Living in Ghana you may find yourself on many occasions seeing/finding things that you will not know what they are. This will of course raise the question of “What is this?” Or “what’s the name for this?”. There are so many unique things about Ghana that it may be a bit hard to keep track of them, especially if you don’t know their English names.

We came up with a list of unique things about Ghana with local (confusing and sometimes multiple) names, and reveal the names in English to make life much easier for you!

Unique things about Ghana


Known in Ghana by a variety of names – “Kantosey”, “Abedru’, ‘Kwahu Nsusua, ‘Sebe bibii’ and others. It is a very popular Ghanaian cooking ingredient used in many local recipes, particularly in soups, but what is the name in English for it? Turkey berry!


Also known as “icheku” in Igbo, “awin” in Yoruba, and “tsamiyar-kurm” in hausa. If you ask a Ghanain person the English name for “yooyi” they will probably tell you “black berries” but this is not correct. The right name in English for “yooyi” is Velvet Tamarind, which is a seasonal fruit with a sweet and tangy taste.


Alasa is a popular fruit loved by many in Ghana, also referred to as “Alasma mba” or “Adasa mma”. It is an indigenous fruit found in Nigeria and Ghana. Next time you possibly see it in a market, know that the English word for it is African Star Fruit.


Known in Ga as Aluguntugui, Twi as Aborofontungu and Ewe as Evo, the Annona Muricata fruit has been in Ghana since time immemorial. You may be told that the English name for this fruit is Sweet Apple, but this is incorrect. The right name is Soursop.


This African Indigenous vegetable locally referred to as kontonmire among the Akan people in Ghana, is used in the preparation of sauces (‘kontomire’ stew) and soups (‘ebunebunu’). There has been a lot of difficulties when people try to translate “Kontonmire ” into English, with many referring to it as “Cocoyam leaves”. However, that is not the right name in English for it, but rather Taro Leaves.


Highly valued ingredient, used to spice up rich foods in Ghana. It is native to the Aidan tree, the reason why its name in English is the Aidan fruit.


Commonly referred to as “iru” by Yorubas, ‘Ogiri’, ‘Dawa Dawa’ by Igbos, dawadawa is a local seasoning or condiment used in African Cuisine. Known as the African locust beans in English, it is highly rich in essential nutrients and helps boost the immune system.


Probably once you see “nunum” you will know what it is – mint leaves. They are easily recognisable (just by their smell) but interesting to know that in Ghana they refer locally to it as “nunum”.


Hwentia Spice are typically the seeds of a famous plant found in Africa called as Xylopia Aethiopica. This is also called the famous African pepper and is known to be utilized often as a substitute for common pepper.


Pito is a fermented African beverage that is often classified as beer. It is produced with fermented millet or sorghum, or sometimes a combination of both.


A local Ghanain delicacy that many people enjoy eating but find very hard to find the English name for it. Wele is cowhide in English, which is the hide of a cow (skin), also used to make leather. Not the most healthy meal, but some Ghanaians can’t resist it.


In Ghana, the use of Chromolaena odorata (Acheampong leaves) as a first-aid material to control bleeding is a very common practice in rural areas.


The “iron pot” as many Ghanaians refer to it in English, is widely used in many traditional Ghanaian homes for cooking. You may also see it used by street food vendors at local Accra markets to cook soup, banku and many other traditional dishes. The English name “iron pot” is not correct. The right name is Cauldron.


Traditionally, the “Asanka” comes with its counterpart known as the “tapoli”. They are used as a grinding tool (its modern substitute is the blender). Its name in English is Earthenware. It’s a very traditional object in Ghana.


“Bentoa” is one of those unique things about Ghana mostly owned by every household in Ghana. This is used to insert medicine through the anus to help cleanse the systems. The English name is Enema Bulb Syringe.

Banku Ta

The ‘stick’ that is used to stir banku to give it that fine texture is called WOODEN SPATULA. There are different types of wooden spatulas used in many ways for different purposes.

Esoro wisa

The spice is known as “Esoro Wisa” in Twi or “Wie Din” in Ga, “Masoro” in Hausa, “Kale” in Ewe, “Uziza” in Igbo and Piper Guineense in English or simply put, West African Black Pepper.

Have you experienced any other occasion where you encountered something which you were given a thousand local names for but couldn’t get the English name for it? Let us know in the comments below!