, looked up, scanned us from head to toe, before going back to dishing out her meals. If that wasn’t telling enough, a second sign followed minutes later when my brother, true to form, requested the minimum amount servable, as we were used to buying three separate servings of such along with other accompaniments sufficient for our satsfaction (if you know, you know 😉).

Given this was in Teshie of all places, I expected her to quote a price no higher than GHS1.50. Imagine my surprise, then, when she blurted out: “GHS 2.50!”

Oh, the horror 😱!

My face certainly reflected the disgust I felt within – wrong move, really, because it only betrayed my lack of presence of mind to advise against this whole waakye pursuit before it advanced any further. See, she initially mentioned GHS 2.00, but then you could literally see the wheels spinning in her head, prompting her to up the bill even more.

Now, to the most painful part — the very reason why I’m here writing: the overpriced waakye actually turned out quite horrible. Like really bad 🤢. It’s one thing knowing you’ve been fleeced just because of how you ‘come across’, but to be fleeced like that and then get something so unsatisfactory for your troubles?


Having bared my soul thus, do indulge me as I pay a visit to my regular waakye seller [on whom I really shouldn’t have cheated, in hindsight, but that’s a story for another day.]

Joshua Ansah – Daily Mail GH

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