“Tro” I was told meant “a pesewa” the least currency of Ghana in times past in the Akan parlance when I was very young. I grew up knowing that the local buses that run short distances are the “trotros” named after the pesewa which was the fare then. With growing need to make silly local words sound unique, many young people have adapted the name “troski” instead of the original name “trotro”.
Most people have no regards for the troski; they are meant for the poor and average men who cannot afford taxi bills. In most areas, one has to cue for a long time before getting the opportunity to board a troski to his or her destination. Of course knowing Africans, some lorry stations are no new comers to frequent bickering and fighting as some cantankerous individuals will never want to be in the cue to wait for their turn. In the evenings, one had to watch his or her bag or purse very well as some of those who were in the cue and pushing or squeezing so hard had ulterior motives.
I hated being in the cue all the time I lived in Accra and God knows that was a long time. I complained of the child like arguments, political arguments, the frequent breakdown of the troskis, the bad roads, the bad nature of the troskis, some stinking mates and sleepy passengers. I never for once thought of the fact that it was helping the average earners “cut their coat according to their cloths”.
Now I am living in an area where there are no troskis and means of transportation is either through a motor bike, your personal vehicle or a taxi. The immobile ones like us must always rely on the taxis which are now charging exhorbitant prices or the ‘red bus’ (walking to your destination).
I now miss those Accra days and wish there were troskis here. I wouldn’t mind being the goods that I thought passengers of troskis were in my early years. But the problem is; it is probably too late to wish for what I had but never appreciated, unless I decide to go back to Accra. With increasing cost of living in Ghana, one cannot stop thinking about ways of cutting cost. But Tamale will have to deal with the fact that they can do nothing about transportational cost, because the last time I checked with the rumour mongers, the one who tried to operate a troski here was nearly lynched by the taxi drivers.
But there is the other side of the coin where people have turned to motor kings as their means of transportation to their villages, dangerous but what can they do? Maybe some of us will resort to that.