Educlass: Suburbs of Accra and their meaning – Part 1

There are many towns and villages within Accra that come with many names but usually, we just mention them without knowing their meaning.

Gas have a special way of naming their towns and most of the suffixes to the names you hear actually means a lot.  For instance when you hear any name with the suffix “Naa” it means edge, if it has the suffix “shi or shie” it means underneath if it is “No” it means on top and when it is “man or mang” it means town.

There are also many names that were not actually named by the Ga’s but by strangers who came to settle in the city.

Check This Out: Educlass: New Vocabularies You should Know – Part 1

Here are the meanings of names of certain places in Accra.

  1. Adabraka

Back in the day, the Gas would go to buy foodstuffs from the Hausa traders who were settled in that area. The word “Adabraka” is a Hausa word meaning “womli” in Ga. The Ga customers would often ask for a bonus on their purchases and that’s how Adabraka became the name of the place.


  1. Achimota

The name Achimota has its origins in Slavery. The means “you don’t mention a person’s name”A chii mɔ ta` in Ga.

Check This Out: Ghana Month: Here’s how regional capitals in Ghana got their names

3. Mataheko

When the people of Mataheko first settled there, they often visited their relatives in Accra – since it wasn’t far. Eventually, the constant visits made them tired and they would often say “Mata heko” meaning I’ll sit somewhere.

  1. Alajo

Those who settled in Alajo would regularly set fire and would sing and dance around it all night long. The song they sang was “Mele ni yaa ee, damoshi ma shɛbo” in wait for their King. So Alajo is “ala ni ajo” meaning sing and dance.

  1. Nima

Some Gas moved and settled permanently at Adabraka. This created a problem for the Hausa traders. Since the Gas had power over the land, King Tackie Tawiah gave the Hausas Nima which means “Nii Man” or Nii’s land. Till this day, the Hausas call it their home.

  1. Nungua

Nu ŋma” meaning freshwater. The presence of freshwater was a sign to the first Ga settlers that the area known as Nungua would be their new home.


  1. Tema

Simply means “tɔ man” or land of “Gourd”. The Gas who settled in that area were well known for making the gourd which is the calabash fruit shaped like a big bottle.

  1. Teshie

Meaning ” under the stone” In 2012 Teshie celebrated 300 years since they migrated from La to their present location.

9. Tesano

The right pronunciation should have been “tɛ-saa-nɔ” which is Ga for “on top of the flat rock” or “on the flat rock”.


10. Kaneshi

A Ga speaker will say “Ka-nee-shi-shi” which means beneath the lamp or under the lamp. “Ka-nee” meaning light or lamp.

We shall be back with more Education on part two of this lesson.


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