25 Jul

After an encounter with a hawker, I booked a ride and left the area. My destination was the popular Labadi Beach. En route to Labadi, my 24-year-old driver played a collection of hit songs by different African artists, including Sarkodie, Burna Boy and Tiwa Savage.

When his Spotify playlist reached Unachezaje by Diamond Platinumz, I asked my driver/DJ if he understood its lyrics. "I don’t speak Tanzanian." He responded. "It’s not Tanzanian, it’s Swahili." I educated him. Our conversation revolved around contemporary Afro beats, which seemed to be his favorite topic.

Upon arrival, I bade farewell to the driver-turned friend. He thanked me for supporting his side hustle and gave me his business card. The young man, who prefers anonymity, works for a cocoa exporter from Monday to Thursday and spends every weekend driving a Bolt.

After paying an entrance fee of 20 Ghanaian Cedis (about USD 2), I walked in and spent some time riding a horse. Then I sat down on a rooftop area of a restaurant known as Mac Bay. Outside the building, fully occupied tables were stuffed on the sand, underneath a cluster of colored umbrellas.

As I quenched my thirst while waiting for my lunch, a couple of singers offered to entertain me. I politely turned down their offer. Minutes later, a group of patrons from the nearest table paid them to perform. After their electrifying show, I felt the need to chip in something because I was part of the satisfied audience.